Today customers are buying more and more frugally, thus putting the pressure on sales teams to outperform the competition. The challenge is are we attacking this issue from the right perspective by training sales people on selling skills and product knowledge? While these are valuable they do NOT provide customers with the opportunity to look at YOU or your sales team differently. What if there were a way to differentiate yourself and what you sell every step of the way where customers look at you as a partner and NOT just someone selling a product or service they need? The way we sell is as important as what we sell and each interaction creates a perception. Thus the coaching opportunity!
Bottom line. It is the driving factor for most companies. Make your bottom line and you have been successful for that quarter. Management pushes their sales teams to get out and sell and turn leads into customers, but there is a department that managers often overlook that has a major impact on the perception of a business: the customer service team.
Think of customer service people as the gatekeepers of your company. If it’s great, then people are going to think your company is great. However, if your team is rude or apathetic, then suddenly, that becomes the overall view of your business. Customer service is a tool that companies should leverage more often. Customers call in with questions or problems, and they don’t want to be greeted who has a case of the Monday’s…everyday.
GREAT customer service is really the number one reason customers join and stay with companies. Organizations spend billions of dollars on sales training but not nearly enough on helping customer service staff and those employees who interact with customers. Employees who handle customers leave an impression during and after every interaction. What if these people were educated and provided with techniques to WOW the customer on every interaction? What would sales be like than?
WIFT: "What's In It For Them"?
In active listening, there are six steps that are important to follow. In part three, we will look at steps five and six.
In active listening, there are six steps that are important to follow. In part two, we will look at steps three and four.
In active listening, there are six steps that are important to follow. In part one, we will look at steps one and two.
“Hello, this is Sales Progress. How can I help you?”
“Is Tim there?”
“Um…well can I leave a message or a voicemail.”
“I guess. Hold on, I’ll transfer you.”
“Good Morning, thank you for calling Sales Progress. How can I help you?”
“Is Tim there?”
“May I ask who’s calling?”
“Sure, this is Bob.”
“Oh hi Bob! How are things going? Tim actually is not here right now, but I’d be happy to take a message or direct you to his voicemail.”
“Things are going well, and that would be great thanks.”
“No problem, and I’ll let him know that you called as soon as he gets back. Hold on one second while I transfer you, and have a fantastic day Bob!”
Now, which conversation would you like to have? The second one is definitely more engaging and more upbeat. Customer service is a big part of people’s perception of a company. If you continuously call into a place that greets you with no emotion and a lack of respect, it is not likely that you will hang up feeling great about giving them your business. The result of a negative experience can be even more detrimental to a company. What are people most likely to do after they feel they’ve been mistreated? Complain to others about it, and now, in a technological age, complaints are not just told to close friends. They can be tweeted, blogged about or posted to a company’s Facebook. The fact is a negative interaction can reach hundreds of people in a matter of seconds.
For companies, it is extremely important that they take matters into their own hands. Customer service reps should receive sales training. Consumers are calling them with problems or concerns. This leaves room for a variety of activities such as selling, recommending and fixing. Customer service people should also be taught how to focus on having a positive attitude even if they aren’t having the best of days.
Customer service reps are crucial to the success of any business. Download this free whitepaper to learn the 7 pillars of customer service. If you truly focus on improving your interactions with your target audience then you will begin to see your sales progress.