Here is the Trick to Keep Your Customers Happy Service or post-sales relationships make a brand stand the test of time because that is what strengthens the existing base to be repeat customers
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When companies grow, budget inputs always go towards production & marketing, distribution network development, etc. And the last inputs are always for the development of service capabilities. Organizations becoming big, are always on the look-out for new customers and invest heavily in brand-building efforts. The biggest casualty of this process is the existing customer base, which has contributed to the growth story. There is no dearth of examples where big organizations lost out on both market share & cap because they did not work adequately towards servicing their existing customer base.
Service or post-sales relationships make a brand stand the test of time because that is what strengthens the existing base to be repeat customers. It is important for organizations, across sizes, to invest structurally and let service be the core function at different customer lifecycle stages.
Service is more than visiting to change parts
For most, service operations only means a technician's visit at pre-defined time intervals for repair or changing apart and close the interaction. The service attendant is often an under-trained, client facing staff who doesn't know what to speak about with a customer except for cut & dry product operating queries. But the power of a good service setup is much more. It can make a customer appreciate the organization more if the physical servicing did, is thorough & professional and leading to better interactions with the servicing personnel. This not only builds more trust and faith in the brand but also builds a loyal customer base.
Effective service strategy is important
For top brands dealing in volumes, service turns into a numbers game and that is where they start losing the resident cache of customers. Service calls are mostly about complaint resolution and not about pre-emptive action. Service networks are mostly an under-utilized and underdeveloped network. This is the only function, that can find out first-hand about product performance, the customers' thought process about other brands and also test product innovations. A sound strategy will make the customer important and put on personal interactions for routine check-ups and just to have conversations.
Sticking to commitments
Because a large customer base is not supported by an adequate service team expansion, the rap is felt by the service teams for under-performance. A customer can choose one brand over the other in today's extremely competitive environment, but they choose your brand basis the service delivery and commitment. The only way to be on a customer's good books is to have a good service mechanism, which will help solve their queries & problems. It needs to be customer-centric always.
Service is not cheap
It is a well-known fact that providing quality service is not a low cost or budget affair. Qualified technicians cost more and should be paid in the same lines along with all the facilities which are available to employees of other departments. Companies also need to invest regularly in providing for training activities to the service team. If an organization, decides to outsource a part of service operation to another organization, then they need to pay them enough so that they can offer good quality service to customers.
Your customer is the reason you exist
Where would you be if not for your existing customers? Treating them via the service network is a proven formula for success. A customer expects the only service, but if it is supported incrementally by small acts of making them feel valued, like sending an exclusive offer or a special product. The customer, feeling valued, becomes the organization's mouthpiece. This can be made possible only by a sound service network, which no amount of brand marketing can lead to.