Completed the sale: Job done! – or is it? On average, it can cost up to five times more to attract new business than to keep an existing one. Therefore, after-sales and customer care is essential to building and maintaining a profitable business.
According to Fundsquire, in the United Kingdom, there are approximately 1,800 companies founded every day. As a result, competition is extremely high, and as a consequence, customer loyalty needs to be earned. Poor after-sales, customer service and failure to build loyalty through upselling services can negatively impact your sales.
Here are three things you can do to maintain customer loyalty and increase sales revenue.
1. After-sales and onboarding
Many companies, after the sale, will switch the customer from a sales process into a delivery or operations workflow. This is extremely common and can be an effective use of skills and resources for your business – but is this change in relationship always best for the customer?
For the best customer experience, it is vital to ensure one of the final steps in your initial sales process is to create a smooth, gentle transition between sales and customer service. An effective means of doing this is to establish a customer onboarding process.
Customer onboarding significantly impacts whether a customer keeps using your product long-term, becomes a repeat customer, or leaves to find an alternative. Creating a customer onboarding process will help ensure you’re giving the customer the best possible start to their journey with you. Done well, it sets your customers up for success. Done poorly, it leaves customers questioning why they signed up in the first place.
Typically, the onboarding process covers the whole journey: from initial sign-up to product/service activation and first use. This process is a gentle, structured way to move away from the sales relationship and starts building customer service relationships.
2. Regularly schedule an aftersales follow-up
Perhaps a really obvious one, but regularly keeping in contact with customers to make sure they are happy will genuinely retain customers and boost sales.
According to HubSpot, 93% of customers will likely make a repeat purchase with companies that offer excellent customer service. So, as a small business, your customer service is the greatest indirect sales weapon. However, on a day-to-day basis, you’re likely working on delivery, not thinking about how to get more money out of your customer – which is a good thing (mostly).
Separate from operational meetings, ensure you arrange a regular, dedicated after-sales meeting. These meetings are essential to ensure you’re delivering what you promised and to help you identify additional services or any revisions of service the customer may need.
Top tip: Make sure you’re prepared before the meeting and speak to everyone with day-to-day contact with the customer. Understand the value to the customer and you as a business. Sometimes it can be just as profitable to reduce services (if you’re over-serving) as it can be to upsell new services.
3. Don’t neglect to upsell or cross-sell
It’s far more efficient to upsell or cross-sell to existing customers than gain a new one. The actual process is more cost-effective to you as a business and can also demonstrate innovation to your customers – you’re not a one-trick pony.
Upsell: Selling a more expensive version of the product or service. For example, convincing the customer to buy a 55inch TV over the 42inch one they intended to buy.
Cross-selling: Selling additional/supporting products or services related to what the customer already intended to buy. For example, convincing the customer to buy a speaker system alongside the TV.
Studies have shown that 40 per cent of customers get annoyed when employees upsell or cross-sell them during customer service interactions. Effective timing is critical when selling additional products or services. It’s probably best not to try to do this while you’re resolving a problem, and we recommend (as detailed in point 2) having a dedicated meeting to discuss further opportunities.
Ultimately, both upselling and cross-selling help the customer get more value from your business and help your business get more loyalty and revenue from the customer.
How ETC can help
If you need help improving your after-sales, creating an onboarding process or upselling to your customers, please get in touch.
If you are new to ETC, why not contact us for a free new business review? We’ll spend two hours with you, giving you professional coaching and will leave you with actions for immediate implementation.