- January 03
- 7 min
After-sales service plays a great role in ensuring customer satisfaction and fostering customer retention. It goes beyond the initial purchase and encompasses a continuous interaction between the service provider and the customer throughout the product’s post-purchase lifecycle. This interaction is formalized through mutually agreed warranties or service contracts, establishing a foundation for ongoing support.
As marketing expert Kotler once emphasized, a robust after-sales service embodies the modern marketing concept, which prioritizes not just transactions but also customer relationships. Retaining existing customers holds greater importance than acquiring new ones. On the other hand, according to Loomba, the primary objective of after-sales service is to ensure customer satisfaction through trust, credibility, and a sense of security conveyed by the organization. By cultivating lasting relationships, businesses can drive increased performance and sustainable results.
In the automotive industry, after-sales service is typically carried out by authorized dealers on behalf of the automaker. These dealers adhere to the automaker’s standards and regulations to establish and maintain cooperation with customers. This collaboration aims to achieve reliability, customer satisfaction, and efficient availability of spare parts and services, ultimately contributing to the promotion of new car sales. The scope of after-sales service encompasses various aspects related to product maintenance, brand reputation, and customer guidance.
With growing competition in the automotive market and advancements in customer service technologies, businesses are increasingly focused on enhancing customer relationships. Given the inherent vulnerability of vehicles to technical and mechanical issues, effective after-sales service is crucial for attracting new customers and retaining existing ones. By prioritizing employee commitment to quality, maintaining a strong awareness of issues, and continuously striving for improvement, businesses can enhance customer safety, peace of mind, and satisfaction across all areas of operation.
What is after-sales service?
After-sales service refers to the assistance and support provided to customers after they have purchased a product. This service is not limited to just retailers or manufacturers, but can also be delivered by third-party customer service or training providers. Examples of after-sales service include warranty support, training, repair services, and product upgrades. It is important to note that after-sales support is an integral part of a company’s holistic marketing strategy, as it contributes to customer satisfaction and loyalty. By prioritizing effective after-sales service, businesses can foster long-term relationships with their customers and enhance their overall brand reputation.
Understanding after-sales service
After-sales is about ensuring that customers derive maximum value and utility from their purchases. It goes beyond the initial sale and involves providing training on product features, educating customers about new uses or capabilities, and addressing any post-purchase concerns or queries. The underlying business rationale for investing in robust after-sales support is to build brand loyalty and drive repeat sales.
Satisfied customers are more likely to become loyal patrons, and positive word-of-mouth generated by exceptional after-sales service can significantly enhance a company’s reputation. Conversely, a lack of effective after-sales support can hinder a company’s ability to achieve high customer satisfaction levels, thereby impeding its growth potential. By prioritizing and delivering top-notch after-sales support, businesses can elevate customer satisfaction, foster loyalty, and pave the path for continued success.
Not only do products make the brand
Manufacturers use various methods to provide after-sales service support, either directly at their plant, through their own network of service centers, via channel intermediaries, authorized independent third-party service centers, or a combination of these organizations.
In the highly competitive automotive industry, product differentiation alone is no longer sufficient, prompting companies to explore growth opportunities in the service sector. As customer requirements and service complexity continue to evolve, customization has become increasingly significant. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect that significant interactions during the after-sales process form the foundation for customer satisfaction.
In fact, after-sales customer service is becoming a decisive factor for many firms, surpassing product features, and is now recognized as a significant research priority. The ability to deliver exceptional after-sales support is now considered a key differentiator and an essential element in securing customer loyalty and sustaining business success in the automotive industry.
Why is after-sales service important?
Investing in pre-sales service is often prioritized by businesses looking to grow their customer base. However, the post-sales experience can be neglected, leading to customers feeling overlooked or dissatisfied. To ensure the longevity of your business, it is crucial to focus on after-sales service. This is important for three reasons: ensuring repeat customers, fostering word-of-mouth referrals, and maintaining a positive brand image. Exceptional post-sales support builds loyalty and encourages customers to make repeat purchases. Satisfied customers become advocates, spreading positive word-of-mouth about your brand. Additionally, providing prompt and effective post-sales support helps establish your business as trustworthy and committed to customer satisfaction, enhancing your overall brand reputation.
#1 Having returning customers
Delivering exceptional after-sales service is crucial for retaining customers and greatly increases the chances of repeat purchases. Even if you successfully sell them your product initially, neglecting them after the sale practically guarantees they won’t return in the future.
Imagine it as having a leaky bucket. Sales pour into the bucket, filling it up, but if there’s a hole at the bottom, customers will keep leaving, preventing the bucket from reaching its full capacity, regardless of how fast new sales come in. However, providing outstanding customer service after the sale is like patching up that hole. Customers will remain loyal, even as you attract new customers and achieve more sales.
#2 Satisfied customers will recommend your brand
In your sales funnel, leads that are referred to your business by satisfied customers hold immense value. Not only are these leads four times more likely to convert compared to leads from other sources, but they also have a 16% higher lifetime value.
