No business is just a buy-and-sell business in todays competition driven world. Customer service and superior after-sales have emerged as the two critical success-oriented techniques and the core drivers of competitive advantage.
Excellent after sales support can help improve customer retention, streamline service process, maximize efficiency and reduce overhead costs. But there are still a lot to it- customers of a business can be new ones, or current ones returning to buy more. The significance of good customer service can be seen in the fact that it costs 5 times as much to win a new customer than it is to retain the current one. This particularly goes well with short-term growth as the cost of acquiring new customers is typically much greater than the cost of retaining existing ones. With excellent after sales the repeat business is generally much cheaper for the company as their sales process is usually less intense. This is how the dictum goes Sales sells the first one, Service sells the rest. Let us understand this better with the help of an example. A mobile phone manufacturer may be a market leader, but if it has poor customer service, the customers may switch to its rivals. To stay ahead of the competition, he has to provide exceedingly good after-sales support that could bring back the customers- repeat customers we say them.
This repeat business can become much cheaper for the mobile manufacturer as its sales process would now be less intense and become more of an “order” taker effort. In contrast, poor after sales support could have made the sales process much more intensive. This would have required the sales function to overcome that poor after-sales support with more sales techniques like demos, sales calls, presentations, etc., which inculcate a higher cost.
On the flip side, happy servicing brings in loyal customers, and loyal customers are free advertising as they will not only tell others of the great service they have received, but also come back to buy again.
Why Companies are Unable to Provide Quality After-Sales Support
Many companies are unable to provide the high degree of after-sales support because they consider customer service as a cost and investment, and not a profit center. It does not make good sense as spending few bucks for keeping your customers happy would not only make them your regular customers, but would also act as revenue stream for you. Effective customer management with the help of Service Management Software and other service automation tools can actually be bundled into the original sales offer.
There can never be more opportunity to invest in sales and foster valuable connections by delivering excellent customer service and support.