As a consumer, I get the impression that after-sales service is something granted to us by businesses as a favour, and not a right to which we are entitled. This article will take a closer look at this thorny issue.
A few general principles of after-sales Service
- As business owners we are under a legal obligation to perform within the limits of our product or service guarantees. It is important that your point-of-sale staff inform clients of their rights and responsibilities with regard to the guarantee guidelines.
- If an item bought by a client is obviously broken or faulty, and there is no clear evidence of negligent actions by the client, such an item should be repaired or replaced immediately.
- It is important not to treat clients like criminals when they want to return a faulty product, or wish to have it replaced.
- If a client has met all the requirements of your guarantee and exchange policy, make it easy – in other words, keep the forms to be completed in triplicate (for example) to a minimum. Remember that they had paid you for something that is supposed to work. They just wish to be placed in the same position again.
- Make it a point to contact a client who had exchanged a product, or had it repaired, after a couple of days to find out whether they are satisfied with the exchanged or repaired product. A little bit of effort will take you a long way in terms of client satisfaction.
Dr Philip Kotler, internationally recognized marketing expert, provides the following as examples of good after-sales service.
- A satisfied client buys more and stays loyal to your business or brand for longer periods
- A satisfied client speaks positively about your business and product or service
- A satisfied client takes less note of competing brand names and advertisements and is less price sensitive
- It is easier to promote new products of a business to a satisfied client
- It is cheaper to service a regular client than to recruit a new client
Good after-sales service is, in my opinion, an element that could distinguish your business from the rest. Is the after-sales service of your business only articulated in your product or service guarantee (fiction) or does it come to life in practice (fact)?
Written by Jannie Rossouw, Head: Sanlam Business Market.
Copyright © Sanlam, 2016