Optimizing your after-sales service in 2023: The new challenges to be met

How to improve your after-sales service in 2023? Discover the new challenges to optimize customer satisfaction. Our tips for doing so.

Clara Ammar
April 20, 2023

Introduction

Optimizing after-sales service (AS) has become crucial for companies in 2023. Indeed, a recent study indicates that 87% of customers tend to buy again from a company that has offered them good customer service. So how do you meet the new challenges of customer service in 2023? This article presents a four-step plan to optimize your customer service. You'll discover tips for improving customer communication, automating service processes, training service personnel and using customer feedback to improve products and services. Follow our guide to effective customer service and customer loyalty.

1. Improve communication with customers

Communication is an essential element of effective customer service. It is important to respond quickly and personally to customer inquiries. Here are the steps you can take to improve customer communication:

Use modern communication channels 

Today's customers expect a quick and efficient response. It is therefore important to use modern communication channels such as social networks, online chats and mobile applications. According to a study conducted by Sprout Social in 2022, 52% of customers prefer to communicate with companies via social networks.

Provide fast response times 

Customers want a quick response to their requests. Therefore, it is important to offer fast response times, preferably within 24 hours. According to a study conducted by Arise in 2022, 77% of customers have a more positive opinion of a company if it responds quickly to their requests.

Provide personalized answers 

Customers appreciate a personalized response to their requests. So it's important to use their name and answer their questions in a specific way. According to a study conducted by Epsilon in 2021, 91% of customers are more likely to do business with a company again if it provides personalized service.

How can you improve communication with your customers? What communication channels do you currently use? Do you think your response times are fast enough? By following these steps, you can provide effective customer service and improve your customers' experience.

Want to take your service to the next level?

Talk to one of our experts

2. Automate after-sales processes

Automating customer service processes can help provide more efficient and faster customer service. Here are the steps to take to automate after-sales processes:

Client follow-up file

Having a dematerialized customer file in after-sales service has many advantages for companies. First of all, it makes customer interactions smoother and improves customer satisfaction by reducing waiting times. According to a study conducted by Salesforce, 82% of customers believe that the speed of response is a key element for a successful customer service experience. In addition, paperless customer records make it easier to automate certain tasks, such as managing repair or replacement requests. According to a Gartner survey, automating customer service processes can reduce costs by 30% while improving customer satisfaction. Finally, a dematerialized customer file allows a better traceability of exchanges and interventions, which facilitates the follow-up of the files and the resolution of the problems. All in all, dematerializing customer files in after-sales service is a wise choice for companies that want to improve their operational efficiency while offering a quality customer experience.

Provide self-diagnostic solutions 

Self-diagnosis in after-sales service has become a key element for companies wishing to offer quality customer service. This approach allows customers to find solutions to their problems more quickly, without having to wait for a technician. To facilitate self-diagnosis, companies can offer FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) as well as online tutorials. These resources allow customers to find answers to their questions quickly and independently. In addition, video troubleshooting is another great solution that allows technicians to guide customers through the troubleshooting process without having to physically travel.

By implementing self-diagnostic solutions, companies can reduce customer wait times and improve customer satisfaction. Self-care is a key concept that encompasses self-diagnosis as well as other automated support solutions, such as chatbots or automated email responses. Self-care allows customers to find solutions to their problems independently, while reducing support costs for the company. In short, self-care is an effective approach to improving the customer experience, reducing support costs, and improving operational efficiency.

The numbers bear this out: self-diagnosis in customer service is becoming increasingly popular among customers. According to a Salesforce study, 65% of customers want to solve problems on their own, without having to contact customer service. In addition, the use of FAQs and online tutorials can reduce inbound call volume by 5 to 20 percent, according to a Harvard Business Review survey.

Video troubleshooting is also a promising tool, growing 49.6% annually between 2020 and 2025, according to a study by ResearchAndMarkets. 

By implementing self-diagnostic and self-care solutions, companies can not only improve customer satisfaction, but also reduce support costs. According to a Deloitte study, companies can reduce their support costs by up to 25% by using self-service support tools.

Sources:

Using chatbots  

Chatbots can be used to automatically respond to certain customer requests, thus reducing response time. Discover soon our article on the different chatbots and their use in after-sales service.

