Business studies already say it: it costs five times more to win a new customer than to keep an old one. So why are some companies so uninterested in advancing their after-sales techniques?
We must not forget that in a globalized world like the current one, a company’s true differential value versus its competitors is not in the product, which we often get in many places and at different prices, but in the service it offers and what you get in return . It has been shown that the nuance that can tip the balance in favor of one supplier to the detriment of another is precisely after-sales service.
The general keys to good after-sales service are well known: personal attention, effective technical management, smooth and personal communication (instead of using a machine) can be effective techniques. And from here everything that the imagination gives of itself. Continue reading!
1) Be the customer’s specialized advisor
Entrepreneurs often forget that as specialists in their business, they should be the ones who propose solutions to their customers and not wait for them to express their needs. The paper manufacturer ArjoWiggins recognized this as one of its great competitive strengths and started a management consultancy for companies.
The company had a highly developed activity in advising prescribers (design agencies, printers and distributors) who advised it on the characteristics of the paper, the suitability of some or other printing techniques depending on the destination, and those who sent samples of it high quality so that you to make your models.
management and control
Counseling was a link, a means to an end. But they failed to “reach the end customer: the big companies. These had a very high paper consumption and in addition to different origins: The marketing department needed coated paper; communications, graphic paper; Purchases, ordinary paper… It was about the company seeing all the paper consumption it generates and that we can help it manage it better, control its volume and channel its purchases so that it can reduce its consumption and costs can optimize,” they pointed out at the company. To do this, they consolidated all their graphic papers departments into one, which enabled them to reach the end customer with a global solution, and created the Corporate Service for Companies in 2007.
Among the technological solutions that they provided to the customer, there was a special account on the site, where all the graphic resource providers of the relevant company could enter the type of paper, quantity and consumption.
2) Visit to the “Backstage” area
The shows can be managed like real companies. That’s how music producer Grupo Drive understood it, creating a community of loyal customers, Comunidad el 33. “It wasn’t about creating another website, it was about creating a community of customer belonging,” they emphasize at the company.
It began a few weeks before the premiere of the musical Today I Can’t Get Up. There was an initial website with a base of 5,000 users, but the portal did not live up to the production company’s expectations. The aim was “to create a feeling of a club, of a social network, among all fans of the musical and of Mecano, so that a large critical mass is reached, which becomes, so to speak, the musical’s own prescribers,” they emphasized.
Members of the community received musical updates, photos, cast interviews and discounts for performances before anyone else. The actors were always available for the followers and the backstage area was raffled among the members of the community to be photographed with the actors after the performance.
All this development was supported by two monthly newsletters, viral promotions on You Tube, follow-up of their requests, opinions and emails, the online shop and an interactive casting.
3) Post sale with ‘Coach’
Usually, a one and a half or two hour session per week or every 15 days is agreed upon in coaching. But many things arise between session and session. One technique used by one consultant was to encourage their clients to call them every night to discuss what happened that day.
All of this information has been compiled and analyzed to create a report. This almost daily monitoring allowed him to better help customers so they knew how to change the chip. In doing so, he was able not only to gain a global view of the client’s problems, but also to dilute the manager’s sense of loneliness and isolation.
4) Free phone line
“Once a child on growth hormone treatment had a problem while on holiday abroad. His parents had brought the medicine but forgot the injection device. Through the telephone service they called us and from the line the immediate and free shipping of the new device was arranged. In 24 hours they had it available. If the service had not existed, they would have had to go to the hospital or stop treatment,” they cited Merck Serono as an example of the effectiveness of their after-sales strategy.
A few years ago they set up a free phone line: the information line Merck Serono for patients, relatives of patients and healthcare professionals. “We catalog it internally more than as an after-sales service, as an added value for professionals and patients,” they indicated in the company.
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