18 Aug After-Sales Support- How Important Is It?
For the last 10 or more years, there’s been a definite shift away from product-focused sales and a growing emphasis on selling packaged solutions which include both the product and after-sale services that go along with it. That’s because with slowing product demand, growing competition, and shrinking profit margins, companies started to find that selling the customer support, parts, maintenance, and upgrades that go along with their product generated a very good chunk of low-risk, high-margin business. This chunk of revenue can be so sizeable, that companies who have sold loads of equipment over the years are finding that their after-market businesses have become four to five times larger than the original hardware business.
Has this ever happened with you?
Few days back, I was at my apartment when I heard a commotion in my floor. I came out to find that a person was stuck inside the elevator and was not able to come out. It is one of those observation elevators where the passengers can see outside through grills. Immediately we called the elevator servicing people with whom we had an AMC contract of 1 year. The agent reported the problem and assured that a technician will be sent as soon as possible. Soon after, the agent called again to exactly understand the problem. Our security guard sent him pictures of the elevator over WhatsApp to help him understand and report the problem correctly. After an hour, when the technician arrived, he was able to get the person out of the elevator but was not able to fix it. He said he didn’t know that this was the case and hence he hadn’t got the required materials to fix it. He came to fix it the other day and all residents had to use the staircase for one whole day.
Here I felt, the need of a faster solution for the issue. Due to miscommunication of agents, customers have to suffer. Providing a good after sales service can help companies in many ways.
Here are 5 advantages to offering after-sales services:
- Competitive Advantage– Offer services that your competitors cannot.
- Differentiation- Design your package of services to set yourself apart and above of the competition.
- Customer Satisfaction– Grow the overarching value of your solution through ongoing communication with your cusomters.
- Customer Loyalty- Happy customers are more likely to renew their services and refer their colleagues to you.
- Increase in Profit- Customer satisfaction leads to increased product usage, higher conversion rates, and larger average order value.
How Technology can Help?
Augmented live Video support has the capability of completely changing this dynamic. We can use an augmented visual support tool where support agent can connect to the customer using just a video link over the web browser and thus can see into the customer’s environment, allowing them to visually inspect equipment or error messages. The agent is remotely able to hand hold customers and guide them using tools like screen annotations overlaid on customer’s screen which increases the likelihood of success for walking a customer through a repair or recovery procedure.
“After sales service plays a pivotal role in strengthening the bond between the organization and customers.”