If you’re a customer service representative or a sales representative, your job is to make the customer happy while also selling your organization’s product or service. For employees in these roles, success and failure to meet performance goals is often measured in quantifiable metrics like sales completed or number of complaints. What if there were several small adjustments that you could make to increase customer satisfaction and close sales more easily?
Customer relationships must be navigated carefully, aiming for a balance of making the customer feel heard and appreciated and encouraging them to engage with your product or service. This is important because organizations that offer poor customer service simply aren’t able to sell products. According to American Express, one-third of customers are ready to switch to another company after a single negative service experience. If you and your team members are focused only on selling at the expense of providing high-quality service to your customers, there’s a very good chance you’re costing your organization a considerable amount of money.
When you’re ready to acknowledge the fact that excellent customer service and increased sales success go hand in hand, you’ll develop an appreciation for the tools and techniques that make the delivery of great customer service a little bit easier. Below, you’ll learn four simple tips – of many! – that will help you to step up your customer service game and see the associated impacts on sales.
Know the benefits of buying
When working with a customer who is considering buying your service or product, it’s probably obvious that you should have an in-depth knowledge of what you’re selling. Despite this, many people often confuse the benefit and features of a product and are unable to differentiate between the two. Understanding the difference is a crucial step on the sales ladder though and will help you tailor your pitch to the specific customer. The customer can likely figure out for themselves the details of what the product or service actually does; it’s your job to make it evident to the customer WHY that’s beneficial to them.
Perfect your use of tiedowns
When speaking to a customer about a potential sale, salespeople often forget one very small but important component: asking for agreement from the prospect. This tiny but significant addition is called a tiedown. Tiedowns are short questions asked at the end of a statement that requests agreement from the customer. Examples of tiedowns include:
- …wouldn’t it?
- …isn’t it?
This easy change shifts the focus onto the customer and requires them to engage with what you’ve said. When used correctly, tiedowns will help you close more sales by encouraging the customer to verbally agree with your suggestion.
Have a clear idea of customer needs
While perhaps not as quick to implement as an extra few words at the end of a sentence, this next tip will save you time and frustration. Service or sales representatives should identify the customer’s needs. Without this information, the selling process will be nearly impossible as you’ll have no idea what you’re targeting. You’ll be offering solutions to problems that don’t exist while ignoring their real needs.
Customer needs underpin their motivation to seek out a product or service. By identifying their need, you can then tailor your approach to explicitly inform the customer exactly how your organization can meet that need. This leaves the customer with little room to talk themselves out of the sale. Use effective questioning techniques to uncover customer needs and work quickly to identify and inform the prospect of exactly how your company can confidently meet those needs.
Get the customer on your side
Once you’ve identified the customer's need and explained how you’re going to address it, it’s time to show the customer that you’re on the same side. Luckily, this tip requires less effort – in fact, it involves just one word: let’s. “Let’s” is a simple word that signifies that you and your customer are on the same side of the table and ready to cooperate.
This word works in a similar way to a tiedown as it helps the conversation move from the discussion phase to the deal phase in a low-pressure and gentle way. Use “let’s” to proactively suggest to the customer that you think it’s a good idea to move forward together.
Implementing these four tips will have a noticeable impact on the number of sales you and your team are completing while also adhering to the standards of excellent customer service. To learn 22 further tips that are equally as valuable, contact a ServiceSkills representative today and request a free demo of Basic Selling Skills.
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