Why it pays to put the spotlight on your company’s after-sales experience

Happy with the volume and quality of leads passing through your marketing pipeline and the sales your business is clocking up as a result?

If you answered in the affirmative, congratulations and well done, particularly given the level of disruption and uncertainty Australia’s two million-odd small businesses have had to cope with.

Getting your sales and marketing teams working together more closely has likely contributed to this happy outcome. When the two are tightly aligned, as a layperson might put it, the business of dealing with your company becomes smoother and more pleasant for customers.

Continuing the journey

However, even if your customers are in buying mode, the customer journey remains complex and post-sale, it’s important to understand how easy and enjoyable your customers find interacting with your business at a time when they might be seeking post-sales support. Sales, marketing and customer support should be constantly communicating to ensure a great consumer experience.

However, in many organisations, this is a segment of the customer journey which receives less attention than it warrants. Very often, customers’ issues are dealt with on an ad hoc basis. Resolved satisfactorily more frequently than not, sure, but not necessarily used to inform processes and practices within the organisation to ensure the same problems don’t recur.

If this sounds like you and your business, then you’re missing an opportunity – to up your game and increase the chances of one-off customers becoming regular buyers, and enthusiastic advocates for your business to boot.

The latter has become vital in the digital era. With consumers spending more time than ever online, word of mouth recommendations are being supplanted by Google reviews and social media posts. Businesses that don’t have a stable of satisfied, loyal customers willing to spruik for them risk being overlooked, or regarded with suspicion, by prospects doing their ‘due diligence’ digitally.

Improving your after-sales experience

Delivering a better after-sales experience will ensure customers aren’t left with a sour taste in their mouth, should problems arise after they’ve parted with their money – and make it easier for you to find champions who are willing to spill the beans about your superior products and service.

Where to begin, if you want to up your game? Looking at how many new customers go on to request support, via telephone, email, social media or other digital channels, is a good start.

When they raise an issue, most customers like to see it dealt with expeditiously. Examining how many requests are resolved at first contact, how many need to be escalated and how long that process takes will give you some insight into whether customers are likely to say your after-sales experience sizzles or sucks.

Identifying the subject of common queries and complaints is also a smart move. If you observe the same issues cropping up over and over again, you can try to eliminate the friction by addressing the root cause.

Turning to technology

Digital technology can help make the process of monitoring and managing your end-to-end customer experience a straightforward matter. By collecting and collating data from all your customer touchpoints, from your Customer Relationship Management system to the troubleshooting tips page on your website, a customer experience automation platform can provide you with a comprehensive overview of your customer journey – the good, the bad and the ugly. If you’re serious about improving yours, it’s an investment that’s likely to pay for itself, in your reputation for superlative service and in repeat business, many times over.