The customer journey doesn’t end at the time of purchase. There are things to consider beyond that point that will help enhance the customer experience and create loyalty. One of the most important to consider is after-sales service.
What is After-Sales Service?
Collins Dictionary defines after-sales service as the help and information that businesses provide to their customers after they have bought a particular product. Anyone who has ever needed to contact a company after encountering issues with a product they’ve purchased knows that finding quick and reliable information can be quite challenging.
Why is After-Sales Service Important?
Companies who make it fast and convenient for their customers to contact them stand at a considerable advantage over businesses who neglect this important part of customer care. Usually, a quick web search and a few clicks are all that customers need to do to find relevant contact information. But even when this is the case, contacting a business may not be as fast or as convenient as customers demand.
More than 60% of customers’ channel of choice for after-sales service will be a digital self-service tool, such as a website, mobile app or other. Add to this that two-thirds of adults say that the most important thing a company can do is value their time by providing a good customer experience.
“Valuing customer time” may seem pretty vague – so here’s the cold, hard data: 50% of customers calling sales contact centers abandon their calls after 45 seconds of waiting, with the mark set at 95 seconds for tech support call centers.
Moving into the online realm changes things up a bit with 75% of online customers expecting assistance within 5 minutes.
Getting this right pays dividends. Cash-conscious and service-savvy Millennials will pay more for great customer care, while 70% of customers surveyed in the USA said that they’ve spent more with a business that provided great service.
How to Make After-Sales Service Fast and Convenient?
This doesn’t mean you need to pull the plug on your contact center. A lot of customers still prefer using the phone since it’s a live channel that puts them in direct contact with a human agent. But there are things you can do that will enhance the efficiency of your after-sales service.
One way of putting customers who are in need of after-sales service with a human agent is by adding digital channels. An example is electronics giant LG, who added a WhatsApp channel for customers in need of service information in India.
The main challenge LG had been facing in the populous country was long waiting times for their call center. This commonly leads to unpredictable resolution and poor customer experience, which they wanted to stamp out. Things were not looking much better on the company’s Indian website, where customers would have to contend with long waits for chats.
Introducing the WhatsApp channel made it easier for LG customers in India to quickly and conveniently reach customer service by texting “Hi” to the WhatsApp number (+91971170999) advertised on their site. This is replied to by a message with the queue, letting the customer know when an agent will join the chat. This helps with predictability and gives customers an idea of how soon they’ll be chatting with an agent.
Just like with a phone call, this type of communication is direct and allows for interaction with a human agent. Unlike a phone call, customers using the WhatsApp chat are able to carry on with their day-to-day, allowing them to reply at their own convenience after hearing their incoming message notification.
This is one of the more recent after-sales service examples using a newer technology to provide customers with fast and convenient after-sales service.