See how to plan an after-sales strategy to retain, retain and generate more revenue from the customers your company already has
After-sales is the stage that begins when the customer closes a deal with a company. The objective of continuing the relationship with the consumer after the purchase is to ensure that he is satisfied with the product or service purchased, returning to do business with the company in the future or referring it to friends and family.
Despite knowing the importance of retaining customers, many companies still focus excessively on attracting them. It’s not that the search for new customers should be left out, but it needs to be combined with loyalty strategies.
One way to do this is through post-sales, a step after the sale, which is to ensure that customers have a good experience using the product or service they have purchased. The idea is that, if the relationship continues and is successful after the purchase, the chances of that person buying again and even referring the company will be greater.
In this article, you’ll find out everything about this important step, but still neglected by many companies. Read on to know what it is, how important it is and how to make a good after-sales!
What is after-sales?
It is a mistake to think that the relationship with the consumer must end when a deal is closed. In fact, it’s the other way around. It is precisely after completing the sale that the company must invest in shares to retain and retain this consumer.
This is where post-sales comes in, a stage that, as the name suggests, takes place after closing the deal between company and customer. At this stage, the company concerned with retention and loyalty seeks to apply strategies that ensure that the customer is successful with the purchased product or service, having their expectations and needs met.
How important is after-sales?
Having a good after-sales strategy can be a great differential over your competitors, making your business remembered by consumers because of the good experience it offers.
With loyal customers buying on a recurring basis, you need to worry less about attracting new customers. Attracting customers, by the way, is usually cheaper than retaining them, did you know?
Another benefit of not leaving customers out after the checkout is that you’ll get more referrals from current customers this way. How many times have you recommended a company to a friend or family member after having an amazing experience? So it is. When you receive referrals, there is no need to chase customers, they will come to you.
The steps of the after-sales funnel
You’ve certainly heard of the sales funnel, a representation of the steps the customer goes through, from the first contact with the company to the closing of the deal. What you might not know is that, after the purchase, we can include the customer in another funnel: the after-sales funnel. It is usually divided into four steps:
- Adoption: is the moment when the customer starts using your product or service. The company’s challenge at the moment is to transform punctual consumption into something that is repeated and becomes part of the consumer’s routine;
- Retention: phase that starts right after adoption, when your company must focus on ensuring that the customer sees value in your product or service on an ongoing basis;
- Expansion: the customer already recognizes the value of your product or service and starts to bring more direct revenue to your company, that is, increases the average ticket;
- Advocacy: the client starts to act as an advocate for his brand and starts to generate indirect income, helping to acquire new clients.
How to map the Customer Journey?
In order to do a good after-sales, it is important, in addition to knowing the path, to analyze how the customer takes it. That’s what the Customer Journey, or Customer Journey, is for, which begins as soon as a person becomes a customer. Attention: don’t confuse it with the Buying Journey, which focuses on the steps that precede the sale.
The first step in developing a good after-sales strategy is to map what marks each of the steps in your company’s after-sales funnel. For this:
1. Look at customers who have successfully traveled this journey
Make a survey of customers who do business with your company on a recurring basis, those who started to bring in more revenue over time or even who have become advocates of your brand. Understand their journey and what they did in common along that path.
2. Look for customers you’ve lost along the way
You know those customers who had everything to have a great relationship with your company, but left and you never heard from them again? How was their trajectory different from successful clients?
3. Analyze the frequency of use/purchase of your product or service
The objective here is to understand what should be considered an ideal frequency of use or consumption of your product or service. If there is information available in the market, it is interesting to do a benchmarking to compare the frequency with the average of your market.
4. Understand what your customer’s goals are and when they are achieved
How does your customer perceive the value of your product or service? The answer to this question varies greatly depending on the type of business and specific segment of the company.
The value can be financial return in the case of B2B businesses — RD customers, for example, when they hire marketing automation software, expect that investment to be reflected in a sales result over time.
But there are also emotional and social returns, such as status, quality of life, expression of a personal value, for example, care for the environment. In this case, it is interesting to investigate what are the emotional motivators that lead the customer to consume your product or service.
From the analysis, establish which are the milestones that define each of these steps and which indicator demonstrates that the customer is ready to take the next step. Your after-sales strategy will be designed to encourage the customer to move forward on this journey.
How to delight customers after sales?
Now that you already know the concepts of after-sales, after-sales funnel and Customer Journey, smart city lahore can go on to some tips on how to delight your customers at this stage.
The follow-up should not be done only during the sale. In post-sales, this tool is valuable, serving to question the customer about the positive and negative points in the use of the product or service so far.
Gathering feedback shows that the company cares, and allows you to discover what points should be maintained and what needs to be improved in your strategy. Show that you care about the consumer’s opinion and make yourself available to listen to them.
Offer exclusive benefits
A good way to retain and retain your customers is to make them feel special. One way to do this is by offering exclusive benefits, which can be sent on special dates, such as birthdays, Christmas, Customer’s Day.
These benefits can be discounts, exclusive promotions or other offers that make sense. If you’re launching a new product, feature, or service, how about inviting existing customers to meet them first? Let them try it before the rest of the audience and, if they decide to buy, offer a special discount.
For those who sell products, sending samples to see other options in your catalog is a good idea. And you can also encourage sharing on social media, which helps make your brand better known.
Have efficient support
An efficient support is the basic for a good after-sales. The support team must be organized, well-trained and efficient, and the communication channels with the company must be integrated and easy to find.
