Let’s say you’re a freelance copywriter. (You are, right?) Now let’s say you bought the latest laptop on the market, loaded it with all the tools a good entrepreneurial writer needs (like, say, a mini espresso bar app). Six months later, if the folks who sold you the thing clear out all those multiplayer online gaming data files clogging the system (“No idea where those came from. Must be, uh, my six-year-old son who downloaded them. Honest.”), and they do it free of charge, then you have just experienced after-sales service.
Another type of after-sales service is making adjustments for free to a product after the customer took it home. A good example is when you can’t figure out by yourself how to make Whatsapp stop making that annoying sound, but when you go back to the store the salesperson does it for you for free (and not by throwing it against a wall).
After-sales service can’t be underestimated as a tool for any business seeking to build up customer loyalty – this includes freelance copywriters.
“What?” I can hear you asking, “What is the ‘sales’ after which we are providing ‘service’? Isn’t all of what we offer a service?”
Yes, but here are some questions you might get from clients after you’ve completed a project (including edits) for them:
- “Can we cut down the text you sent to fit on one button?”
- “Which of these three phrases works best as a new opening line?”
- “Can you please just take a quick look at this sentence in the cover email?”
- “How do you say ‘most innovative’ without saying ‘innovative’ for the 500th time?”
Fulfilling requests like those for free is, in fact, after-sales service. It’s whenever we help the client make the best use of our copywriting.
Granted, this can get out of hand.
If you feel the client is essentially trying to get a freebie out of you, then just politely change the conversation into something a tad more mindful of your bank account. Something like, “I’d be happy to do that. Let me send you an email with my proposed fee and delivery date.” You may be pleasantly surprised to discover that the client will begin to respect your work more highly – and be willing to pay a premium for it.
On the other hand, when the client’s request can legitimately be defined as after-sales service, then you must grab the opportunity to provide what they need. And do it with a smile.
You see, good after-sales service is a clear sign of someone who takes pride in their work and who takes their customers seriously. Moreover, it reinforces the impression that you are easy to work with and a true professional (which, of course, you are; otherwise, you would not have gotten this far in the article). And all of that, of course, leads to positive recommendations and repeat business.
In short, after-sales service is actually pre-sales marketing. Make the most of it.
Nissan Ratzlav-Katz, the founder of NRK Consulting, is an experienced copywriter and editor. His clients include hi-tech, agrotech, mobile and biotech companies, PR agencies and security firms, as well as non-profit and academic organizations. Read what people are saying about him.