Congratulations! You’ve launched a great product and your sales are increasing. But there’s a lot of competition in your sector. How will you take your business to the next level of growth or better still start scaling? To stand out from your crowd of business rivals a successful strategy is creating customer evangelists for your product and business.
Delighted customers will recommend you to friends, family and colleagues. Best of all they will leave raving praises on product review sites. The bonus with “word of mouth” promotion is it’s free for your business.
Research shows the conversion rate of a product can increase by 142% as it accumulates great reviews. To achieve praises you need a quality product backed by excellent after sales service.
The problem with customer service
As a business process software firm, we learn from our customers the problems that prevent their business from growing. Do these issues sound familiar to you? “Our after sales process is inefficient and so manual!”. “The handling of warranty claims and customer queries are done with emails and spreadsheets. We often lose track of requests! When this happens, disgruntled customers have to chase up on replacement parts or repairs.” One of the greatest fears of any business owner (definitely including myself) is complaining customers!
A growing body of research conclusively shows that customers are fed up with terrible service. They are no longer willing to accept the current popular excuse that it’s Covid’s fault.
What about bad quality?
The unsatisfactory customer service could have been triggered by less than optimal product quality. Many companies are unable to monitor customer issues that allow product owners to spot trends. Analysis of such data could identify manufacturing or design faults. Improving quality requires customer feedback data to be collected accurately. Regular reviews can them be carried out using reporting tools.
High quality is crucial for achieving long term sales growth. However, if you can’t track and pin point issues, you can’t implement fixes. Consequently, your reputation will take a battering, resulting in decreased sales.
Online reviews are crucial to your success
According to Spiegel Research Center, almost 95% of buyers read online reviews before deciding to make a purchase. In addition, researchers found that a product had a 270% higher chance of selling with at least five good reviews than a product with no reviews let alone a negative one. Creating customer evangelists is to driving sales.
You need evangelists
To cultivate evangelists that will give you rave reviews, invest in customer advocacy activities. This is the strategy of putting customer needs first. In other words prioritising ways to support customers and ensure their needs are being met. Customers will forgive most problems if they think you care about them.
Let’s explore service and quality strategies more below.
Focus on warranty and post sales support management
Make it a business priority to provide highly responsive and efficient post sales support to resolve customer problems. Outstanding customer service experience heavily impacts recommendations. Consumers who rate a company’s service as “good” are 38% more likely to recommend that company. (Qualtrics XM Institute)
Improve product quality
Regardless of what product you sell, your customers aren’t going to choose you solely based on price. Many buyers will pay more for higher quality. For example, products that are highly reliable, exceed standards or feature sophisticated designs. Apple is one of the best examples of this.
Quality embodies your company’s reputation. The prevalence of social media means that customers and prospects can easily express both glowing and unfavourable opinions of your product quality on product review sites, industry forums and social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. A strong reputation for quality can make or break your business in competitive markets.
Remember the goal is creating customer evangelists.
Companies that invest in Software as a Service business productivity tools will succeed
Building great customer service teams and improving product quality in the past required vast amounts of company investment. Today small businesses can achieve with online productivity tools what only large enterprises could afford to do in the past. The relatively low cost of SaaS applications throws open the opportunity to scale a smaller business without risking all the cash in the bank. SaaS is usually subscription based with no contract lock-ins and common free trials means the risk is low to try first before buying.
While some channels like email are declining in use for customer service, other digital technologies are emerging to fill the gap between existing tools and evolving customer needs.
For example, after sales and warranty management software such as Taskmatix are essential tools to help with improving customer service and product quality. Taskmatix is a platform that captures requests and claims accurately into a cloud database. The software allows customer issues to be setup as a “case” that requires information, communication and actions for a resolution to occur. A centralised dashboard displays workflow and tracking statuses. Reporting tools highlight manufacturing and design problems. This feedbacks into on-going quality improvement cycles.
3 steps to get started
- Invest in software that will streamline your post sale customer service. Taskmatix is software as a service designed for small product businesses to streamline their customer issues and warranty management. It’s easy and uncomplicated to implement.
- Create the best quality product you can by collecting and analysing product issue data using warranty management software such as Taskmatix. Once you identify what is causing the problem, rectify it ASAP!
- Get reviewed on relevant product feedback sites or forums. Read about 6 ways to encourage customer to review your product.
Take your first step to creating a reputation for great service and top quality products today with just a small investment. Taskmatix is currently offering a 50% discount for 6 months if you sign up after the free trial. This includes personal on-boarding with a customised issue claim form for your company. This offer is for short time only!