How Would Your Customers Rate Your Service?
© John Boe
Rendering exceptional customer service is both a responsibility
and a smart business decision. Unfortunately, far too many
salespeople view customer service as an administrative burden
that takes them away from making a sale. The truth is, providing
quality customer service presents tremendous opportunities for
cross-selling, up selling and generating additional referrals.
Dick Cavett once said, "It's a rare person who wants to hear
what he doesn't want to hear." If your clients were given a
customer satisfaction survey, how would they rate the level of
service they are receiving from you? Customer feedback consistently
points to the fact that the little things make a big difference.
Quality customer service is typically defined in terms of attention
to detail and responsiveness. Not surprisingly, the top two
customer complaints with regards to customer expectations are
unreturned phone calls and a failure to keep promises and
Successful salespeople place great value on developing lifetime
relationships with their customers and always "go the extra mile"
when providing service. In today's competitive marketplace, they
are aware that their customers are aggressively prospected and
their loyalty cannot be taken for granted.
Could you use a few more referrals? "Go the extra mile" when
providing service and turn the customers you serve into advocates
to help you promote your business. Your referrals and follow on
business are in direct proportion to the quality and quantity of
service you render on a daily basis.
When a customer begins a relationship with you, he or she brings
to the table specific expectations. These expectations are
primarily based on their past experiences as well as their
perceptions of you, your product, and your company. It's
critically important to take the time to ask open-ended questions
and clarify what your customer expects. If they have false or
unrealistic expectations, be clear with them upfront on the
process and work with them to manage outcomes and set reasonable
How can you be sure that you customers are satisfied with your
service? Just ask them. When it comes to customer service,
perception is reality. Service is not defined by what you think
it is, but rather how your customers perceive its value. Knowing
more about your customer's needs and expectations will allow you
to customize the service you provide. If you don't already have
a customer service feedback system in place, establish one to
monitor how your customers perceive the service you provide.
When it comes to impressing your customers, it's the personal
touch that really makes the difference. Stay in contact and
keep good records. Take the time to jot down notes from meetings
and phone calls making certain to record all relevant information.
Maintain a written record of service. This is especially helpful
when clients are reassigned. It's a good idea to setup a suspense
system to track important contact dates such as client review
calls and birthdays. Consider sending a personal note or an
article of interest every six months.
Relationship building and follow on service are critical
components for promoting both customer retention and revenue
growth. Salespeople that fail to implement an effective customer
service program actually do a disservice to their customers and
unknowingly, leave the backdoor open to their competitors. If you
do it right, sales and service blend seamlessly and you will exceed
your customers' expectations!reduce sales pressure, build rapport quickly and dramatically
increase your sales effectiveness!
John Boe presents a variety of sales training and motivational programs
for meetings and conventions. John brings over twenty years of experience
as an award-winning sales trainer to the platform. www.johnboe.com
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