The After-Sales Service Process

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THE “AFTER-SALE SERVICE PROCESS”: PART II - STRATEGIES
December 3, 1999
By Richard G. McNeill, Ed.D, CHME

During the Implementation Step
The Implementation Step. As discussed in Part I, “The After-Sale Service Process,” customers have three distinctive stages of perspective during “Implementation of the Product/Service” step of the “after-sale service process:” (a) The Novelty Stage, (b) the Learning Stage, and (c) the Effectiveness Stage. Sellers must be aware of and have strategies to manage each of these stages. The most important stage to manage is the “Learning Stage” where the customer undergoes a concept called the “Motivation Dip.”
The “Motivation Dip” refers to a sharp decrease in the customer’s enthusiasm or motivation during the “Learning Stage.” Just after the purchasing decision and during the “Novelty Stage,” it’s common for the customer to have high expectations and motivation toward the product/service. As the customer enters the “Learning Stage,” generally enthusiasm will rapidly drop off. This is phenomena is a fundamental part of psychology; enthusiasm is replaced by the realities of working harder (to learn about the product/service) and/or having more focus and concern about the success of the product’s projected successful implementation and results. Once results begin to be realized (the “Effectiveness Stage”), the customer’s enthusiasm and motivation will usually climb again to the levels of the “Novelty Stage.”
An illustrative metaphor is the enthusiasm of a New Year’s resolution to “get into shape” through an extensive exercise program. Enthusiasm is often replaced by a “motivation dip” as the real work of the exercise program becomes a reality. After results start coming in the “Effectiveness Stage,” (getting in shape), motivation climbs again. Effectiveness of the exercise efforts becomes the motivation driver.
Three Strategies for Handling the “Motivation Dip”
Strategy One: Start Before the Contract Is Signed. In the

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