Every aspect of your interactions with customers can make or break their opinion of your organization. From how you answer a call to how you ask them if they’re able to hold, these nuances can make the difference between earning that customer’s lifelong loyalty or a scathing review online. In fact, the impact of customer service on revenue is supported by years of data and the realities are astounding. If your business is interested in maximizing revenue this year, you can’t ignore the significant impact that customer service has on your bottom line.
Basic Selling Skills - Closing
In recent years, customer experience has become the most important factor in how customers decide where to spend their money. For more expensive products and services, customer service becomes increasingly more important, according to PWC’s research. HubSpot reported that 68% of customers are willing to pay more to purchase their product or service from a company with better customer service. How does this translate to maximized revenue? Well, Bain & Company shared that companies who deliver fantastic service to their customers have revenues 4-8% higher than competitors.
An additional benefit of developing a reputation for excellent customer service is that it provides you with a buffer if you or your team, unfortunately, do run into a mistake. According to Salesforce Research, 78% of customers reported that they would do business with a company again after they’d made a mistake IF the company offered great customer service. With this in mind, you can think of customer service as an insurance policy as well. You should always aim to deliver error-free service; however, when mistakes do inevitably happen, your default level of high-quality service will help you to preserve those important customer relationships.
Beyond being friendly to customers
Now that you’re aware of the data supporting the need to invest in customer service training, you’re likely wondering what sort of changes need to be made in your organization. Hopefully, you and your team are already treating your customers well as a baseline. The focus then shifts to how you move beyond standard, everyday, adequate customer service. How do you go from average, friendly customer service to the kind of service that sets you miles apart from others in your market?
You pay attention to the details and ensure that your team has mastered all the Basic Selling Skills. These include:
- Learning how to deal with rejection gracefully
- Using tie-downs to gain agreement from the customer
- Avoiding the Four Killer Words
The list could go on because there are an endless number of topics to cover when it comes to the finer details of delivering top-notch customer service. One area that you and your team can start working on right now, though, is your questioning techniques.
Be naturally inquisitive
Some customer service representatives refrain from asking any questions that are “off script” for fear of seeming unprofessional. When used correctly, additional questions can help to establish rapport with the customer and provide you with insight into their specific needs. Service representatives who are too hesitant to ask questions will miss out on these opportunities to provide a more tailored product or service suggestion. There’s a distinct difference between being nosy or crossing boundaries and being inquisitive in the interest of providing better service to the customer. Learning how to effortlessly employ naturally inquisitive questions will help you to sell more product and retain customers.
Echo questions are another way to gather further information from the customer without being pushy. This involves repeating back the last few words a customer says as a way of prompting them to provide more detail. When used correctly – that is, with the right tone and phrasing – this technique will gently encourage the customer to expand on their previous answer without you needing to ask brusque questions like, “What?” or “What do you mean?”
A major reason that business is lost is that no one ever asked the prospect to buy. It sounds so simple – because it is. Closing questions help to tie down the transaction and gain a commitment to do business. While these questions can be phrased in a variety of ways, the important thing is that the service representative remembers to use them. Rather than seeming rude or forceful, well-used closing questions help to seamlessly transition the conversation from one part to the next.
To learn how exactly to use closing questions, as well as all the other tips about questioning techniques and beyond, contact a ServiceSkills representative today and request a free demo of Basic Selling Skills.
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