Customer service is the one area that many businesses ignore if not, forget. What they don’t realize is that this particular area can be used as another funnel for increasing business.
The idea is simple:
Better customer service leads to better customer experience.
Better customer experience leads to better customer retention.
Better customer retention leads to recurring business.
Why are businesses ignoring this simple, logical, and more importantly, profitable equation? Especially when customer retention requires less money, time, and effort than onboarding new customers. It will cost as much as 7x more to onboard new clients than it does to sell to your existing ones, especially when existing customers are 50% more likely to try a new product and spend 31% more than a new client. Add up the numbers and you’ll see exactly how much you can benefit from customer retention.
So, how do we engage our customer service team to be an extension of our sales team?
First, let’s explore what good customer service is.
Secondly, seeing that customer service isn’t just a part of operations, it’s sales - Know your buyer personas.
And lastly, invest in sales training for your client-facing team to maximize all business opportunities.
What is good customer service?
When someone mentions your brand, what do you want them to think, or better yet, feel? Brands that evoke good, positive feelings in customers gain not just revenue, but also customer loyalty. And from customer loyalty, they receive recurring business and business referrals. And from there, well, you get the drift.
So, what’s customer service and what’s good customer service? Depending on your industry, it can be based on different things. However, there are 4 common touchpoints that can help you structure good customer service for your business:
Don’t make your customers play the waiting game. Customers want prompt solutions. Many of them will leave brands for up to 2 years or more after a bad experience of unresolved problems (ie. transferring from one representative to another with no solution in sight). Solution: give your employees the training and authority to solve customer service problems as soon as they arise.
Communicate clearly. According to our research, 35% of customers look to other service provides if they don't feel properly supported. Solution: make information easily accessible, transparent, and clear so as not to lose sales (if possible, provide customer service communication through live chat, e-mail, or phone and with real human interaction).
Build trust. If you’re not already implementing all of the previous steps, you’re going to lose your customers’ trust. Trust leads to loyalty, and loyalty leads to customer retention, recurring business, and referral business. Solution: be engaging, reliable, and consistent, and you’ll gain your customer’s trust and business.
Befriend your buyer personas
What is a buyer persona, let alone your business’ buyer persona? Buyer personas are profiles created to represent your ideal customer. They are based on research and data, and are meant to help businesses better understand their audience. By better understanding your persona, you can better adapt your customer service to anticipate and fulfil their needs in these 4 ways:
Where are your customers? See where your customers are spending their time so you can better find them and interact with them.
Speak their language. By speaking like them, whether with emojis or slang, it will help you connect and relate with them better.
Create persona-specific content. By curating your content to your persona, you can better understand, communicate, and connect with them, and ultimately gain their trust and business.
Make your persona’s people, your people. Look at who your persona is following or admiring, and team up with those people.
By knowing your buyer personas, you can understand who they are, their shopping habits, and what they really want (even if they don’t know yet!). By doing so, you can adapt every interaction you have to gain their attention, trust, and business. And remember, it’s not a tactic, it’s sales.
Training leads to selling
Equip your customer-facing sales team and technical support teams with the right training from the start - identifying leads, cross-selling, up-selling, closing key accounts - and you will effectively boost sales without increasing cost. A comprehensive sales training program ensures 3 things:
Customer-focused culture. By teaching your team about their impact on the customer, they will better understand how they fit into the customer experience and how they can improve it.
Go all in. Let your new employees dive right in. Start training from day one. Let them get hands-on experience from the start so they can gain the knowledge sooner.
Good habits never die. Customer service training is an ongoing process and good customer service isn’t just something that you do once or twice. Ongoing training instils good habits and principles from the start, and both employees and business will benefit.
Your customer service team already has great relationships with your customers. Make them your salespeople too! Include them by teaching them what good customer service is, help them understand exactly who their audience is, and invest in their sales training. An investment in your customer service team is an investment in your sales.
If you’re unsure about where or how to start, contact Change Connect to ask about our customer service training. Our leading experts can help you make, manage, and master the art of customer service.