But how do you improve your sales team’s customer service? Adopt some or all of the following ideas.
Customer service isn’t just an afterthought to a sales transaction. It’s the heart of a thriving company. When customer service is central to your sales team’s strategy and motivation, your company will flourish, and your sales will increase.
But how do you improve your sales team’s customer service, especially when they’ve been trained only to land new accounts and upsell to existing customers? Adopt some or all of the following ideas.
These days, it’s incredibly easy to reach people day and night. Through text messaging, instant messaging, email, and phone, communication has never been easier.
This can be a blessing and a curse. Because communication is so easy, it can also be a distraction. You may have found that you and your sales reps get distracted or absorbed with less important communication when you should be concerned with your customers.
Turn this around by opening lines of communication with customers. If you’ve formerly communicated only via email, give your important customers access to you in other ways, and then commit to being responsive. Quick, easy communication means excellent customer service.
Spend the time and resources necessary to ensure that your sales team, and anyone else who interacts with customers, is sufficiently trained to handle customer’s problems and concerned. There’s nothing more frustrating for customers than trying to get help with a problem that no one seems capable of solving. Don’t let this happen at your company. Train your front line.
In order to sufficiently train your sales team, you need to gather information from customers. Surveys and feedback are incredibly important when it comes to improving customer service. As you gather feedback, whether this feedback is verbal or collected via written or Internet surveys, look for trends and hot spots. Be sure to ask questions like the following:
Notice that each of these questions uses the word “how.” “How” questions are much easier to answer than questions like this: “Was our company professional?” Such a question really puts people on the spot and asks them to be blunter than they’re comfortable with. It also creates a black-and-white situation where there are actually many shades of gray.
It’s easy to get the gist of a customer’s concern and immediately go into problem solving mode. The problem is that customers can tell when your sales reps aren’t really listening, and this creates a barrier where you want there to be a blossoming relationship.
As in personal relationships, business relationships are built on trust, and trust comes when your customers feel that their concerns are genuinely considered. Think about a time when you visited a doctor and the doctor walked in, looked at your chart, examined you without ever looking you in the face and speaking directly to you, and muttered a diagnosis on the way out. Are you likely to visit that doctor again? Of course not. Teach your sales team to be a different kind of doctor, the kind that walks in and shakes your hand, listens carefully to your complaints, asks good questions and then follows up with you to make sure the treatment is working well.
In a sense, your sales team is like a team of physicians. Their customer service should be all about helping your customers’ well-being and improving their lives. As your sales team improves their customer service, they’ll get more referrals and more leads. They’ll enjoy the success that comes from active improvement in their careers.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.