Grow your revenue for free by creating customer evangelists

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.

Creating customer evangelists

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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!  

Sign up to a no risk, free 30 day trial of Taskmatix now.

Engines of growth for businesses

Job losses, due to the upheaval of the Covid Pandemic, have driven people to establish new businesses, many that sell products. The race is on for market share and investment funds. It’s essential to understand engines of growth for businesses to succeed. These are the mechanisms that will achieve sustainable success. 

An effective marketing campaign will bring in a period of new sales but it does not generate continuous revenue. Generally, transactional businesses rely on repetitive marketing activities to generate the next sale. This can be expensive if not optimised thus impeding expansion. 

Let’s look closer at where growth comes from. At least one of these engines will apply to your specific product business.

Engines of growth for businesses

Network effect

Most products decay in value over time as they age. As soon as you drive a car out of the showroom it depreciates. This is not the case with digital products like restaurant or hotel booking sites with ratings. They engage the network effect. Review sites are designed to allow users to participate in creating value, usually with content. The more content the more value the product delivers to users. 

Paid Advertising

The use of advertising to sell products is nothing new. Most companies will use some form of paid promotion to gain visibility in the marketplace. This activity will only grow the business if the cost of advertising is less than the sale value. Such metrics need to be monitored regularly to ensure the marketing budget is not being wasted. Also understanding advertising data can present opportunities for optimisation. For this to become an engine, the cost of acquiring a new customer must be driven down or the revenue must increase per sale.

Repeated purchases

Digital companies such as Software as a Service, commonly charge a monthly fee which generates recurring revenue. In this situation the product needs to be important enough for running the customer’s business to ensure continued use. 

For product companies it’s a challenge to implement a sticky or subscription business. Traditionally this business model is transactional. This means each new purchase requires grabbing the attention of customers with a new interaction like a new ad or sale to achieve the next purchase. 

The cost of regular marketing places an impediment on growth or scaling the business. Having said this, some product businesses have created a recurring revenue model. An extreme example of this is Amazon. They bundle in free delivery for all products bought if the Prime subscription is taken up. Amazon then strategically included streaming of TV and movies. This has resulted in an incredible 85% of US households subscribing.

Word of mouth

Buyers of products trust word-of-mouth the most from people they know. Next is online recommendations which are now readily available. As a result, almost 95% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase decision. 

Word of mouth marketing produces at least twice the sales of paid media. In addition, it is s the most disruptive to consumer decisions. So make sure your customers are not complaining about you! Bad reviews influence 50% of purchase decisions. Many of these sales journeys could result in an abandoned sale.

Conversely, conversion rates from positive word of mouth traffic are considerably higher compared with other channels. Pushing this will decrease your cost of customer acquisition.The major takeaway here is to nurture evangelists for your products.

To drive customers to become evangelists for your product a business must provide an outstanding customer experience. No matter how high the quality is for your product, growth is derived from excellent customer service. People buy from people they like. A warranty focus can help achieve this by:

  1. Building connections with customers immediately after a sale with warranty registration.
  2. Implementing an efficient warranty claim process that rectifies a fault quickly.

Software as a service warranty management solutions such as Taskmatix can affordably drive the culture of excellence in customer service within your organisation.

Summary

Successful companies have implemented strategies that scale their customer base and revenue better than their competitors. Growth comes from network effects, repeated purchases and good old fashioned advertising. For small product companies word of mouth is the most effective in terms of return on investment. 

If your product solves a problem and a need well for many consumers, word of mouth kicks off a chain of free promotion. One person tells another person, who then tells someone else and so on. Add to the mix excellent post sales service such as a rapid processing of warranty claims and you’ll create evangelists for your business.

Taskmatix can help drive your growth engine with warranty management software.

Sign-up to a 30 day Taskmatix trial for free.

Beat your competition with warranty management solutions

As a product business owner you may consider warranties as an unimportant part of operating your business. Yet warranties are crucial for the success of selling products. Warranty management solutions can make this easy and affordable.

For customers, warranties create trust in the company. Consequently, they are also assured that what they buy will be as advertised.

Warranty software solutions build trust and improve service
warranty software solutions

Customers must feel that the vendor believes enough in the quality of the goods to offer a warranty. Le Creuset cookware products are expensive. However, I’ll always buy them as they offer a lifetime warranty. It’s an effect marketing tool to attract, convert and keep customers.

Warranties are offered across a wide range of industries covering e-bikes, cars, electronics to building materials. Yet the warranty management process is similar for all. The stages include:

  • warranty registration
  • claim capture & processing
  • claims validation
  • customer support
  • parts returns
  • extended warranty

Try not to treat the process as a cost-containment function. Instead use components to drive differentiation between you and competitors. Warranty software solutions are essential to implement these items effectively.  Let’s look at each step in turn:

Warranty Registration

Collecting and controlling customer data increases the value of the company. Have a direct line of data collection and establish a direct relationship with the consumer. Registering for warranty is a totally acceptable reason for a customer to provide their personal information.

Claims Capture

Many businesses are managing their claims process manually. This includes repetitive tasks like receiving requests via email and even printing them out to file. To ensure excellent and timely customer service the claims should be sent via online forms and stored securely in a cloud database.

Claims validation

Claims can be another efficiency gain. Such requests can be quickly acknowledged with alerts. The claim can be validated with information such as a sales receipt. Collect and store them in the warranty system.

Customer Support

Impress customers with service excellence that delivers rapid warranty processing. For update requests, warranty management solutions will have a dashboard that allows the warranty manager to review the status of a claim. They can then update the customer or claim owner quickly. Happy customers will sing your praises on social media.

Extended Warranty

Increase revenues by the up-sell and cross-sell of warranty products. Access to customer data collected during the warranty registration will facilitate this.

An online warranty management solution will support all the functions above as it:

  • Collects warranty and customer data accurately via an online form.
  • Stores data securely in an online database allowing reporting for analysis.
  • Automate workflow such as alerting warranty managers, dealers and repairers at relevant stages in the process.
  • Support greater efficiency, visibility and co-operation between manufacturers, dealers, repairers and internal teams.

Manufacturers of products that wish to grow and scale their business must enhance capabilities to support warranty management. This will improve service execution and product innovation with the goal of delivering higher value to customers annd opportunities for other revenue streams. 

Neglecting warranties could mean missing out on business growth opportunities. In addition, poor end to end customer experiences will result in bad online reviews. This delivers low word of mouth sales.

Summary

Warranty is a tool to grow and scale your product company. Consequently, it’s now possible for smaller businesses to greatly improve the customer experience at lower costs. This delivers new revenue streams to rise above and beat the competition. 

Businesses small and large widely now use software as a service (SaaS) . In the past, only enterprise product manufacturers could operate expensive warranty systems. Such solutions are now affordable and easy to implement for SMEs as SaaS.

Taskmatix is designed for SMEs. It’s Software as a Service for warranty management that grows with startups and smaller businesses. Online signup and no contracts is low risk and doesn’t require technical resources to set up. 

Sign-up to a 30 day Taskmatix trial for free.