B2B and B2C Firms Must Emphasize Post-Sales Servicing of Customers in the Digital Economy
Post-sale relationship management a growing factor in customer retention
Relationships with customers often extend beyond the transaction. In both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) commerce, relationships between customer and sales channel do not end once a transaction is consummated. In the B2B world, many suppliers have service level agreements (SLAs) built into their agreements with customers. These post-sale aspects of the contract mean companies need to ensure service resources and spare parts inventory are available after the sale. In the B2C world, the situation is different. While consumers have access to warranties, these are much less rigid and intensive than the SLAs in B2B. For B2C, the post-sale relationship with consumers is focused much more on the brand relationship. There is no contractual linkage, but much more of a need to create a long-term experiential relationship. Companies catering to these customers must use their supply chain to ensure the correct levels of spare parts inventory and use replacement inventory for incremental sales, but also lean on deeper understanding of the customer, powered by cloud and on-demand solutions. Consumers expect the brand to live up to expectations – this can only be done through smarter insights.
In order to retain customers in the digital economy, companies must learn to manage their post-sale customer relationships.
This report identifies the post-sale trends on which companies must act in order to retain customers in the digital era.