10 Ways to Beat Competition: Way 4 – Using A.S.S (After Sales Support)
The survival of any business depends on repeat patronage and winning new customers, with these two in focus, competition battle becomes less difficult. To stay in business and ahead of competition, you must understand that making sales is not the end of a business relationship. Repeat patronage only happens when;
- There is excellent pre-sale service
These are activities that happen before the sale is made. Customers want to be able to access the product/service as easily as possible; easy accessibility of business location, no or less queue, good disposition of sales person, availability of product and services as at when needed etc. Shortfall in any of these would probably mean the difference between customers that would patronize and customers that would take their business elsewhere.
- Your product/service meets or surpass customer’s expectations
Customers have expectations which they hope your product/service would satisfy. It is often not common for these expectations to be surpassed. However, the standard is that they should be met. A customer whose expectations are not met is probably lost to competition already.
- There is excellent post-sales service
Making sale is not the end of business relationship as stated earlier, to ensure repeat patronage, customers must be followed up on or better still be given avenue to interact with the business for support purposes. “A customer expects a cost-effective and reliable after-sale support” Techopedia.
After Sales Support (A.S.S)
These are support services provided for customers after product or service has been sold to them. It keeps the business in tune with whatever challenges the customer must be facing, gives information on possible areas of improvement and also builds on the business relationship already established with the customer. A good after sales support keeps competitors off your customers and also improves your chance of turning your customers to your ‘marketers’. ‘Happy customers who get their issues resolve tell 4 to 6 people about their experience” – Brian Honigman
Types of After Sales Support
- Technical Support: This refers to physical support, such as assembling, test running, software programming, updating, upgrading, repairs etc. These supports help the customer to enjoy the product/service and help ensure their expectations are met especially in an industry where changes are very rampant. Technical support ensures both business and customers are up to date. For instance, an app developer needs to get feedbacks from customers, use it to develop an upgraded version, just to ensure customers don’t abandon the app for competition’s app.
- Service Support: This refers to service based support such as helping with information, guiding through resolution of problems associated with product/service, complimentary calls to customers and opening of channels to take customer’s feedback. For instance, telecom service providers now make complimentary/courtesy calls to their customers just to ensure they are satisfied and loyal. Also the use of social media is now gaining grounds for this type of support and you can also explore this.
After sales support takes business away from a one stop transaction to the level of relationship that ensures building of trust and loyalty that keeps competition away. However, even a satisfied customer would still like some adventures, some trying out and a little bit of varieties, so watch out for what comes next On 10 Ways to Beat Competition.