Even if your company includes a Customer Service department, the responsibility for delivering exceptional customer service should be included in every employee’s job description.
For Customer Service Week, I’m exploring the role of each department.
Through the week, I’ve explored the role that Managers, Marketing teams, HR teams and Finance play in the delivery of customer service. The final blog for Customer Service Week looks at Sales.
The challenge for any salesperson is to entice, propose and make the sale with first-time customers. The only way to succeed is to understand what the potential customer wants and understand whether your products or services match their requirements.
Listen to the Customer
Have you ever felt cornered by a sales person on a mission? They are determined to tell you all about the benefits of their goods and service. They talk at you, without pausing for breath, for what feels like far too long. Were you tempted to buy from such an individual?
Diving straight into a fixed sales banter is more likely to repel than attract interest. In sales, the starting point is a friendly exchange of information – you ask specific questions and actively listen to the response. The conversation should be open, so the customer feels under no pressure to make a purchase. Is this the approach adopted when you are selling?
When you have explored and confirmed what the potential customer wants and also what the barriers are, you can make recommendations. What if your offer doesn’t match their requirements?
If you have nothing that meets the need of the customer, it is best to suggest an alternative company that might be able to serve them. It may feel counterintuitive, but this is good customer service and it can reap rewards in the long run. This move may earn the individual’s trust and respect. You may not be able to assist with this requirement, but who knows who they are talking to and how their needs may change in the future.
Securing the Sale
With a clear idea of what’s needed and customer service in mind, you can reassure them that your products or services will deliver what they need. You can promote the relevant benefits and bring them to the point where they make an informed decision; hopefully to buy. Provide them with the opportunity to confirm the order before processing payment.
Customer service doesn’t end there; far from it. Can you offer care advice, installation tips, follow up action? Do you have staff who could carry purchases to the customer’s car? Consider ways of adding value and building rapport and remember to thank them for their business.
The Second Sale
It is important to remember that the majority of business comes from existing customers. With the start of a relationship already formed, good customer service will encourage loyalty and repeat business? Could you give them a 10% discount on their next purchase? Do you offer to contact them in advance to renew or make a booking? Are your team polite and helpful whenever they call? Do you simply remember their name in conversation?
Good customer service is crucial to sales. Taking time to understand your customer’s requirements and ensuring you add value, will help to attract new or repeat business. If your sales team would benefit from learning important questioning, listening and after sales techniques, my customer service training could help them to meet their targets.