The service you provide to your customers reflects on your company. As the central pillar for ensuring a productive future, the after-sales service also has a great deal of impact on customer loyalty, whose expectations are becoming increasingly high.
It is a major part of business, and will allow you to build close relationships with your customers, who will then be more inclined to trust you. A customer who has a satisfactory after-sales service experience is more likely to come back, to relive their positive buying experience.
Because quality customer service is a source of income, referrals and continuous improvement, this article contains 5 key elements to help you effectively manage your after-sales service!
1. Get to know your customers and listen to them
Customers can be a great cause for concern. It is your duty to get to know them, in order to be able to fully satisfy their needs. In other words, your strategy, and your after-sales service, must be customer-centric.
In order to get acquainted with your customers, there should be no secrets: get in direct contact with your customers using satisfaction surveys. Your customers are a valuable resource for relevant and interesting feedback. They will provide you with valuable indicators for enhancing those services with which they are most satisfied, and highlight those that need to be reviewed.
Also, pay close attention to customer reviews. Showcase the most positive reviews, and respond pro-actively to the negative ones. They allow you to keep track of customers’ changing needs, and to improve the results of your after-sales service. Another significant advantage: they can have a positive impact on your ranking on search engines! You can turn to SEO experts to help you optimize your SEO strategy.
Knowing your customers also means listening to them and paying particular attention to any problems they encounter. After-purchase difficulties vary greatly from one customer to another. Nevertheless, the aim remains the same, regardless of the type of problem.
Generally speaking, if your customers contact your after-sales service, it is to report a possible problem-or to obtain further information about a product. Pinpoint it quickly and process it as soon as possible. Make sure you fully understand your client’s problem by reiterating it to avoid any misunderstanding.
2. Expand your communication channels to benefit your customers
You cannot simply offer your customers a single means of contact. You must expand the communication media for your customer service. It is essential to allow the customer to choose the channel which seems the fastest and most appropriate for their request. Your level of responsiveness ought to be the same for each channel of communication.
Don’t limit your means of contact to the phone; many customers are becoming more and more reluctant to call (waiting times, potential call cost, hotline opening times, etc.).
It is important to ensure that your advisers proficient in these different communication media. The codes on these platforms differ: a customer is not addressed in the same way when making a phone call or an e-mail, for example.
3. Facilitate the internal flow of information and establish a CRM solution
The effectiveness of a quality after-sales service also depends on impeccable internal communication. It is important to internally manage the flow of information and listen to your advisers’ suggestions, as they are in direct contact with clients. Adopt a transversal way of working to facilitate communication, enabling your after-sales service staff to quickly share the feedback received from customer interactions.
Facilitating the internal circulation of information also means implementing an effective CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution. It will allow you to centralize customer requests and allocate resources according to priorities. Task automation frees up valuable time for your advisers: no longer will they have to deal with time-consuming or repetitive tasks, and will be able to focus on important, strategic tasks. A CRM solution promotes better collaboration between different departments and increases responsiveness!
4. Be able to anticipate and know how to deal with conflicts
Handling delicate and conflictual situations during an interaction is not easy. Knowing how to manage these situations in the best possible way is a real asset for your after-sales service.
Your advisers have to deal with numerous problems which can be more or less urgent, and very stressful. You have to be able to control your emotions and keep your cool.
Clients should be encouraged to express their views, and then you can try to find a quick solution. Never get into an argument with your customer; this could seriously damage your reputation and insult the customer.
This will lead to customer dissatisfaction. An attentive and empathetic approach will help to calm your customers and find a suitable solution.
5. Set up FAQs
Most consumers wish to solve their problems on their own. Contacting an after-sales service by telephone or any other communication medium is a constraint for your customers. This could put customers and potential customers off.
Setting up an FAQ section proves that you are professionally managing your business and that you pay particular attention to your customers’ questions. The answers must be clear, detailed, and satisfy your customers. The advantage of FAQs is that they are available 24 hours a day and your advisers are left to focus on requests which require more time and involvement.
The after-sales service, which reflects your image and professionalism, demonstrates your ability to handle your customers’ problems and to solve them. It is your duty to do everything possible to satisfy your customers, regardless of the situation. Therefore, the management of your after-sales service must be fluid, organized, and optimal!