Unique Customer Service Programs
Little Known Training Secret!
How long does it take before "the honeymoon is over" for one of your company's new accounts? How many weeks or months does it take before their salesperson stops treating them like a new client, and starts taking them for granted? The answer to that question is going to tell you a whole lot about your value per account, not to mention your long-term profitability.
Too many salespeople are experts at bringing in new business, and just as quick to let those same customers slip away. It's actually an easy dynamic to understand: in most companies, producers are rewarded for bringing in new money; other tasks, like paperwork and customer service, take them away from that (or so they think), and so they neglect them to keep looking for bigger commission checks.
The problem with that thinking, of course, is that the biggest and best sales don't usually come from new accounts - they come from established clients who know, like, and trust us. By letting buyers slip away, salespeople are trading away their most valuable resources for shot at a smaller, quicker sale.
The best way to address this is by teaching customer service programs and ongoing sales training programs. If that's not something your company or department has done really in the past, then it's probably a good sign that you're long overdue. The very best sales people, the superstars that generate monster accounts and enormous commission checks, are also masters at customer service programs. They end up that way partly because they truly enjoy working with their clients and want the best for them, but also because they realize that serving your existing customer base is the surest path to riches.
Good customer service training for your salespeople has a strong carryover effect in the future. Besides losing fewer of their existing accounts, your producers might also find that they have a much easier time generating referrals. That's because satisfied clients generally aren't won over by low prices or fancy presentation: they come to appreciate a person or vendor they can trust when things don't go as planned. In other words, the toughest "customer service problems" usually represent the biggest chances to generate future sales.
Customer service is a core selling skill. Like prospecting or closing, it's something you should be sure youre coaching your sales staff on regularly. A sales team with poor customer service skills will never perform spectacularly for more than a few months at a time; but one that does the hard work of deepening client relationships will only become more successful over time.