Lead generation, cold calling, prospecting, networking – these are all essential things for a salesperson to do in order to meet targets and bring in revenue, right? Not always.
What if your sales team could exceed goals, and grow your business, without even having to find new customers? It’s possible. Herein lies the power of customer service, providing your sales representatives with the opportunity to cross-sell, upsell, resell and benefit from referrals.
So how can your company prosper in today’s competitive marketplace? By investing in your customers and ensuring those who service them do it well.
The value of a strong service culture
Everyone in business should know the importance of good customer service. However, developing a strong service culture isn’t always at the top of the list of priorities. It’s often overshadowed by a focus on things such ‘growing revenue’, ‘increasing sales’ and ‘improving lead generation’.
But the irony is, a strong service culture will naturally fulfil all the above-mentioned business goals. Why? Here are five reasons*:
- Customer retention is far less expensive than customer acquisition.
- Existing customers are more likely to buy from you than new customers.
- Excellent customer service improves public persona and strengthens your brand.
- Word-of-mouth advertising is the best kind of advertising that money can’t buy.
- Great customer service opens doors for new partnerships and other opportunities.
It also extends the life of a business and, with only four out of every 100 making it past 10 years, this is surely a good enough motivation to make sure your organisation places enough value on customer service.
Why do businesses need to ‘think like a customer’
Walmart Founder Sam Walton once famously said, “There is only one boss – the customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”
This one remark encompasses the whole concept behind ‘thinking like a customer’ – and when it belongs to someone who created a business that is now worth more than 220 billion dollars, it is worth paying attention to.
The potential opportunities from shifting a company’s focus from ‘how we do it’ to ‘how our customers would prefer us to do it’ are enormous. As Early to Rise notes, your customers are really only interested in what’s good for them, not you.
They don’t care how hard you work or how much more sophisticated your business is from those of your competitors. They don’t care how much you spend on overheads, or what regulations you must adhere to. Their number one concern about you is what you can do for them and how much it will cost. While that may sound a bit severe, at its core, it is the truth.
So businesses have two choices: continue with developing extensive strategic plans centered around expansion, acquisition and profit margins, or simplify their ethos down to ‘how can we service our customers better?’
Investing in a customer service training programme
In order to have everyone in a company understand the importance of ‘thinking like a customer’, as well as have the right skills to implement it, a customer service training programme is essential.
The right programme will help you understand what will make your service stand out from the competition, as well as gaining the right tools and strategies on how to delight customers and have them coming back repeatedly. These are just some of the objectives of the ‘Think Like a Customer’ (TLC) programme that SalesStar has delivered to hundreds of businesses throughout New Zealand and Australia.
“We place emphasis on the importance of the internal customer, and how to use this knowledge as a competitive advantage,” says Grant Holland, SalesStar CEO Australia and New Zealand.
“It’s about why a strong service culture is essential to a successful business, and why staff need to own the responsibility of good customer interactions. With this, we offer multiple methods on how to professionally handle external customers in a variety of situations, in order to create a ‘wow’ experience every time.”
Before Becoming CEO of SalesStar Australia and New Zealand, Grant was Director of Sales at Wormald, a fire protection product company. During that time, he engaged his Wormald staff with SalesStar:
“I wanted to double the revenue in a short period of time,” Grant says. “We had technical expertise, but we needed to become more customer-facing and to grow our sales capability.
“Despite trying several other competitors, SalesStar were the ones who were training salespeople in the right skills and partnering with businesses in the long-term to get results. SalesStar’s promise still remains to this day: measurable results. And yes, my ambitious results were achieved.”
What is clearly evident is that a business will struggle to succeed without good customer service, but with a great service culture, the sky’s the limit. It is about sales leaders and CEOs reframing their view to ensure the customer is at the heart of everything they do.