Sunday 15 December 2013

After-sale Care: Different ways of reaching out to customers

As mentioned in my previous article, following up with customer after the sale is done is very important to build the relationship with the customer and convert them into repeated customers. In this article, we discuss the different modes in which you can reach out to your customers.

Through Your Website
Your website should give the customers information about all the orders they have placed, their details. Also, the link for canceling or amending the order, returns page should be easily accessible to them. You may want your customers to login using their user id to check the details, but it is good idea to let them check the status of the order using order id (less preferable because it is hard to remember this; we need to expect them copy from the order confirmation email or SMS they got) or Email id or phone number. This way they do not have remember the order id of the order they have placed.

Through Email
It is one of the oldest methods of reaching customers. Send your customer timely notifications regarding order confirmation, dispatch, delivery etc. Subject of the email has be clear and crisp, so that they do not really have to open the email unless they really want to check more details about it. Make sure you tag the emails as "Quick Update" if it is a small status notification. Make sure you include all the information regarding the customer order.

Put a link in the Email to let your customers unsubscribe to Email notifications. Remember one golden rule : Never spam your customers. It descreses the brand value of your company. Lot of countries have rules regarding reaching out to customers through Emails. Make sure you follow all of them.

Because Email content has no limit, put more focus on the customer and use this opportunity to drive the customers back to you. Work with your content writers to make the Email crisp, clear, clutter free, easily understandable. Use right sort of graphics to make it good looking.

Through SMS
These days everyone is turning up to their mobile phones about timely and pertinent information. Consumers may not have access to their email all the time, but they will have access to SMS all the time -- though because of advanced technology everyone has access to Email on their phone now. Compile your SMS to be crisp and clear and include only the relevant information. SMS can hold up to only 160 characters, so use that space effectively. Make sure you put the most important stuff, and if you still have some characters left give your contact number or website link regarding how to contact you if needed.

Through Mobile App (Push Based Notifications)
If you have resources, we strongly recommend you to invest in developing the App. These days everyone has a Smart Phone and more and more people browse the internet using the cell phones. Create an app (Android or IPhone) that can display your products and let your customers order from the comfort of their phone. You can use these apps to push notification to the users profiles directly.

Through Social Profiles
You can also notify your customers on their social profiles. Of course those messages have to be completely private. Let your customers ability post their purchases on social websites (e.g., facebook), this way your company & product gets free advertisement opportunity. But this feature has to be completely optional and help the customers who want to share this information with their friends (some customers feel pride about the kind of things they are buying).

Through Telephonic Call
This is only the most discouraged method to reach your customers to notify them. Use it only if you do not have any other way to reach your customers. Many contries have regulations about reaching customers through phone, make sure you follow those regulations.

Overall conclusion is that, reach your customers as many ways as possible, and let them reach out to you in as many ways as possible. More ways you have for your customers to reach to you, the lesser the number of times they call customer care with the complaints.

Read here to know more about what sort of information you need to provide in your notifications.

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