7 reasons why case management should be part of your after sales service process

For any organization that sells goods and services, after sales will no doubt be a key contributor to repeat business and customer satisfaction.

Businesses such as car sales, jewellers, clothing sales or any type of equipment sale like electronics, machinery or plant, need to have processes in place to deal with post sale customer issues.  Whether that’s an ad-hoc repair, or scheduled maintenance, each incident, or case, needs to be managed effectively.

Your after sales processes could be improved dramatically by implementing a case management system to manage your customers.

So here are our 7 reasons why case management software should be part of your after sales process:

1. Accurately manage ad-hoc incidents per customer

All of your customers can be stored in the case management system. For each time your customer returns for any type of after sales service, you can create a new case. That case is unique and contains all interactions for that case.

It also allows you to log time spent on the case, how much work on the case cost and the ability to raise an invoice for the case directly from the case management system.

2. Reduce customer complaints

By using case management in your after sales workflow, you can reduce customer complaints and boost customer satisfaction by adding your SLAs (Service Level Agreements) to the system.

By setting milestones for each case type, you’re setting goals for each customer engagement that must be met during the case lifecycle. Alerts will be visible to any users your system, ensuring cases are dealt with efficiently and consistently every time.

3. A 360-degree view of your customers’ history

All after sales cases are linked directly to the customer. This means you get an accurate view of every engagement they’ve had with your business; every email, meeting or call, how much revenue they’ve generated and much more.

By having a full audit trail of your customers’ history, you can effectively deal with future engagements by quickly learning from past engagements.

4. Automate communication to remind customers about periodic scheduled maintenance or warranty expiration dates

A good case management system has the functionality to automate communications with your customers. Upload your business document templates for email responses and proactive communications. Save your after sales team hours, by enabling one click sending of communications to your customers by email and SMS.  Uses include:

  • Send an SMS to alert that a repair is ready for collection
  • Send an email to inform that a warranty is due to expire
  • Send an SMS to inform that a regular service is due, with Call To Action to call and book in.

5. Understand which service streams generate the most revenue (and the least)

With flexible features, comes flexible reporting. By having a 360-degree view of your customers, your case management system should be able to let you cut and slice custom reports to help you really understand your customer base.

Custom reporting helps you understand where your revenue is generated or identify where margins are too tight. Distill data down to revenue per case type and even revenue per customer. Using data in this way is an enabler to focus on key profit areas, and grow your business.

6. Understand which customers you can cross sell additional products and services to

Back to the 360-degree view you’ll have of your customers. An additional benefit of knowing your customer means you have opportunities to cross sell products and services which might be relevant to your customer. Cross sales mean returning customers, which means increased revenue generation.

7. Centralize and Digitize your after sales processes

Last but by no means least, a major benefit of adopting case management into your after sales processes is centralizing your customer data and access to that data. I’ve seen busy after sales departments who still use a hard back diary, a simple online log and post-it notes to manage their repairs desk. The team cause themselves unnecessary stress and workload by using multiple tools to manage their customers.

By centralizing your processes into a single case management system, you’re ensuring your team can securely access accurate and consistent customer data. Case management software also digitizes your processes. No more paper diary and post-its that can be misplaced or lost, and which can’t be backed up. Quickly on-board new staff and ease workload on existing staff with clear and consistent case milestones, documentation and reporting.

Case management for after sales service can clearly provide tangible benefits to any business that implements it. Both from a customer perspective and from the business perspective. Transparent 360-degree customers views, full audit trail, comprehensive reporting, process automation and cross selling opportunities all contribute towards this.

Do you have any experiences of after sales process you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments.

Still Using Your Email Inbox As A Customer Management Tool? Here are 5 tips to improve your processes

We all use email, right? Good or bad, email remains the most dominant technology for work communication. So it’s likely that you’re managing your customer relationships through your inbox. In the early days of your business, when it was just you or you and your business partner tirelessly working through email to manage your business, using your inbox as a business tool was fine. Now though, your business has grown and you might be encountering some or even all of these issues:

  • You find it difficult to track when you last contacted a customer.
  • You don’t have a single view of email communications, calls, documents, time or invoicing per customer.
  • You have no way to measure your service levels.
  • You and your staff spend time creating and sending the same emails and documents again and again.
  • A staff member has called in sick, and you need access to a customer email from their inbox.

If you can relate to any of the above points, it might be the case you’ve outgrown your current Customer Management strategy.

I have some good news for you though, you can attempt to mitigate all of those risks and many more by adopting the following tips…

1. Understand how you work

Do you have any processes, even if they are very simple, that you follow when you apply customer management tactics?  It’s really helpful to write them down and even visualise them using flow diagrams.  Ask yourself questions like:

  • What happens when a customer contacts you about your services?
  • How do they contact you?
  • Who deals with the queries?
  • Are there standard responses you provide?
  • Do you note details of the customer interaction anywhere?
  • What tools do you use to manage your customers (email, excel, etc)?
Business process mapping, AgileCase Case Management Software
By mapping out your processes you can begin to understand how you work.

2. Find all of your customer contacts

This may sound like an odd statement to make, but if you’re predominantly using your email inbox to manage your contact then your contacts may be a little harder to find and list than you first thought. I’d recommend gathering lists of contacts from any possible place the they could be stored and capturing in a CSV document (Excel can ‘save as’ CSV). This includes contacts who made queries but didn’t purchase and contacts who purchased.

3. Find a cost efficient case management system that fits your processes

It might take some time to find a new case management system that fits your needs.  Remember, the one you select must adapt to your business and not the other way around.  To help, you can also check out another blog post on our site about how to choose the best case management system.  Also, where email is your primary communication tool, make sure the system you choose has full email integration!

4. Spend time to understand the new case management system and adapt it to your needs

This is key.  When you choose the best case management system for your needs, you will already have some understanding about the software and its capabilities.  However, it pays dividends to spend time to fully understand the products features.  By putting that little bit extra effort at the start will mean you can configure the system right first time and make full use of any automation features, which can save you lots of effort in the long run.  Alternatively, ask the case management system provider if they offer an on-boarding service, like we do at AgileCase.  This type of service lets experts help you configure the software to you particular needs.

5. Champion your new case management system and train your staff

You’ve spent a lot of time and effort to adopt your new system.  For adoption to be successful company wide, you need to a) provide training to staff, and b) champion the new system.  If you expect your staff to hit the ground running, you’ll waste time, effort and cause unnecessary stress to your staff. Providing knowledge about how to use the new software will give your team a better chance of benefiting more quickly.  This leads on to championing the new system. Your enthusiasm and leading by example should help increase chances of successful adoption.  Be on hand to answer questions about using your new case management system to act out your business processes, provide encouragement and push the benefits of new processes where you can.

By moving away from email to manage your customers – other tools to log other vital information – to a single, adaptive case management system, you can benefit from centralized store for your communications and business processes.

Do you have any stories about your experience of swapping out your email client for a case management system?