The world is progressing at an exponential rate where a single decision can decide a company’s future or downfall. Companies that aren’t progressing along are failing because of the sudden upheaval caused by social media or the internet where a company’s image matters more than their product itself. This small guide aftersales management is meant to offer information that you might need to know.
Definition of Aftersales Management
54% of social browsers use social media to research products and figure out whether they should buy a potential item or not.
A company’s value and success matter not only the outcome of its sales but customer retention as well. A product can be manufactured or procured by various companies, but what sets it apart is the quality and the services provided to the customer who bought it. That’s how companies thrive nowadays.
A brief history
During the last 30 years, the companies have stopped pushing the product and started focusing on the value that it provides to the customers. It was all necessary because the people stopped demanding. After all, a similar product could be found with different branding or company at in much cheaper rate.
The companies started offering various promotions where they could provide spare parts, repairs, exchange offers, technical support, upgrades, and various other things. All of this led to the term ‘Aftersales Management’ starting to be widely used. It refers to the services the company provides to the customers after the sale of a product.
Role of aftersales management
The Aftersales Management’s work is to look towards the smooth procedure after the sale of a certain product in their business. From the Sales Department to the Service Organization and then finally to its customers, all of the management as soon as the sale has been completed falls under the jurisdiction of the aftersales management department. 89% of customers report that they are more likely to make another purchase after a positive customer service experience.
Their role is overseeing the customer relations and product quality and thus enhancing the company’s overall performance and value. It is indeed a dependable source where long-lasting customer relations and after services help with the growth of the company and ensure its profitability in the long run.
Why is it necessary?
To be successful and compete with the other companies in the global market, a company must provide an advantage where the consumer sees it.
Improving quality, decreasing price, availability of the product and finally the most important of them all, customer satisfaction and making sure that they stay loyal to the company. These things are why the Aftersales Management is vital. These days what matters to a company is the positive reviews about its product from its consumers.
Positive feedback from a single customer can go a long way where it will attract others and those others will attract more. This cycle ultimately leads to the company’s growth both in sales and popularity. The loyal customer will also start believing in the company and will always promote the brand to others, whether it be subconsciously or through their goodwill.
Is aftersales management bad for your business?
As with everything in a business, if something isn’t implemented properly, it will adversely affect the working of the business. Many customers don’t like companies collecting data, even if it is for the optimization of the delivery of business services. Similarly, some customers hate when the business reaches out to customers without their volition.
In these unique, but still equally common cases, the aftersales department has to figure out the best course of action. If they are unable to satisfy such sort of customers, aftersales management may be the undoing of the business. This is why it is not for everyone, but all businesses that are confident they can communicate effectively with their customers should have an aftersales management department.
What can a company do to retain its customers?
A company can take the necessary steps to ensure customer satisfaction is up to the mark.
- Feedback – the company should get in contact with a customer, inquire about the product that has been sold, get their opinion on what to improve, keep in touch afterward & offer occasional discounts to keep the customer engaged, solve problems for the customer should they arise in a limited warranty period and finally be able to treat both returning and new customers the same way.
- Internal affairs – The Aftersales Management should have a separate department, where it is not directly influenced by the shareholders but by the customers it serves. The company should train its employees to handle all kinds of customers. The staff should always prioritize the customer, making sure that they have understood their problem and have a solution as well. Customer Relations should be the highest priority.
- Communication – Communication needs to become a constant inside a company. There should be a level of consistency, which is usually overlooked. This leads to the blame being thrown up on the Aftersales Department. Necessary contacts within and out of the company should be provided in case of any discrepancies while handling a certain product.
- Satisfaction – Customer satisfaction should be the goal regardless of the profit/loss of the company.
How to mitigate after-sale problems
For such kinds of steps, many companies nowadays have started various call centers to help mitigate the problems which rises with the product after a customer has taken it home. The call center is a part of Aftersales Management where they take care of the problems of the customer by ensuring contact with the relevant department.
For example, if a customer has a problem with the part being mishandled by the courier service, the company is liable to check whether or not the company itself is the reason for the bad experience. If so, the company should do everything in its power to mitigate these problems. This is called the mitigation of after-sale problems. Aftersales management should cover this.
Here are a few ways on how to mitigate after-sale problems:
- Inquire – Take feedback and check thoroughly on what the problem is with your product. Figure out properly whether the problem is because of the mishandling of the product or a manufacturing defect. Be as detailed in your approach as possible.
- Rewarding customers – if a problem is found, apologize and reward customers who were able to find problems in your product. More customers are likely to buy from companies that seem more humanlike instead of corporeal. Accepting mistakes is a step in the right direction.
- Problem-solving – Solve the problem, if it was ever found, to ensure that the customer doesn’t get the chance to complain again. Because you are expending money to reward customers, you will, either way, be forced to take a step in the right direction.
- Test & inquire – After you have provided a solution for after-sale problems, test whether the provided solution is viable for the customer or not. Inquire customers and incentivize them to test & report back to you.
The brand and image are also as important to the company as the quantity or the quality of the product. A single star rating could eventually cause the company to gain or lose millions. The Aftersales Management is what ultimately leads the endgame of the company.