Importance Of After-Sales Service (And Ways To Offer It)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 17 July 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
A service offered after a customer has purchased a product is called an after-sales service. Most companies pay a lot of attention to creating and refining their post-sales services so they can satisfy and retain their customers for more extended periods. If you work as a sales employee or are looking to enter this career, knowing and understanding post-sales service and how you can provide these for your customers can be helpful. In this article, we discuss what an after-sales service is, explain its importance and provide examples of how you can provide it to the customers.
Importance Of After-Sales Service
After-sales service has several benefits that can far exceed its costs. Here are some reasons why post-sales service is crucial to a business:
Builds customer loyalty
Having strong post-sales services and trained employees to perform them can be vital in retaining customers and their loyalty. Customers who feel heard and cared for even post-sales are more likely to value the brand. They are more likely to want to come back for future purchases.
Promotes word-of-mouth branding
As a consequence of customer loyalty, buyers are more likely to spread good reviews about the brand or product to their friends and family. This may encourage more sales and potentially loyal customers. Word of mouth branding can usually have a stronger impact than the continuous effort of marketing via mainstream and social media because of the personal connection and the trust factor. Besides, it does not involve any direct costs to the company.
Generates positive reviews online
With good post-sales service, customers often feel more satisfied and may feel more inclined to post a positive review online. This could be through an online shopping portal from where they purchased the product, the company website, a review website or even a blog. Positive reviews are important for brands as they help them create a desirable image online. When potential customers research their product or brand and see these reviews, they might quickly feel encouraged to make the purchase.
When companies provide post-sales service, they are likely to engage the customers even after the purchase. This means the customer is less likely to forget their preference and why they liked the product. The next time they think of purchasing the same product, that brand might be the first to come to their mind. The decision to purchase can be a quick one without much forethought and deliberation.
Improves the branding and image
The post-sales service is as important as the actual product itself. This means how customers feel about a brand or product depends on their holistic experience of it. Their reviews and recommendations may also depend on this. This may influence how the existing and potential customers view the brand.
Gives an advantage over competitors
In a market with similar products or competitors, it can be tough to claim a substantial portion unless one brand can make itself appear better than others. It is the post-sales service that can help in such cases. When customers receive the same quality of product from most brands but better post-sales service from one, they are more likely to choose that one again in the future.
Examples Of After-Sales Services
There are many ways in which a brand can provide excellent and engaging post-sales service to delight its customers. Here are some examples:
People often like to receive a complimentary service that can help them install and use a product more easily. You may call it hand-holding. This may make them trust and rely on the brand more. For example, a furniture or electronics company can provide free or subsidised installation or demo services with a new purchase.
This can evade plenty of pains that the customer might otherwise go through to understand and use the product best. Such challenges can also cause them to have a raw experience that makes them resent the product and service. Companies can easily prevent this by providing complimentary services.
A warranty can provide more confidence and security to the buyer. This means they may hesitate less before spending their money as they feel assured that the company may either fix or replace the product if it turns out to be defective or gets damaged under specified conditions. Companies may also offer the option of an extended warranty with the product. Companies that offer such a warranty also display confidence in their make and the fact that they have an excellent product for which they are not afraid to give assurance.
Many customers love a good discount on things they like. If they have consumed a product before and enjoyed it, getting a discount or a coupon on future purchases can be exciting for them. Companies may offer coupons and discounts from time to time to reward their loyal customers to keep them satisfied.
Surveys and questionnaires
Companies may ask past or existing customers to fill out a survey via email requesting their opinions and feedback. This can make them feel heard and wanted. When they feel the brand values their views, they are more likely to choose the brand again. Surveys can also help companies develop and upgrade their product according to the customers' needs and demands to please them more. It can reveal a lot about how customers perceive the brand and the advantages that the product has over the competitors.
Announcements and consistent communication
Announcing important news related to the brand, product developments and upgrades or sales offers and schemes can help customers feel important. Also, sharing important dates and events or holidays can be a good strategy to keep them engaged. Strategic and consistent communication can be important in maintaining brand recall value, too.
Return and replacement policies
Some products may get damaged easily if they are low-quality or defective. Such things can sometimes get overlooked during the buying process. Customers may also have concerns about the size and fit when it comes to apparel and other wearables. If companies offer a reasonable return and refund policy or the opportunity to replace the item within a stipulated timeframe, customers may feel more secure about purchasing the item without overthinking it.
Upgrades can be quite delightful for customers. These are usually applicable and viable with software and IT products, where upgrades are easy and automated. Customers can opt to go for the upgrade or decline it. An upgrade usually comes with new and interesting features that the customers may want. It is another way to keep them engaged and invested in the product.
Many companies, especially stores, offer membership cards that allow customers to accrue points every time they shop there. They can later redeem these points for purchases or discounts. For example, coffee shops can have a strong membership program where customers can move up to levels where they can earn free drinks after a certain number of purchases. This may act as instant gratification for customers and make them feel valued.
Packaging is almost as important to customers as the actual product. Customers often make the decision to pick one product over others because of the packaging that makes it look more attractive. Packaging that is attractive and good-quality is also often hard to dispose of, which means less waste.
People are more likely to recycle and reuse such packaging. There are many who like to hoard bags and boxes. Collectors really value good packaging. Customers who retain packaging may also remember the brands for a long time and come back to buy the same when they are in need again.
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