An after-sales service corresponds to the activities and processes undertaken by an organization or business to ensure customers are satisfied with their purchased good or service. In other words, it pertains to any services provided after a product has been sold.
The purpose of after-sales service is to enhance the attractiveness and sales value of a product, provide product differentiation, build and maintain relationships with the customers, create loyalty, encourage repeat sales from these loyal customers, promote further the image of the business or its brands, and encourage customers to refer the business or its products to others.
Note that the examples discussed below also pertain to specific after-sales tactics and activates. They collectively form part of a strategy aimed making products attractive to the customers. In addition, some of these examples overlap with examples of value-added services.
5 Examples or Types of After-Sales Service
1. Warranty and Guarantee
A warranty expressed in a written document is a promise or guarantee made by a business to its customer that certain conditions, such as the quality and lifespan of the product, would be met. Depending on the provisions in the document, a product can be returned, repaired, or replaced if it fails to meet any of the promised conditions. Note that the difference between a warranty and guarantee is only a question of word choice.
2. Customer Support
Customer support is another type of after-sales service that collectively represents a range of services aimed at assisting customers. These services can include maintenance, troubleshooting, responding to feedback and inquiries, and assistance regarding proper product disposal. Customer support can be coursed through phone, the Internet, email, chat, social media, or on-site. The services can be provided through direct human interaction or automation.
3. Mailing List Inclusion
Somehow similar to customer support, a mailing list intends to keep communication and maintain a relationship with the customers. It involves a business sending customers regular messages to customers about new products, discounts, and other special offers via traditional mail, email, or other communication channels. Note that a mailing list is not only a type of an after-sales service but also a specific example sales promotion, and part of marketing promotion through email marketing.
4. Loyalty Program
Although considered as an example of sales promotion, a customer loyalty program can also be considered another type of after-sales service because it can help maintain a relationship with the customers and foster loyalty. To be specific, a loyalty program features privileges, discounts, and special offers, among others given to customers beyond the point of sales. It is typically coursed through membership using a loyalty or reward card or via a mailing list subscription.
Freebies can include free product samples or services related to a particular purchased product. Providing such overlaps with other examples or types of after-sales service such as warranty and guarantee, customer support, mailing list inclusion, and loyalty program. Specific examples include free repair within a specified period, cost-less delivery charge, insurance, product information such as manuals, and free complementary products, among others.