By Eleanor Akester on Fri 01 July 2022 in Sales
Given that winning a sale is viewed as so critical to business success, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of making after sales an afterthought. But, with the right tools and processes in place, Customer Service teams can be better equipped in their battle against dissatisfaction.
When winning a sale is viewed as so critical to business success, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of making after sales an afterthought. Yet, a negative customer experience can be a catalyst for your customers switching suppliers and you losing them for good. But, with the right tools and processes in place, Customer Service teams can be better equipped in their battle against dissatisfaction.
Why's it so important?
It’s common for many businesses to solely focus on the sales side of the coin but neglect the flipside of after-sales management. Sure, closing a sale or winning repeat business is great, but for product businesses selling B2B, retaining customers for as long as possible is absolutely essential to profitable, ongoing success.
For Wholesalers, Distributors and Manufacturers in particular, it's inevitable that from time to time, issues will arise. Whether it be a damaged pallet on delivery or a complaint about an item being faulty, it's important to log all interactions about the issue to ensure it's resolved as quickly and professionally as possible.
How can you improve your After-Sales approach?
Whilst product businesses don’t necessarily need complex or dedicated support ticketing software, they need somewhere to log queries and issues. Your CRM is a perfect place to record this information, especially when you can relate problems to sales opportunities and even products.
Common types of after-care issues to record in your CRM could include:
- Product returns
- Delivery issues
- Customer complaints
- Accounts queries
Being able to quickly and easily record these types of queries against orders has a direct impact on how these issues are logged, progressed, and ultimately resolved and reported on.
With a CRM system that features problem tracking/ticketing, your team can then:
- Categorise different types of problems (e.g., delivery issue, technical problem, account issue)
- Identify bottlenecks (e.g., is your chosen courier regularly delivering items late?)
- Ensure issues follow a process (e.g., certain stages or statuses that depict your after-sales process best like “Acknowledgement Sent”, “In Hand”, “Confirmed Successful”/”Unable to Progress” etc.)
Ultimately, a good problem tracking system should enable your team to log customer issues as a CRM ticket and pass it in real-time to your Customer Service, Warehousing or Accounts team for attention. Using detailed accounts and sales data, they should be better placed to resolve issues at the source and turn every problem into an amazing customer experience.
Identify At-risk Customers
Recency, Frequency and Monetary value (RFM) analysis helps you identify customers who are about to slip away, meaning you can take action before it’s too late. With a CRM that automates RFM analysis calculations against your entire customer base daily, and your team prioritising these customers, you should start to see customer movement between segments, where these previously at-risk customers turn into cortenders for referrals, case studies and may even become early adopters for new product launches.
So, if you’re looking for software that can improve your customer relationships and improve your after-sales experience for your customers, don’t just be tempted by the shiny outer wrapper! CRM software shouldn’t just help your Sales team – it should be a tool your whole team use to help maintain and build on delivering a positive customer experience at every touchpoint.
Lighthouse Pools, a UK distributor of pool products, now use problem tracking to drive their after-sales process; “We can easily categorise issues and report on them quickly, meaning we’re flagged about areas to improve. If a customer has an ongoing issue, the CRM allows us to open a case and all employees can keep track of it until the issue is closed. As a result, customers know their issues will be resolved quickly and competently – the customer experience we’re able to provide has been transformed.”
Unlock critical customer information from your back-office system today and make it automatically available to your customer-facing teams.