Your company might offer the best products since sliced bread and you may well have the most tenacious sales team the world has ever seen. You could have a fantastic online presence, use all the e-Commerce sites under the sun and make really exciting, highly shareable videos that bring joy to people all over the world. But if your customer service isn’t up to it, none of that will mean a thing.
We all know it takes a lot of time and money to find new customers, so apart from just being the decent thing to do it makes good business sense to look after the ones you already have. The key to the sustainability of any company depends on an ability to consistently deliver the kind of service that keeps customers coming back and telling their friends.
Unless you’re paying attention to your customer base it’s entirely possible that a few may well have slipped through the net without you even realizing. Most people don’t really like to make a fuss or waste their time by complaining, they just simply disappear and find someone else who can do a better job. Customer service, then, is your best and most reliable sales tool. How you treat the people who buy into your service is what sets you apart from all the other companies who just want to make a fast buck, so it’s essential that you give it your all. Here are a few tips for how to make the most of customer service as a sales channel.
Take on the right people
Always remember, great customer service is an art form. It takes time to get it right, and it’s not a skill that comes naturally to everyone. It’s important to fill your front line team with the right people for the job; those who genuinely care about others and are committed to being helpful.
We’ve all been served by sour faced sales assistants who clearly hate their jobs, and it’s a big no-no when it comes to creating a positive customer experience. If they’re not smiley, friendly and warm when they arrive for interview, they’re probably not right for the role and won’t be the kind of ambassador your brand is looking for. Someone who puts others at ease, stays calm under pressure and is able to really demonstrate that they care will.
Say Thank You
Human beings are relatively simple souls really. If we’re happy we’re far more likely to be productive, and a little bit of praise can go a long way. Show your team you’re appreciative of their hard work by taking good care of them, saying thank you and offering the odd perk. Behavior breeds behavior so if your staff are happy, your customers probably will be too.
It’s also important that you demonstrate to your staff that you care about their long term goals and aspirations. Investing in a good training programme and providing opportunities for professional development may seem like an unnecessary expense, but they’re more likely to make people want to stay and grow with you instead of going elsewhere.
Saying thanks doesn’t just apply to staff either. Show your customers they matter to you by offering special deals and tailored marketing campaigns that take into account their individual tastes and circumstances. If you let them know they’re more than just a number, they’ll be back.
Never stop learning
Good customer service is all about understanding your customers and growing as a business in a way that reflects their behavior and wants. You’ll need to ask yourself questions about where your business is headed and what you need to do to get there, and constantly measure your customer service efforts. This can be as simple as a quick survey every few months or you can use sophisticated CRM software- as long as you’re asking the right questions, getting real answers and learning from them you’re halfway there.
So, good old fashioned customer service is the very best sales tool you have, and it’s all there at your fingertips.
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