- Writing a Business Plan
- Financial Statements
- Business Forecasting
- Business Checklist
AFTER SALE SERVICE:
Do you plan to offer any after sales services in your business? If so, you will need to discuss your intensions under the Operating Plan of your Business Plan. In general, after sales service means providing additional 'offerings' to the customer even after he/she has purchased your product. Many after sales services exist such as warrantees, repair services, restoration and cleaning, installation of product, removal of product from customers' premises, extended credit terms, and sales returns, just to name a few.
An automobile dealer, for example, provides many after sale services. Moreover, automobile dealers heavily rely on servicing (repairing) the vehicles they sell. In many business dealings, after sale services produces more revenue than the actual sale. In fact, some car dealers will take a small loss on the cars they sell, knowing that the customer will eventually need the car serviced (oil change, replacing head lights, tires, brakes, and so on).
Many computer companies provide after sales services such as delivery and installation of the computer, installation of software, computer repairs, computer upgrading, warrantees, no payment for one year, etc. The computer industry is very competitive and successful firms within the industry find greater success by offering a variety of after sale service.
A retail clothing business may wonder what types of after sale service it can provide to customers. Services such as credit terms or extended credit terms, warrantees on the clothing purchased, alterations to the clothing, a clothing sales return policy, a discount on future clothing purchases, and so on.
A restaurant owner may feel he can not provide any after sale service to his consumers. But addressing customer compliments, providing unsatisfied customers with a letter of apology, thanking the customer for their valuable input, and or offering unsatisfied customers with a gift certificate is just as much an after sale service as a computer company repairing malfunctioned computers.
A plumbing company can also offer its customers with after sale services. For instance, assume the owner of a plumbing company received a call from an irate customer. The customer had recently hired the company to perform plumbing work which for some reason didn't resolve her plumbing problem. What will the plumbing company do? Will the company guarantee the work? Will the company repair the problem? How much will the customer pay? Will the company repair the damage at a reduction of the normal rate? Will the company refuse to fix the plumbing problem? What after sales services can the plumbing company provide?
A retail electronic store, selling home entertainment centers, car stereos, TVs, MP3 Players, may provide a repair service for those customers whose electronic components malfunction. If the store has the skill and storage space, they may decide to make the repairs themselves. On the other hand, the electronics store may decide to contract all repairs or servicing to other more experienced businesses. Whichever option the store entertains, they will be still offering an after sale service.
If you currently are or will be competing in an industry where after sales service is of great importance, be sure to indicate this under the after sales service section of your operating plan. In addition, mention each service you intend to offer and how each will strengthen your business venture. Whether you plan on contracting the work out to a private service firm or provide the service yourself, you will have to give an explanation of the entire process. Moreover, if you decide to offer the service yourself, be sure to discuss the costs involved in offering each after sale service. If you decide to contract the work out to a private service business, be sure to discuss all contracting costs, deadlines, the names of each contracting firm, the contracting firms current workload and their ability to handle your service requirements.
For more information relating to the Components of the Operating Plan, please refer to section entitled Operating Plan.