Businesses, large and small, B2B and B2C, regardless of your product or service price points, need to make every single customer count. Provide consistent outstanding customer service. Give every customer the best sales experience possible. Customer service is one of the keys to business success.
- Make sure your company and product information to customers is well presented and targeted
- Treat every customer and prospect like they are the only one you will ever talk to.
- Go the unexpected extra step with every customer to demonstrate you truly want their business
- Let customers know you appreciate their business
- Communicate with your customers so they feel confident you are the right choice to do business with.
- Make authentic connections with every one you meet in your business.
Customer service was paramount on my mind recently as I began my search for an in-home treadmill.
Here’s a recap of the customer service I experienced:
The first store I went to is a big box sporting goods store. Beautiful brand new store with barely any customers on a Friday night.
- No one approached me to see if I needed any help, wanted to try out the machines or had any questions.
- When I finally did seek out a sales associate, he really couldn’t tell me much about the individual machines. Didn’t even know who manufactured the various brands. The sales associate had to read from the information card on each machine. Wasn’t convincing with information as to why I should purchase one machine over another.
- The sales associate was on commission when asked but yet didn’t volunteer his name or try to close the sale.
The second store I went to is a well known national chain store located in a major upscale mall.
- This time the sales associate approached me and asked if I wanted to try any of the machines yet he readily admitted he really didn’t know anything about the machines so he probably couldn’t answer many questions – including how much at-home delivery and set up would be. Then he proceeded to give me his name but told me he was off over the weekend.
- It was late at night, but according to the website the company offered 24 hour email customer service so I wrote an email with all my questions. Much to my surprise, I received a response late the next morning. When I wrote a second email later in the day, a response was returned within a few hours.
- The company doesn’t have a store display in the eastern part of South Florida where I live. I would have to drive over to the southwestern part of Florida (a three hour drive one-way) to a big box sporting goods store that doesn’t have locations yet in this part of Florida. Or I could order directly from the website. The downside with this brand is that to try out the treadmill product I have to either take a day trip to the other side of the state or order the machine sight unseen.
- But the company was prompt and responsive. Gave great customer service, even though it was by way of email.
Buying a well built treadmill is not an inexpensive purchase. It is an investment. Yet the customer service, overall, didn’t match the price points of the merchandise. And retailers wonder why they can’t move product when a ready-to-buy customer is standing right in front of them? Each store or brand had the opportunity to sell me a treadmill on-the-spot. Yet lost the high ticket sale.
With a busy work and personal life, I had no interest in going from store to store to get the best deal. I wanted a piece of exercise equipment that would be reliable and serve the purpose I was purchasing it for. If the sales employees would have been trained in product information and customer service, I would have bought the machine. The store would have made the sale and it would have been the end of the shopping quest for a brand name treadmill. Instead, the stores lost the sale and you can’t help but wonder how many other sales have been lost for the same reasons.
Don’t assume customer service at your company is acceptable or meets the standards your customers are looking for. Customer service is part of the ongoing sales cycle. If it is not up to expectations, start retraining and motivating your employees customer service skills immediately so sales are not lost at your company – or that the sale goes to the competition.
To your success!
Want to improve sales at your company? Talk with Howard! – 888-738-1855 – Howard Lewinter guides – focuses – advises CEOs, presidents and business owners to MORE success – MORE profit – less stress.