Delivering exceptional after-sales service plays a significant role in increasing the number of customers willing to provide referrals. According to a survey of marketers, approximately 65% of new business leads originate from referrals. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that your existing customers are satisfied with the after-sales support you provide. If their experience falls short, you may notice a decline in the number of new leads generated through referrals over time.
#3 Profitable brand image
Numerous studies have demonstrated the significant impact of a positive post-sales experience on a brand’s overall image. This, in turn, plays a crucial role in fostering customer loyalty. Establishing your brand as trustworthy and helpful is vital to encourage customers to return for future purchases. Moreover, it has the potential to enhance conversion rates and reduce customer churn. While short-term sales may appear favorable on the revenue chart, prioritizing ongoing customer satisfaction ensures a sustainable stream of sales in the long run.
After-sales as an approach in the Automotive industry
Automobile manufacturers are constantly striving to attract new clients and improve their company performance. This involves developing vehicles that are more reliable, interesting, and fuel-efficient. However, meeting the ever-changing demands and needs of customers can be a challenging and time-consuming task.
Among the advancements and uncertainties in the car industry, one effective approach for automakers to make progress is by focusing on their existing consumers. This entails finding effective ways to retain them and providing exceptional after-sales services. By striking the right balance between upgrades and innovations in service excellence and managing company costs, companies can maintain client loyalty and gain a competitive advantage over their rivals.
Customers are an invaluable intangible asset for any company, and maintaining a strong emphasis on customer service is important to stay ahead in the market. This is particularly true in the automobile business, where car firms should prioritize offering a wide range of high-quality services to please and satisfy their customers. In today’s world, where word of mouth plays a vital role in promoting brand products and services, providing exceptional customer service is paramount.
After-sales level of importance in the Automotive industry, how to measure it?
The automotive sector is facing a decline in profit due to the extended lifespan of products, affecting car manufacturers, spare parts manufacturers, and authorized dealerships. This shift in the market has led to a greater focus on aftersales services. Interestingly, many automotive companies now generate higher profits from aftersales services compared to the sale of new and used cars.
According to industry experts, aftersales services play a great role in the automotive industry in terms of generating profits and retaining customers. As the market evolves, it is important for organizations to adapt their customer retention strategies to cater to the growing number of customers who consume products without owning them. This shift in consumer behavior, known as the non-ownership mentality, presents a challenge for businesses.
To succeed in this dynamic market environment, modern organizations need to stay updated on current trends and tailor their management and marketing activities accordingly. They should prioritize adapting customer retention programs and software solutions for automotive to meet the expectations and preferences of car users, with a particular focus on aftersales services, irrespective of ownership.
Automotive after-sales became a little challenge
In today’s data-driven era, where personalized recommendations based on consumer behavior are the norm, there is a surprising disconnect between dealers and their clients in the automotive industry. It is not necessarily high repair costs that drive customers to seek services from other dealer centers, but rather the lack of transparency and communication. The after-sales automotive market faces various challenges and gaps, such as errors in paper-based processing, fragmented systems, human errors due to technician overload, and resource limitations like inadequate training. These challenges directly impact customer satisfaction, leading to a loss of trust when transparency is lacking and repair delays occur.
However, by implementing effective communication and providing regular updates regarding the cost and time required for a job, many of these issues can be prevented. Establishing a simple and straightforward communication system allows customers to have realistic expectations and fosters trust in the process.
After-sales is definitely a value-generating activity
In the past, dealerships primarily focused on their core business of selling new and used vehicles, often neglecting the importance of after-sales services. This lack of emphasis resulted in a gradual erosion of customer loyalty to a specific dealership as alternative after-sales solutions emerged.
After the expiration of a vehicle warranty, it is not uncommon for car owners to seek services outside of the brand’s network. This poses a significant problem because if car owners go elsewhere for after-sales support, they may not return to the same dealership for their next vehicle purchase.
Interestingly, it is now widely recognized that after-sales services generate higher profit margins for dealerships compared to new vehicle sales. To address this, the first crucial step is to prioritize customer loyalty at the point of sale. It is imperative to enhance the quality of after-sales services, including offers, pricing, and technical advice. Additionally, reinventing customer relationships through the implementation of customer relationship management (CRM) solutions is essential.
After carefully evaluating suppliers, we decided to try a new approach and start working with a near-shore software house. Cooperation with Hicron Software House was something different, and it turned out to be a great success that brought added value to our company.
With HICRON’s creative ideas and fresh perspective, we reached a new level of our core platform and achieved our business goals.
Many thanks for what you did so far; we are looking forward to more in future!
Hicron is a partner who has provided excellent software development services. Their talented software engineers have a strong focus on collaboration and quality. They have helped us in achieving our goals across our cloud platforms at a good pace, without compromising on the quality of our services. Our partnership is professional and solution-focused!
The IT system supporting the work of retail outlets is the foundation of our business. The ability to optimize and adapt it to the needs of all entities in the PSA Group is of strategic importance and we consider it a step into the future. This project is a huge challenge: not only for us in terms of organization, but also for our partners – including Hicron – in terms of adapting the system to the needs and business models of PSA. Cooperation with Hicron consultants, taking into account their competences in the field of programming and processes specific to the automotive sector, gave us many reasons to be satisfied.