A good service is an excellent opportunity to delight consumers. But it can also be a shot in the foot if it is of poor quality, generating negative reviews and complaints on the internet. Therefore, pay special attention to this point.
Use the right tools
A CRM software allows you to integrate the company’s after-sales actions, helping in the relationship with the consumer even after the deal has been closed. That’s because the tool gathers information about the customer, their purchase history, among other data, which allows personalized service.
How to make post-sales content? Ideas for each of the 4 stages of the Customer Journey
Content production is not just for attraction. Quality materials are, yes, very useful in after sales. See some examples used in the market at each stage of the Customer Journey, which we talked about earlier:
Who doesn’t like to feel welcome when going somewhere for the first time? Making your customer feel welcomed and demonstrating that your company intends to establish a lasting relationship can be a beautiful differential. The welcome email is the most widespread after-sales content on the market.
Some companies use the welcome email as a trigger to encourage the next purchase by offering exclusive gifts and even discounts for the next visit.
In the case of services that already have a recurrent nature, such as gyms and educational institutions, for example, this communication is even more necessary so that the customer remains engaged from the beginning and does not give up even before starting to enjoy the service.
Marketing automation with a focus on activation
Is there any time lag between the customer purchasing your product or service and actually starting to use it? Or even initial barriers that need to be removed?
The main purpose of activation flows is to send a series of emails, showing the customer what actions he must take — and in what order, thus leading him to extract the initial value of the product in question.
This type of content is especially valid for highly complex products to prevent the customer from being disappointed or interrupting use before reaching the maximum potential of the product or service.
Online or face-to-face training sessions
And since we are talking about complex products, if this is the case for your business, it might be interesting to invest in closer contact with the customer in this initial period.
In the technology area, it is very common to have specialized consultants to assist in the implementation, and it can even be a service paid separately by the client.
In simpler cases, online training sessions with one or several customers at the same time can be a good alternative to help the consumer in the first steps with the new product until it becomes part of their routine.
The format is widely explored in the areas of education and technology, but with a little creativity it can be used for almost all segments. The proof of this is that YouTube is full of tutorials on the most diverse topics imaginable.
Some ideas on what can be explored in tutorials about your product or service:
- How to deal with the most common challenges of those who are starting to use the product/service
- What to do to reach the maximum potential of the solution
- How to make initial settings
Asking your customer how satisfied they are with your product or service is an excellent way to show that your company is genuinely committed to the quality of what you deliver.
But it is not enough to send the survey, it is important to have a plan on how to solve the problems pointed out by dissatisfied customers and give feedback on the feedback received.
The format widely used for Lead generation is also an excellent opportunity to strengthen ties with your company’s customers.
In addition to serving as training sessions about your product/service, webinars can help scale up your support service by opening a communication channel that allows you to interact with multiple customers at the same time.
Checklists and video series focused on “tasks to be accomplished”
What tasks is your customer focused on doing today with your product or service? To generate recurrence, it is essential to keep the consumer active and getting frequent results.
Think of activities that can be done in short cycles and generate small wins for your customer. Create checklists or video series encouraging completion of tasks to achieve the desired result.
Usage reports and suggestions for optimizing results
What kind of information can your company generate about your customer’s success?
Is it possible to know how the frequency of use is in relation to other consumers or even if the results obtained are below or above average? Or who knows how to warn that the product’s useful life is coming to an end and it might be interesting to buy a new one?
The important thing here is to use the information you have available to encourage your customers to get even better results, whether by purchasing more robust service packages, purchasing new models or complementary products.
This is another format widely used in the process of acquiring new customers and which also has great value in the after-sales.
The success stories help the customer to view more complete solutions and be inspired by other consumers or businesses who have already achieved the results he desires.
Having successful cases focused on upgrades and upsell can be a good card up your sleeve for your revenue expansion strategy.
And since you want your customer to invest more in your products or services, it’s only fair to keep you up to date with news and releases, right?
Giving an air of exclusivity and offering the chance to test or even purchase first-hand releases is a good way to further strengthen ties and make your customer feel special.
Do you want your client to be an advocate for your brand? So give him VIP treatment in return!
Exclusive communities for the most engaged customers are a great space for exchanging experiences, feedback and incentives for customers to advocate for you.
They are widely used in communities, but can be done by other channels such as WhatsApp, email and social networks.
If you already have a group of customers willing to speak highly of your company, be creative and look for ways to interact with them.
How about offering an exclusive gift for those who post the best photo/phrase with your campaign’s hashtag or have the best score in a quiz about your product?
Recommend a friend
This type of campaign is widespread in the market, but to bring the expected return it is necessary for the customer to have a mature relationship with your company. Otherwise, the indication in exchange for a benefit, gift or discount, loses its purpose and becomes ineffective.
There’s nothing to stop you from offering a customer a benefit in exchange for the recommendation, but the more spontaneous the recommendation, the better!
Automation for promotion
Did your customer get top marks in the satisfaction survey? You can create an automation flow that, upon identifying a high score, sends an invitation for the customer to leave a testimonial on your company’s website or social media in exchange for an exclusive gift.
But beware: the proposal is not to “buy” a good evaluation, but to encourage the customer to publicize the satisfaction shown in the survey!
A good business process is important
We hope these tips will help your company to start an after-sales content planning to explore the benefits of this funnel, having customers increasingly loyal and engaged with your brand.
Remembering that, to get to the after-sales, it is necessary to have a well-structured commercial process, which guarantees good sales results.