It’s no surprise that providing great customer service makes for happier customers, yet the strong correlation between customer service and sales is often underestimated. Check out these three ways in which sales and happy customers go hand in hand.
If you’ve ever been upsold by a sales representative, you know that it’s not the most subtle tactic. “Now, if you take a look at our premium package…” has barely left the salesperson’s lips before you are on the defensive. You think about what excuse you will use to cut the sales pitch short. “No, I won’t be using it much…,” or, “I’m really looking for something more basic, just to get me by…” Even if the premium package is actually worth your money, you’re tuned out because it is the salesperson’s job to upsell you, and your job to refuse.
Customer service representatives have the advantage of being salespeople in disguise. Their job, at least from the customer’s point of view, is to help. To solve problems. If the upsell is couched as a solution instead of a luxury, customers will be more likely to buy. And if the customer service agent recommends it, customers will be more willing to listen. With smart training, customers service representatives are your best salespeople.
Customer service wins for another reason. Flash back to your horrible customer service experience of choice; maybe you spent your afternoon off waiting for the service guy who never showed, or ran up against some ridiculously inconvenient red tape which was waved away with tales of “policy.” What was your likelihood of considering any sales attempt? Probably slim to none. Unhappy customers are insusceptible to convincing, whereas happy customers won’t need much convincing at all.
Some businesses focus on the sale; smart businesses know that focusing on future sales potential creates more value. Bullying a customer into a sale may get their money now, but the experience may convince them to spend future dollars elsewhere. It’s best to look at customer interactions as investments instead of one-off exchanges. It’s an oft repeated fact that customer acquisition is about seven times as expensive as customer retention. Keeping customers by keeping them happy is the most cost effective option.
The odds of customer retention are on the side of the business; people like to know what to expect, so buying from a familiar company is the comfortable route. Yet if what customers expect is poor service or a disappointing product, shopping around is the logical option. One bad experience can prevent a customer from ever turning into a repeat customer. Fortunately, unexpectedly positive service, requiring little extra effort from the company, can make a lasting impression and goes a long way in building a loyal customer base.
While sales may be a numbers game, the human side of the customer experience is where businesses build brand loyalty. Customer service is often the sole human interaction which customers have with a company. As the face of the company for those customers, representatives have the opportunity to explain why the business works for them long term. Individualized interactions are more memorable than generic marketing efforts, so making those interactions helpful and positive should be a priority.
Sell to More
What is the most valuable form of marketing that can’t be bought? Of course, it’s word of mouth. Maybe you can’t remember the last time you recommended a company to a friend outright, but I can bet you’ve been to a friend’s favorite restaurant or tried a product you found sitting on their dresser. Thanks to review sites like Yelp, the customer experience is now more important than ever. Scouring the internet for reviews on everything, from dish soap to doctors, is commonplace. The internet is also where negative press spreads like wildfire; it may be unfair, but one negative review can eclipse tons of positive ones.
Word of mouth advertising may seem unpredictable and uncontrollable. You can’t (or shouldn’t) buy glowing reviews and happy customers. Yet it’s not as big a mystery as it may seem. By investigating your customers’ experience and seeking out feedback, you can identify problem areas and make the (sometimes small) adjustments which make a big difference to customers. Then it’s time to put your money where your mouth is; invest in creating the best customer experience, and train employees to focus on the same. Reorient your company from more sales to better service, and sales come naturally.
Outsourcing customer service via outsourced highly trained, US Based live chat agents could be a great choice for your business.