Providing and tracking after-Sales Service is important for a few reasons:

  • Adoption: Achieving high product usage and a long lifespan is critical for achieving maximum impact as well as optimal carbon crediting results. Providing an after sales program enables you to repair products that have broken, facilitating a longer lifespan.
  • Information Collection: After sales service, especially through a warranty card, facilitates a mechanism through which you can collect detailed information on customers to conduct required follow-up surveys.
  • Product Improvement: By creating the ability to interact with customers after the product has been sold, it is possible to identify when stoves go out of use, and why. For example, if it is discovered that the ceramic liner cracks in 50% of stoves after six months, it is probably a good indication that liner quality should be improved. Through after-sales service, a dialogue with customers is established which will help to identify where the product may be failing them and how it can be improved.
  • Retaining customers: Customers will be more likely to make a repeat purchase if they have had a positive experience with the business already.
  • Attracting new customers: Word of mouth marketing is important, If customers have a bad experience with a service or your product, they will be less likely to encourage friends to purchase your product and in some cases may even discourage people from purchasing it

With this in mind, it is important to design a robust after-sales support program. In many cases, it is common to offer a warranty on the product. In this case, it is important to determine who will service the warranty with the customer (i.e. the manufacturer or the vendor) and under what circumstances is the warranty valid, or void. The most efficient and feasible path for servicing the warranty should be determined, and communicated clearly to the customer using a tool such as a warranty card. For non-warranty repairs and replacement, it is advisable to create a fixed price list to ensure services are standardized. Customers should be informed how they can have their product repaired throughout its lifetime.

Ongoing Product Evaluation

As mentioned in the product selection section, it can be beneficial to conduct ongoing product evaluations even after sales have begun. There may be additional valuable feedback from users once a product is available at scale, especially after customers have had a chance to use it for a while. Leveraging the Monitoring & Evaluation framework for carbon projects is one of the simplest and most efficient ways to conduct ongoing product evaluations. Kitchen Surveys and Usage Surveys, for example, can include questions focused on understanding how well the product works in homes, what users like, what they dislike, when they discontinue using the stove, and why. Examples of key question areas are included in the product design section. Answers to these questions can help guide future design modifications.