Customer Experience News & Trends

8 tips for effective after-sale service

Effective after-sales service is not a slogan, advertising program, a button that everyone wears, or a banner touting a “we care attitude.” It is a mindset that good salespeople develop to improve customer satisfaction and retention.

An effective follow-up can be a telephone call, fax, e-mail, letter, hand-written note, personal visit or any combination of these.  An effective after-sales service philosophy requires constant vigilance and dedication. Here are eight tips for effective after-sales service to share at your next sales meeting:

1. The customer is not always right. The goal is not to discredit, embarrass, belittle or challenge them in a destructive way. It’s usually better to discover the source or cause of their incorrect perceptions, beliefs or attitudes.

2. The customer is never completely wrong. There’s usually some element of their perception that is a true reflection of reality as they see it. Customers can be informative if we keep an open mind and are receptive to what’s being said. They can help pinpoint distribution or sales methods that need improvement.

3. The customer deserves your best, regardless of the time of day, day of the week, or month of the year. The fact that you worked late last night making an emergency delivery shouldn’t become the customer’s problem. These circumstances and thousands of others like them, if they become the customer’s problem, may cause him or her to switch to a competitor.

4. Don’t pass the buck. Whoever hears about a problem owns the problem. Try to avoid being defensive or upset when a customer brings you a concern or complaint. Accept the fact that the problem exists and help get it solved.

5. Don’t be too busy for your customers and don’t make it difficult for them to do business with you. How many times have you as a customer gotten the feeling that you’re an interruption to another salesperson’s day or workload? Try not o treat customers this way.

6. Say what you will do and do what you say you will. Follow through, keep your promises, honor your commitments, and keep your customer informed of your progress. Customers tend to be more understanding, patient and tolerant if you communicate with them with integrity and in a timely manner.

7. Be interested, care and act like you’re glad the customer is doing business with you. People like doing business with people who appreciate their business. They are usually willing to give more of their business to salespeople who are accommodating and interested.
You show you care by having up-to-date product knowledge and trying to answer all questions the customer may have.

8. Think ahead of the customer with a problem-solving attitude. To prosper and build repeat business, salespeople should try to anticipate customer needs and problems. It will be too late if you wait for the customer to bring their problems to you or communicate their future desires and needs.

Adapted from 91 Mistakes Smart Salespeople Make, by Tim Connor.

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