Customer service can make or break your business. It’s a critical part of your business that deserves dedicated attention. The work of marketing and sales teams that has taken months to build can come crashing down in a matter of seconds because of a bad customer service experience. Therefore, it makes sense that when you’re optimizing your business to improve close rates and increase sales, you take the time to improve your customer service team.
You have two options when creating these teams: in-house (internal) or outsourced staff. Hiring internal customer service reps (CSRs) gives you more control over their training and capabilities, and allows you to create a cohesive unit with the customer service department being the backbone of every single customer relationship.
In doing that, you’ll be able to close more sales, create more lifetime customers, and build a better reputation that gives you an edge over the competition.
One bad customer relationship or customer interaction can lead to a lifetime of missed opportunities for a business. For sales teams that don’t realize the value of their CSRs, now is the time to change that mentality. Read on to learn more about how customer service affects sales and how you can use it to drive more of them to grow your bottom line.
If a customer has a good experience with customer service reps, they will be more likely to:
All of these things ultimately result in another closed sale (or more than one). Most people think of customer service as a separate department that only comes in when there is a question, concern, or complaint to be lodged. That’s where the disconnect happens, though, and why many organizations are losing valuable sales due to a fragmented customer service process and connection.
Say a customer is interested in a product, but they have questions. Their first line of contact would be the sales rep that’s responsible for landing the leads and answering those questions. However, some people don’t want to talk to a sales rep right away (or at all). They might choose to reach out to customer service to ask questions instead.
Even if the only thing that your CSRs do in this instance is to transfer the callers to your sales team, that interaction can have an impact on your bottom line. However, if you utilize CSRs to handle more relationship-building tasks, your sales reps can focus on their main job: selling.
Instead of creating separate entities, you need to make sure that your sales department and your CSRs have a cooperative, collaborative relationship. This can increase profitability and boost sales conversions in several ways:
When your leads and customers connect with a helpful CSR, they are going to have more trust in your business right away. If that interaction is in addition to other positive interactions with sales, marketing, etc., that’s going to further enhance their trust in and opinion of your company. More trust means less apprehension about making a purchase or remaining a loyal lifetime customer, which both mean you get to close more sales.
When your CSRs engage with callers, they can gather a wealth of information that can help them resolve issues or answer questions. This information can also be useful to your sales and marketing team. This is where your internal CSRs should be utilizing your CRM (customer relationship management) tool to add insights and valuable customer information to share with others across the organization.
Most people who call CSRs aren’t expecting to be upsold anything. However, they may also be looking for additional solutions or services, so having a customer service team that also knows how to upsell can be handy. These are the people who get the customers that have questions and product issues, after all, so they are often the best choice to offer additional products and services to customers.
This also helps prevent the cycle of returning the customer to the sales funnel and back to the beginning of the sales conversation every single time they make a purchase, making it easier for them to conduct business. Easier transactions mean more of them, for all of your customers.
The feedback gained by your customer service team will be invaluable to helping you shape the customer experience. Data and analytics are great, but there is nothing better than getting the information directly from the source. That’s where your CSRs come in handy. Make sure that they have the tools to take notes and make suggestions about improvements that could be made based on the customer interactions that they have.
Today’s customers like a quick, convenient shopping process. They also like a curated experience. Balancing the two can be difficult, but when you utilize the input of your customer service team, you’ll find that it’s easier than you anticipated.
When your customer completes a sale, they should be automatically prompted to complete a survey, provide a review, and/or offer a testimonial for your website. You can also offer some sort of incentive for this otherwise free word-of-mouth marketing, but if you have good customer service, you shouldn’t have to. When your customers are more satisfied, they’re more likely to recommend your business to others.
Even the best internal CSRs are only working so many hours in the day. For small to mid-sized businesses that don’t have the means or need for a full-scale 24-hour call center, there’s a better option. Partner with the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai and you’ll get a 24/7 answering service, along with support for lead intake, appointment scheduling, and your outreach campaigns.