Sometimes, business owners feel as though they must prioritize either sales or customer service to the detriment of the other. This doesn’t have to be the case — SalesForce reports that 55 percent of customers would pay more for a product or service if they had a positive customer service experience. Balancing the need for strong sales techniques with quality customer service can be a struggle for many new businesses. With that in mind, here is a look at how you can provide attentive customer service while aggressively selling your product.
Many Americans have lost faith in businesses’ ability to treat them well. The 2012 Echo Global Customer Service Barometer found that nearly a third of consumers felt that businesses were now less interested in providing quality customer service.
To counteract this loss of faith, remember that part of a quality product is the element of support your business provides to its customers. The quality of your customer service is dependent on the work of everyone who interacts with customers. That includes salespeople, manages, call center staff, delivery personnel and more. All these staff need to be trained in proper customer service techniques; too often, a single delivery person can ruin an otherwise excellent sale.
One of the most common customer service sins in an understaffed or overwhelmed call center. If your call center is overwhelmed, consider enlisting the help of cloud-based software that enables consistent customer service. Aspect Zipwire points out that cloud-based contact centers show your customers they matter to you by providing you with data about their preferences and the quality of previous interactions with them. Cloud centers also provide you with workforce management tools to ensure you are staffing your customer service branch adequately.
Once a customer has purchased your products or services, it’s important to remember your relationship doesn’t end there. A loyal customer is better than a one-off sale. Helpscout notes that the average loyal customer is worth 10 times as much as their initial purchase, and that it is always easier to sell to a previous customer than a new one. Quality customer service translates to long-term sales, but loyalty sales aren’t just about service.
Maintaining relationships is about customer engagement, as well. Forming meaningful relationships with customers is easier than ever with the help of social media. Engagement with customers via social media translates to greater loyalty, which translates to sales. Inc. reports that customers who engage with brands on social media spend 20 to 40 percent more on that companies services and brands. Customer engagement requires that elements of businesses traditionally associated with marketing and advertising become a part of every day customer service.
Every social media interaction needs to be pleasant but still drive towards the goal of improving your brand’s image and generating sales. In the past, customer service and engagement happened at set times in controlled settings – customers had to call or write and begin the conversation. Today, businesses must exist in an “always-on” environment and be prepared to interact with customers at any time. Make sure your staff is prepared to engage with customers at any time.