Want to take your service to the next level?

Talk to one of our experts

3. Train service personnel

Training service personnel is essential to providing quality customer service. Here are the steps to follow to train your service personnel:

Provide technical training 

Service agents need to know the company's products and services in depth in order to respond effectively to customer requests. Technical training can be organized to reinforce the agents' knowledge.

Provide training in communication skills 

Service agents must also have strong communication skills in order to handle customer inquiries effectively. Communication skills training can be conducted to improve agents' skills.

Here is a list of communication skills training for service personnel:

  1. Conflict Management Training: Service agents may be confronted with angry or disgruntled customers. 
  2. Empathy training: Service agents must be able to understand the needs and concerns of customers. 
  3. Problem Solving Training: Service agents must be able to quickly resolve customer issues. 
  4. Non-verbal communication training: Non-verbal communication, such as facial expressions and gestures, can have a significant impact on communication with clients. 
  5. Time Management Training: Service agents must be able to manage their time effectively to respond quickly to customer requests.

These trainings can be offered online, in-person, or as individual coaching. It is important to choose the training that best suits the needs of your company and your service agents.

Encourage internal communication 

Internal communication is essential for service agents to work effectively as a team and provide quality customer service. Regular meetings can be held to encourage internal communication.

To encourage internal communication, it is important to establish effective communication channels between the different departments involved in the customer problem resolution process. Regular and transparent exchanges between teams can help to identify problems and provide quick solutions. 

It is also important to create a work environment that is conducive to communication, where employees feel comfortable asking questions and sharing ideas. Regular meetings and brainstorming sessions can also help improve internal communication. 

Managers must also be trained to encourage and facilitate communication between teams and to resolve conflicts that may arise. If internal communication is not encouraged, it can lead to delays in resolving customer issues, mistakes and frustration for employees.

If service agents are not properly trained, it can have a negative impact on customer service. Customers may be dissatisfied with the service they receive and may take their business elsewhere. This can lead to a decline in sales and customer retention.

Examples of training for service personnel include online courses, in-person workshops, simulated customer service situations, etc. By providing technical and communication training, and encouraging internal communication, you can improve the skills of your service personnel and provide better customer service.

4. Use customer feedback to improve products and services

Listening to customer feedback and incorporating it into the improvement process is essential to continually improving products and services. Here are some techniques for collecting customer feedback:

The surveys 

They allow for the collection of quantitative data on customer opinions. The questions must be clear and precise to obtain useful answers. Surveys can be sent by email, via social networks or directly on the website.

Online comments 

Customers can leave comments on social networks, online review sites or directly on the website. It is important to monitor these comments regularly to identify and respond to issues quickly.

Satisfaction surveys 

They measure customer satisfaction with a specific product or service. Surveys can be conducted online or by telephone.

Once the feedback is collected, it is essential to analyze the data to identify trends and issues. 

Take the example of the online clothing brand "Fashion Co". After launching a new collection, the company received a lot of feedback from customers on social media, including complaints about the quality of certain products. To address these comments and better understand the problem, Fashion Co used data analysis tools to identify specific trends and issues such as Google Analytics, Medallia and SurveyMonkey.

The company began by sorting through all the comments on social networks, using online monitoring tools to filter out relevant posts. It then used semantic analysis techniques to identify the keywords most frequently associated with complaints. This allowed her to determine which products were most frequently mentioned in the negative comments.

Fashion Co then used this information to investigate the specific quality issues mentioned in the comments. The production team examined the products in question to identify the defects and put measures in place to prevent the problems from recurring.

Finally, Fashion Co responded to negative comments on social media by explaining the steps taken to resolve quality issues and offering refunds or exchanges to affected customers. This proactive approach has allowed Fashion Co to regain customer trust and continue to grow its brand with quality products.

Conclusion:

In short, optimizing your after-sales service is a major issue for customer satisfaction and loyalty. We have seen that this requires following a four-step process: improving communication with customers, automating after-sales processes, training staff and using customer feedback. By implementing these steps, companies can not only improve the quality of their after-sales service, but also gain valuable information to improve their products and services. It is therefore crucial for companies not to overlook the importance of after-sales service and to implement effective strategies to meet customer expectations.

Share on Linkedin
Share on Twitter
Tags:
After sales