Henry Ford stated that service is the only foundation of any business. __S.2__ Customer service is essential to the success of any sales campaign. Good customer service is essential to repeat sales. Repeat sales are the most profitable revenue a company can generate.
It is not enough that the customer has indicated his or her willingness to buy your products and services. The maintenance of goodwill throughout the selling process is crucial, and even more so after the sale. No matter how your customer feels about your company in the past, their experience after purchasing will impact future sales. Customer service does more than just make the sale. It keeps the cycle going. It is important to remember that customers cannot be satisfied until they place their next order. ”
Although customer service is often the last element of many sales processes, it can also be considered the first element of a recurring sales process. Think about this:
Was it possible to ensure that the customer’s agreements were actually implemented?
Was I able to up-sell?
Do I need a referral?
Which records are kept and how do they get maintained?
Which customer feedback did you get regarding the benefits of my product/service?
What could be done to improve customer service?
Why is customer service important?
Numerous empirical studies have been done on customer service and the impact of repeat business on bottom line. Earl Sasser and Frederick Reicheld stated that “If companies knew the true cost of losing a customer, then they could make precise evaluations of investments to keep customers’. Customers become more profitable as they have higher sales, lower distribution costs, referrals and are better able to up-sell.
Scheslinger, Sasser and Heskett collaborated to create a training program to help managers understand the lifetime value customers. They also advised on the importance to develop a culture that encourages employees to be involved in the value chain. Their theory was that satisfaction of employees leads to customer satisfaction, which then results in growth and profits. It’s not surprising that happy employees make happy customers.
What is customer service?
Does it all come down to smiling and being kind to customers? Although it’s a great place to begin, it’s not the only way.
It is generally agreed that it is difficult to provide high levels of customer service. Some claim that we are not educated enough to do this. It is not our heritage. This observation can often be justified by the fact that fewer people have worked in “service” since the late Victorian and early Edwardian eras. This once important employment sector has almost disappeared.
Despite this, there has been an increase in employment in sales, manufacturing, administration, information technology and the social sciences. Over the years, “working in service” was viewed as a job no one wanted. It was considered a death-defying job and something that would be done only as an option. The term “service” has been almost discredited. Many people view giving service as something they don’t want to do, just like the lesser mortals.
But the truth is, everyone likes and values good service.
Difference between Good & Poor Service
A common statistic that is often cited but not attributed is that when people are asked the question: “What was the main difference between places where you received good service and places where you received poor service?” – 70% of respondents said that it was the attitude and behavior of the person who delivered the service. It seems likely that we will not buy from the same source again if we get poor service.
Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that customer service is not about the quality or appearance of the product.
You can also assume that you know the difference between great and bad service and are able to put yourself in the shoes of your customer when purchasing your product or service.
It should not be difficult to compile a list of items you purchased within the past few months. This will allow you to determine whether your experience with buying was positive, negative or neutral. It is obvious that a lot of selling and buying these days takes place online without any interaction with people (e.g. You might want to record these activities separately if you are buying or selling online. It may seem simple but if you combine your experience with the customer’s perspective, it will give you a lot of information about the difference between good service and bad.
Analyzing Good Customer Service
Ask the customer
Asking customers is a simple but effective way to determine the quality of customer service. Below is an example of a customer questionnaire that was used in a showroom for car dealers (customer service questionnaire).
The Institute of Customer Service has compiled a list of customer service standards. They conducted research in 2007 to find out what customers want. These were the top ten responses:
The overall quality of the product/service
Problem solving and handling complaints
Staff members are helpful
cYou are treated like a valued customer
Competence of staff
It’s easy to do business
Being kept informed
The Institute of Leadership released the results of a survey it conducted with employees in 2004 about the causes of poor customer service. These were the top four reasons for poor customer service:
60% of employees believe bad line management is the primary factor responsible for poor customer service.
45 percent claim their relationship with their manager had a significant impact on the customer service they provide.
60% felt that they weren’t praised enough for providing excellent customer service.
10% stated that they have never received praise for a job done well
Customer service is what I define as:
A set business behavior that aims to provide exceptional service to customers, both current and potential customers. It also aims to build customer loyalty; influence new customers’ acquisitions.
The Follow-up to a Sale
According to a major life insurance company, nearly 60% of life insurance policies that lapsed were terminated after the second premium payment. According to the same company, policy lapses can be negligible after four premium payments are made. These statistics are important because customers need to be convinced that the buying decision was correct. Otherwise, repeat purchases will likely stop. The final step of the selling process, the follow-up, can have an impact on the satisfaction that your customers get from their purchases.
