Graham and Rhona Beck Skills Centre Blog

Graham and Rhona Beck Skills Centre Blog

Customer service and Sales techniques

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on Monday, 28 July 2014 in Skills Centre Blog

Customer service and Sales techniques:

Customer service and sales may be a part of two different departments but they work closely with each other to ensure that the company’s customer’s stays satisfied and loyal.

In sales, CRM and even the marketing environment we are taught that “customer is king”. It is a cliché meaning that the direction of a business is ultimately determined by its customers. It does not mean that the customers is always right like some people believe, it only means the aggregate need of the individual that needs to be fulfilled.

According to Investopedia customer service is defined as “The process of ensuring customer satisfaction with a product or service. Often, customer service takes place while performing a transaction for the customer, such as making a sale or returning an item. Customer service can take the form of an in-person interaction, a phone call, self-service systems, or by other means.”

Investopedia further explains customer service as “an extremely important part of maintaining ongoing client relationships that are key to continuing revenue. For this reason, many companies have worked hard to increase their customer satisfaction levels. Often there are many more people working behind the scenes at a company than there are customer service representatives, yet it is primarily the personnel that interact directly with customers that form customers' perceptions of the company as a whole.”

There are many techniques and guidelines for when dealing with customer service. Here is a list of guidelines when dealing with customers:

1. Know your products: It is important to know the ins and outs of your company’s products. Having knowledge of your product line will be advantageous to you and the service you offer. Always know your products Features, Benefits and Advantages (FAB).

2. Use positive language: Never answer a customer with “I don’t know” or “I can’t help”. These responses are negative and will cause the customer to lose faith in your ability to help. Rather answer with “I will have to get back to ma’am/sir” or” I will look into it and get back to you”. Positive reply’s leads to positive customers.

3. Identify your customer: Maintain a one-on-one relationship with a customer that lets them know you're focused on their individual needs. Address the customers by name and give them your name. Always establish your customer's identity and field of business so you can relate to this information throughout the exchange.

4. Delegate if necessary: If you receive a enquire that is not within your field of knowledge or department it is always best then to delegate the work to someone who can solve the problem or answer the question.

5. Listen to the customer: Allow a dissatisfied or concerned customer to tell you what's wrong or why a product or service didn't deliver as promised. Avoid interrupting or talking over a customer, because this will make the customer feel that you're not listening and don't care. Ask questions to be sure you understand the problem, but let the customer relate it to you in his or her own words.

6. Admit mistake: Admitting fault is an integral part of good customer service, because no company is perfect. Avoid becoming defensive or verbally confrontational with a customer that points out an error made by you or your company. Instead, apologize for the error and explain to the customer how it will be rectified.

7. Start small when troubleshooting: Begin with simple or small solutions if a customer has issues or problems. The solution could be as simple as unplugging and restarting a piece of equipment or changing a setting. Try small solutions first and graduate to larger ones, like replacing a whole unit, only if the simpler fix doesn't work.

8. Maintain professionalism: Customer service technique is about finding a balance between relating to a customer and still being professional. Address the customer professionally, avoid using slang and never yell at a customer even if the customer is yelling at you. Remain professional, regardless of how the customer acts.

To put it into simple words customer service is the service offered to customers before, during and after the purchase.

Sales are the act of selling a product or service in return for money or other compensation. There follows the passing of title (property or ownership) in the item, and the application and due settlement of a price, the obligation for which arises due to the seller's requirement to pass ownership. Ideally, a seller agrees upon a price at which he willingly parts with ownership of or any claim upon the item. The purchaser, though a party to the sale does not execute the sale, only the seller does that. To be precise the sale completes prior to the payment and gives rise to the obligation of payment. If the seller completes the first two above stages (consent and passing ownership) of the sale prior to settlement of the price, the sale remains valid and gives rise to an obligation to pay.

There are many Sales methods that a company can make use of. Here is a list of widely used sales methods:

1. Direct sales, this involves person to person sales at a fixed retail location.

2. Agency-based

1. Sales agents (for example in real estate or in manufacturing)

2. Sales outsourcing through direct branded representation

3. Transaction sales

4. Consultative sales

5. Complex sales

6. Consignment

7. Telemarketing or telesales

8. Retail or consumer

You can also improve your sales by following the 8 steps of the sales process:

I. Prospecting / initial contact

II. Pre-approach - planning the sale

III. identifying and cross questioning

IV. Need assessment

V. Presentation

VI. Meeting objections

VII. Gaining commitment

VIII. Follow-up

To increase sales you will need to have sales techniques that work and are beneficial to your company. Here is a list of 10 sales techniques that can improve your sales:

A. Make sure you use upsells effectively.

B. Create or provide a product with a high demand.

C. Pricing a product right is key.

D. Make use of reward programs.

E. Advertising is essential.

F. Draw customers in by giving out free samples.

G. The design of a product also plays a vital role.

H. The name of the product must be catchy/captivating

I. Quality is extremely important.

J. Increase your market share by diversifying.

It is also wise to take consumer behavior into consideration when it comes to customer service and sales. Consumer behavior is the study of individuals, groups, or organizations and the processes they use to select, secure, and dispose of products, services, experiences, or ideas to satisfy needs and the impacts that these processes have on the consumer and society. It attempts to understand the decision-making processes of buyers, both individually and in groups such as how emotions affect buying behaviour. It studies characteristics of individual consumers such as demographics and behavioural variables in an attempt to understand people's wants. It also tries to assess influences on the consumer from groups such as family, friends, reference groups, and society in general.

To conclude customer service and sales are important for any company, be it B2B or B2C. By having a productive customer service and sales staff will lead to an increase in sales and profits.



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