There is nothing more satisfying for a startup than having repeat customers. What it denotes is that the customers are not only happy with your product, but also the service, support and the overall comfort level. What I have understood in all these years is getting satisfied customers does not merely depend on after sale service/support but also the way one sells. Sales guys who do not understand this end up playing blame games with the product and support team after every unsatisfied customer.
There are a few things I have inculcated while doing sales which I think help a long way in getting satisfied customers:
Honesty is the best Policy: This is something we learnt in school, but must be having a million applications in life. Trust me customers like honest guys and companies. It immediately creates an environment of comfort and gives you the best chance of converting the customer. Dishonesty creates an environment of un-trust and insecurity which eventually will go against you.
Under commit and over deliver: This is a key to customer satisfaction, how often do we see sales guys over committing just to close a sale and reach their targets that they miss out the bigger picture. It more often than not will convert into a wrong sale and the customer is as good as lost. (You need to note, servicing and supporting a wrong customer costs more than your profit margins)
Set the expectations right: So often do we see customers asking for the future roadmap of the product. As a startup its best to stay away from giving any feature commitments w.r.t dates unless you have absolutely micro planned them. What it does is, it puts unnecessary pressure on the product team to deliver the features on the given dates and being a start up there is always a constant pressure in fine tuning the present features and bug solves. It’s better to set lower expectations and deliver something which they don’t expect, it’s a different high!
It’s OK to say a NO: The bottomline is not every prospect can be a customer. There are numerous times that a prospect will ask for things which are not your core competency and it’s ok to say a NO. Have seen numerous when there are things promised to a customer which on face value is something which cannot be delivered.
In other words the satisfaction of a customer is guaranteed not only by the support or service teams but it has strong roots from the pre sales process. If one has the right pre sales communication and aligned sales guys it lays a strong foundation for repeat customers.