Think about a customer whose recent purchases are low and unlikely to rise in the future. Assume that your company has one profitable account, whose total purchases make up nearly 25% of your total business volume. How should you follow up with each account? Your attention would be more focused on the account that is larger and more profitable.
You should assess how thorough your follow-up should look for all customers. Most accounts will be satisfied with a few emails, letters, or phone calls. You might need to call more active customers every other week. Customers who are likely to make large purchases in the future or have already made them deserve the best service.
Salespeople love to quote the Pareto Principle when it comes to sales. They say that only 20% of their customers give them sales volume, while 80% provide them with sales volume. Only 20% of their customers contribute to 80% of the total sales volume.
As a salesperson, your primary responsibility is to make money selling products and services. This is the rule of thumb for servicing customers. Although your time is limited, time spent with customers can be a great investment in future sales and profits. If you provide service and follow up activities, even accounts that are not active or have low potential can become high-volume purchasers.
The industry and product of the follow-up activities will vary. It is unlikely that a Scout selling raffle tickets from house to house during an annual fundraising campaign will make any follow up calls. A retail merchant purchasing household products for resale might need regular assistance from their supplier, such as merchandise displays and inventory maintenance. The prizes must be delivered by Scout groups, and the winners should be published.
Ideas for follow-up
Thank you communication
If you have a good relationship with your customers, it is much more likely that you will get repeat orders. You and your customer can benefit from any activity that cements this relationship. This could be anything from a simple thank you to hand delivery of a large order to a more formal thank you. It is a simple way to build goodwill, but it is often overlooked.
It is possible to create a variety of formats that you can then adapt to each customer’s needs and occasions, such as moving to a new location or celebrating a birthday or recovering from an accident/illness. It is a small investment and time, but the benefits are worth it for the goodwill that a “thank you” can bring.
After-Sales Service & Assistance
Even if you are not able to deliver the product in person, a phone call or in-person visit could be enough to assist your customer in using your products properly. Customers who are unable to use a product may blame you for their problems and frustrations. You may be able not only to instruct your customers about proper use of your products but also point out other uses. Sometimes, you may need to make minor adjustments or repairs due to faulty installation. You can arrange for service or repair. Sometimes, it is possible to build goodwill by simply checking with customers to ensure that orders are fulfilled and delivered according to purchase orders. These suggestions for follow-up activities might prove useful to you:
To ensure that your order was properly fulfilled, make a follow up ‘goodwill building” visit to your customers within one week of delivery.
You must ensure that the product meets your expectations and is being used correctly.
Provide suggestions to the customer regarding ways to make the product more efficient or to add value.
The follow-up visit can be used to gain new prospects, i.e. Ask for referrals.
As soon as possible, resolve any misunderstandings or complaints with a positive attitude.Make sure you aren’t making ‘waste-of time calls’ when you schedule follow-up visits in person. Ask yourself, “How can my customer benefit from this call?” What are my goals?
Sometimes, it might be possible to build more satisfied customers by personally delivering your product. Life insurance agents often deliver policies in person as soon as the contract has been prepared and returned to head office. These are five reasons why this type of delivery is possible:
Review the policy’s features
To assure the client that the purchase was wise
Remind the client when the next premium is due to ensure that the sale remains solid
To encourage the future sale of additional life insurance
To solicit referred leads.
After-sale selling has a double purpose. The existing buyer is a great source of referrals. A second benefit is the development of a professional friendship that can serve as a testimonial for a potential customer.
Goodwill refers to customers’ attitudes and sentiments towards you and your company. Loss of goodwill can lead to loss of sales. Building goodwill is not an automatic process. It takes a conscious, conscientious, sincere concern for customer needs and interests over extended periods of times. Every step of the selling process can have an impact on goodwill.
Goodwill isn’t concrete. You can’t put your finger on it, or measure it in currency. Goodwill can be a significant asset because it assists salespeople in making repeat and initial sales. Referral business is also possible from customers who have positive attitudes about your company and its products.
Customer Satisfaction and Competitiveness
It is difficult to get a prospect to order and become your customer. While you never stop looking for new prospects, it is important to maintain good relationships with existing customers. Your customers deserve your attention so they receive the products and services they ordered. To keep existing customers coming back to you, it is important to show commitment to customer service. Goodwill is built by providing excellent service. It is not the products that make a difference in competitive markets; it is the service after the sale that makes a difference.