Today’s post is by Anita Greenland, vice president of sales at The Brooks Group, where she brings 25+ years of customer service, sales, sales management, and sales training experience. Anita is responsible for leading and executing The Brooks Group’s sales growth strategy.
Excellent customer service translates into increased revenue for your organization. When your customers are happy, they’re more likely to stay with you, spend more, and refer your business to others.
Be sure you’re maximizing the benefits of happy customers by aligning your sales and customer service departments with these six tips.
1. Build a customer-focused culture.
Most customer service team members understand that their job is to help the customer by solving the problem or providing support.
Extend this customer focus to your sales team as well by encouraging a culture in which every interaction with a client has the goal of providing value.
Coach your salespeople to continue relationships with customers even after the sale has been made. They should reach out to ensure expectations were met, and schedule regular relationship, business, and strategy reviews.
2. Clearly define your promise to the customer.
Everyone in your organization should be crystal clear about what value your offerings provide your customers, and the promises you make to them in your marketing, sales, delivery, and service processes.
Too often, sales teams make promises that customer service reps can’t deliver on, or customer service representatives are unaware of the needs and demands that customers communicate to sales teams.
By clearly defining what you offer and how it benefits the customer, you help teams create a clear and unambiguous experience for each client.
3. Create open lines of communication.
Sales and customer service shouldn’t operate in silos.
Create open lines of communication and hold both service reps and salespeople accountable for sharing problems and challenges with each other, as well as knowledge and insights. Encourage team problem solving and reward collaborative behavior among departments.
When a customer has a problem, a well-trained service rep can often both solve the problem and guide the customer toward more products and services. It’s critical that your service reps are skilled at identifying untapped revenue opportunities and handing the customer over to sales when necessary.
4. Identify cross-selling and upselling opportunities.
Customer service reps spend their time helping clients resolve issues, which provides the perfect chance to identify untapped revenue opportunities.
Coach your service reps to ask probing questions to truly understand the customer’s needs and what they value, and consider providing resources to help them map complementary options. They should be very comfortable with your product offerings and skilled at when and how to work in an upsell or cross-sell.
5. Make problem solving a team effort.
Successful customer service teams have the ability to defuse potential issues. Your team should be equipped to turn an otherwise negative situation into a chance to build customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Train your customer service reps to respond quickly and adapt their communication style to match the client they are dealing with. Then, be sure the issue is recorded and communicated with the client’s sales rep (and any other team members who may interact with the client).
It’s possible to recover and even benefit from a customer complaint. In fact, a study by Harvard Business Review found that customers who have a complaint handled in less than five minutes go on to spend more on future purchases.
The key is to have all hands on deck when an issue arises, and work as a team to deliver the best solution.
6. Invest in customer service training.
According to Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to an existing happy customer is up to 14 times higher than the probability of selling to a new customer. However, a large majority of customer service departments lack the skills necessary to positively influence customers’ future buying decisions.
IMPACT for Customer Service is a training program that teaches your team how to serve and delight customers – and translate their efforts into additional revenue for your organization.
Whether you’re looking to train a dedicated customer service team or would like to improve the effectiveness of any of your client-facing team members, this program can take your organization’s customer service from average to remarkable.
Learn more about the IMPACT for Customer Service program and request an info packet here.