Focusing on the Customer Instead of the Sale To Increase Your Bottom Line
The “sales first” mentality in business can only get you so far. It will help you make a little bit of money in the short term, especially if you or your sales professionals are skilled closers. However, this approach is difficult, time consuming, and expensive to sustain over the long run. By putting the customer first and offering exceptional customer service, you can turn a one-time customer into one that comes back again and again. This technique also helps you utilize the most powerful advertising force in the world: word-of-mouth.
Over three quarters of consumers say that they determine how much a company values their business based on the customer service they receive. In many cases, aggressive sales tactics, such as relentless follow up and upsell attempts, result in daily communication with a customer. When a customer tries to contact customer services and doesn’t receive a prompt response, they realize that the company values the sale more than the customer. This is the last thing you want, and best of all, it’s a problem that is easily avoided.
Here are some rock solid suggestions for increasing sales by making customer service your first priority:
- Have Excellent Self-Help Resources: This could take the form of great manuals, a fully fleshed out FAQ or a help section on your website. If you give the customers the power to help themselves, they’ll think favorably about your brand.
- Utilize Social Media as a Customer Service Tool: Most electronically savvy people now use Facebook and Twitter as means of instant communication. By offering support for customers via these channels, you make getting help a totally painless, and memorable, experience.
- Connectivity Between Sales and Support: Disconnected sales and support teams are disastrous. Sales people should be able to check on the status of customer requests and even transfer customers to support agents with ease. Again, this shifts the focus back to the needs of the customer.
- Put Focus on the Individual Customer: Both your sales and support staff need to put the needs of each individual customer first. For this to be effective, you need to coach your team to forget about things like metrics and volume when speaking to an individual. Instead, agents should get to know their customers, and make them feel like they’re there to help, no matter what their role in the organization is.
- Take Action When Required: If a customer has a bad experience with a company or product, they might make a recommendation to improve it. From time to time, if you can act on these types of recommendations you have an unparalleled opportunity to secure long-term loyalty from a customer.
- Utilize Live Chat: By providing a quick and easy means for customers to connect with a real person instead of having to wait for an email to be answered, you help instantly gratify the customer’s need.
- Word of Mouth: No amounts of money spent on advertising will ever equal the sales you can make over time through good word of mouth advertising. If you can follow through on the other ideas above, you can turn past customers into walking, talking advertisements for your brand.
Author: Michael Cynar
Michael Cynar has over 30 years of executive call center and answering service experience. He is a successful business owner and lead generation expert and shares tips to help other entrepreneurs build and grow their business through leads generation and lead capture solutions. His mission is to share carefully guarded marketing tips that will help small-medium business compete on a smaller budget.