Henry Ford said ‘The only foundation of real business is service’. In many businesses, the customer support function sits outside of the sales channel as it’s observed in some way inferior to sales. Yet customer support is essential to sales success. Without good customer service there’ll be no repeat sales, and repeat sales will be the most lucrative earnings any corporation can generate.
The selling process isn’t complete merely because the customer has stated he or she will buy your services or products. Throughout the entire selling process, the maintenance of goodwill is important, but much more so after the buy. Regardless of your client’s past feeling towards your company, the experience they have as soon as they’ve bought are going to have significant influence on future sales. Customer service doesn’t complete the sale; it reignites the revenue cycle. A worthwhile maxim to adopt is: ‘a customer cannot be regarded as satisfied until we get their next order.’
Whilst customer support represents the last element in several standard sales processes it might also be argued that it is the first element in a recurring sales process. Ask yourself:
- Did I ensure that the arrangements reached with the customer actually happened?
- Did I attempt to up-sell?
- Did I request a referral?
- What records are stored and preserved?
- What opinions did I get about the way in which the customer benefited from my product/ service?
- How could customer service be improved?
- Why Is Customer Service Important?
There are a number of empirical studies on the value of customer service and the impact of repeat business on the most important thing. Frederick Reicheld and Earl Sasser said that ‘if companies knew how much it really costs to lose a customer, they would be able to make accurate evaluations of investments designed to retain customers’. They discovered that clients become more profitable over the years as increased sales; reduced costs of supply; referrals; and the opportunity to up-sell add to the bottom line.
Heskett, Sasser, and Scheslinger collaborated on a training programme to assist phone managers in understanding the lifetime value of customers and in addition counseled on the importance of developing a culture whereby employees are engaged to add to the value chain. They postulated that worker satisfaction leads to service worth which produces customer satisfaction and that in turn ends in gains and expansion. It is hardly surprising that occur workers produce happy clients.
Is it only about smiling and being pleasant to customers? It is a good place to start but it can’t only be around that.
It is generally accepted that it is quite difficult to deliver high standards of customer service. Some say we have not been educated for it it is not our heritage. What was a major employment sector in these days has dwindled to nearly nothing.
As this has occurred, employment has grown in manufacturing, sales, administration, information technology, and social sciences. Through the years’working in service’ came to be considered a dead end job that nobody wanted and could only take as a final resort. As a result, the tag’service’ has fallen into disrepute, and a lot of men and women see giving support as something beneath them that lesser mortals do.
However, the truth is that everybody enjoys and enjoys great support.
Difference between Good & Poor Service
An often quoted but unattributed statistic is where people are asked the question ‘what would you say was the main difference between somewhere where you received good service and somewhere you received poor service’ – at 70% of cases the answer was – ‘the attitude and behaviour of the person delivering the service’. Whether accurate or not, it seems probable that if we receive poor service from somewhere we are unlikely to buy from this source .
It is thus reasonable to presume that fantastic customer service does not involve the quality of the merchandise (unless you have advertised a product as being something it is not) but also the quality of the folks delivering the service or product, and also the experience the client has of purchasing your product or service.
It’s also reasonable to presume that you yourself know the difference between good and bad service and can place yourself in the client’s shoes when purchasing your product or service.
It should be relatively easy to establish a record of item you’ve purchased in the past couple of months and determine whether the experience you had of purchasing was good, bad or indifferent. Obviously a great deal of buying and selling these days occurs without the interaction of people (e.g. buying on the web) and for the purposes of the exercise maybe you ought to record those activities separately. Even though it may appear simple, an appraisal of your own experience, coupled with placing yourself in the customer’s shoes should provide you with a wealth of information concerning the distinction between good and poor support.