Introduction to Customer Service
Good customer service is the lifeblood of any business. It is not enough to carryout promotional campaigns which please existing customers and potentially draw in new ones if they are not going to be treated well in the long run.
Making sure that customers receive excellent service before and after sales is what will keep bringing repeat business. It is important to remember that most prospects these days have been someone else’s customers at some point, buying the same products or services. If salespeople focus on providing excellent customer service, before and after the sale, the probability of repeat business and referrals is increased.
Good customer service results in the formation of mutually beneficial relationships between the salesperson and customer – a relationship they both want to pursue and maintain. To attain this, a salesperson must be consistent in the following customer service principles:
Be Reasonable with Client’s Expectations
Make sure that in all communication with the prospect leading up to sale and continuing to the after sales service or account management is accurate. Let the prospect or customer have the full, realistic picture of what they are to expect. It is often better to under promise than to exaggerate and the not be able to deliver on promises made. Of course, there will be times when you will not be able to deliver – we live in an imperfect world, however, be careful to adhere to contractual agreements if they are there.
Educate the Client
The salesperson needs to ensure that the client is well informed on all the processes relating to the service which they will receive. It is important to always keep in mind the goal of repeat business, therefore providing service with the intention of creating an ongoing relationship. The result of giving all the information and educating the client will lead to an uncomplicated relationship where the client would not be making unrealistic requests.
Listen to Complaints and Respond Quickly
Be attentive to clients’ complaints and be careful to respond quickly. Keep in mind always that the client perceives you as a problem solver. When a complaint is raised, provide options to solving the problem, don’t add to the problem, or even worse – ignore it, belittle their concern.
Be open minded to realise that customer complaints are often times good feedback -use them as a platform for innovation and growth.
Make Effective Communication a Standard
Make it a habit to have effective communication with your customers. This is an important and integral aspect of any successful business relationship. Ensure that communication channels are open both ways and that there is mutual understanding and agreement of all discussed. A client who is well informed on the product or service which they are acquiring and is also aware and in agreement to the processes of the company he is employing to provide that product or service, will be easier to work with in the long run. This will lead to a better managed account for you as the salesperson.
Document all Verbal Communications
To avoid doubt and confusion, it is always better to follow up a telephone or face to face meeting with a written correspondence. This works well in preventing miscommunication. Documenting conversations is a professional practice which may save a salesperson potential hassle.