Many times people underestimate the value of having a powerful customer service team in their organization. Good service is what makes your customers come back time and time again, So, if in the nature of an interaction the customer service rep has accurately answered all of the client's questions and provided insight and caring regarding additional assistance they might need this will take the relationship a long way.
First, clients and prospects have a much different opinion when dealing with a customer service representative. The customer will be less inclined to be resistant to up-selling or cross-selling because of the nature of the relationship.. The first thing people typically think of is that this person is going to help them, not sell them. Typically a customer service/care representative is responsible for ensuring that their product/service needs are taken care of following the sale. This "positioning" of the customer sales rep as a "helper" puts them in a great position to perform sales should the opportunity present itself.
Second, customer service reps should show a sense of urgency even if it isn't an emergency situation. If a customer on the other end perceives that you are going to do everything possible to handle their concern, the chance that the outcome will disappoint them is very small.
Third, everyone in your organization needs to be focused on the needs of the customer. Whether they are the receptionist or the CEO, every person that calls into your office should feel welcomed. You never know who may be on the other end of the line and how your treatment of the call will affect their thoughts about your organization. If you answer a call that isn't for you, offer to transfer the call or find out who might be the correct person for them to talk to.
Finally, appreciate your customers,sometimes that is easier said than done. Let them know that you value their business and would like to continue working with them in the future. Great ways to do this are by doing simple things such as sending a birthday card on their birthday, a token of appreciation during the holidays or by providing special events just for clients. Sponsor a baseball game or a party at a local hall acknowledging the business they've given you.
About the Author:
Tim Hagen is President of Sales Progress LLC, a sales consulting and performance management firm.