Have you heard sayings like “the customer always comes first” or, even better, “the customer is king”? If not, you may wish to get acquainted with them and incorporate them into your business’s core values, especially as a sales representative.
The numbers should convince you that your approach to customers has a huge impact on the success of your business:
- 96% of consumers consider customer service an important factor when it comes to their loyalty to a brand
- 95% of customers are likely to share their bad experience with a brand, compared to 87% who are willing to share a positive experience
- 89% of consumers think that a quick response to their initial inquiry is a deciding factor when it comes to choosing which company to buy from
- 89% of customers are likely to switch to a new company upon experiencing bad customer service
Now you know that caring about the quality of your customer service is important, we will share with you our 5 top tips for a customer-first approach to sales. If you are a salesperson or you run a sales-based business, this article will ensure that your next encounter with a new customer is top quality and memorable for them in a very positive way. So let’s reveal the secrets, shall we?
#1 Go into the sale informed
There is possibly nothing worse than trying to sell your products or services to someone and not being properly prepared. You should remember that you are trying to make a sale, so your main goal is to convince a potential buyer that the product or service you are offering is actually worth buying. Learn as much as possible about your offer and the needs of your customers.
Know what you offer and be professional
First of all, you should truly know all the details of the product or service you actually want to sell to people. Not being able to answer a potential customer's questions regarding your offer will make you look unprofessional. You want to make a great first impression on your potential customer, and coming unprepared will not make a positive impact on their purchasing decision. Keep this in mind next time you try selling something new from your product catalog.
What’s also incredibly important is that, while you are presenting your knowledge about a service/product, you should stay professional the whole time. Pay attention to the language you use, your tone of voice, and whether or not you are dressed suitably. Smile, do not be afraid to say sorry if necessary and stay calm at all times. All of this makes a huge difference! If in doubt, why not ask advice from professional marketing mentors who have been ‘in the business’ for years? They’re sure to give advice and tips that can make a difference.
Learn from past experiences
Another key aspect is getting to know your potential buyers - their purchasing patterns, behavior, budget, and expectations. Knowing who you will be presenting your sales pitch to will give you a huge competitive advantage. This will help you master your presentation even better and thus increase the possibility of closing a deal. If you have a call center, one way to get to know your potential buyers is making full use of the features it offers, such as call recording.
With tools like CloudTalk, you can automatically make recordings of all your calls. Once they have finished, you can access them anywhere and anytime. This is a great opportunity for you to really listen to your customers’ voices and find valuable information that will help you become a better salesperson and nail your customer-first approach to sales.
Allow modern technology to help you
Another unique way of learning as much as possible about your customers is through the use of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools, often fully cloud-based ones nowadays. Such tools offer a variety of features rich in data about your customers that will help you master your approach.
For example, you could use surveys conducted on a regular basis to gather customer feedback, which will give you insights into what your customers actually think about your brand as well as what their needs and expectations are. This would also be the best place for customers to suggest any improvements that, from their point of view, would make their experience with your brand better. One study shows that 86% of customers will pay up to 25% more for a product/service if they are treated positively by a company, which is what you want, isn’t it?
Contemporary CRM software is intelligent enough to give you specific information about your customers like their needs, preferred shopping methods, interests, spending habits, motivation, and even income! Do make use of this technology as it can only help you.
#2 Solve your customers’ problems on the first calls
Improve your first call resolution by ensuring your customers get what they want the first time they reach out to you. Creating a good first experience will leave a good impression and contribute to positive brand recall. Adopt a friendly approach to your customers’ needs and really make them feel like you are there to help them. Be nice, regularly inform them about the progress of their inquiries, assure them that your full attention is being dedicated to their cases, and listen to everything they say. Happy customers mean a happy company!
#3 Provide self-service options
Times are changing and so are customer expectations
In 2019, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning allowed for the automation of 25% of all customer service interactions. It is expected that this number will grow by another 15% by 2023. Another report proves that a whopping 73% of customers want to solve issues completely on their own with the help of self-service tools and applications. The most commonly preferred channels for support are a company’s website, as well as IVR and social media profiles.
What you can do to stay up to date
Things you could do to guarantee a positive experience for your customers include equipping your website (supposing you have one) with a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section containing extensive answers to the most commonly appearing questions.
If this isn’t enough, provide your customers with an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) tool, which will interact with a caller (your customer) and answer their question or route the call to an appropriate agent. Companies with features like these are more likely to achieve high rates of customer acquisition and retention.
#4 Analyze your current efforts
According to Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, “too much knowledge and analysis can be paralysis”. Whilst we agree with this statement, we think that no analysis can be even worse, especially for a salesperson. Find your golden mean and dedicate your time to analyzing your past performance. Use solutions like net promoter scores (customer loyalty and satisfaction measurements) and in-app data to determine whether your customers are happy with the experience you provide. Being aware of the mistakes you make, as well as the strengths that make you a successful salesperson, will let you find out what is and what is not working in your company.
#5 Connect customers with the right agents
We live in an era when time is very precious and no one likes wasting it on things that will eventually turn out to be useless. This is why you should master your company’s ability to quickly and effectively route your calls to the right people within your company.
In terms of call centers, a great tool providing that is the aforementioned IVR technology, allowing for call routing and delivering quick and relevant customer service. IVR is proven to reduce call duration by 40%, which gives you more time to serve more customers and, hopefully, make larger profits. It is also great for customers as they do not waste their time waiting in line for an agent who will not be able to help. Do look into this feature if you feel like it might improve your approach to customers.
Go out there and be a master
Now you know our top strategies to ensure a well-organized and conducted customer-first approach to sales, let’s summarize the key takeaways:
- Know your product/service and your customers
- Be mindful of your customers’ time and expectations
- Don’t be scared of the available technology and use it to its full potential
- Learn from your own experience and constantly strive to improve
If you want to become a master at approaching your customers in the right way, follow this short guide. Being a salesperson or running a sales business can be a hard nut to crack sometimes, and this article is here to help you. We hope you find it useful!