By: Steve Bookbinder on February 3rd, 2015
3 Ways to Improve Your Customer Service
Great customer service goes far beyond the obvious. CRM software, which you may be using or are at least familiar with, supposedly checks all of the boxes. But does it really? Assuming that your competitors are also using comparable CRM resources, then what makes your brand of customer service any different from theirs? Let’s look at what it takes to be best in class with all of your customers.
Customers should feel that their respective business is more important to you than anyone else’s. Yes, that does sound a bit selfish, but have you ever met a customer who says, "Get around to helping me after you’ve helped everybody else…”? And hopefully, you’ve never made the faux pas of telling a customer or a client that you’re busy taking care of someone else at the moment. Cookie cutter service doesn’t make anyone feel special or unique. It’s up to you the salesperson to figure out what you can do to make each and every of your customers and clients feel that they’re #1!
1. LearnSpend some serious time learning as much as you can about all of your various customers’ businesses. No one is expecting you to become an expert, but being less than well informed will be clearly obvious any time you’re communicating with your respective clients and customers. And that obvious lack of interest or understanding translates to “My salesperson really doesn’t care that much about me or my business.” The kiss of death. Furthermore, trying to fake it on this one just adds more insult to the injury. Either you know what’s going on or you don’t!
2. AskPeriodically ask your customers how they feel about the quality of the service that you’re providing. In most cases, they will be more than happy to give you constructive feedback and maybe even a compliment or two! This is a “meta” maneuver that both probes for valuable service insights and also shows that you care about your customers. Why else would you be asking on a consistent basis? When Ed Koch served as Mayor of New York City, he made it a point of asking ordinary citizens, “How am I doing?” He got some great info and endeared himself to the voters at the same time. You can easily do the same with your customers!
Offer your customers critical information and insights that can immediately benefit their respective enterprises. This is the pinnacle of great customer service! There’s no guarantee that everything you provide will be as valuable as you might assume, but it only takes a handful of “nuggets” to set you apart from your competitors. We all know that salespeople are generally regarded as “takers” as opposed to “givers”. That may or may not be true, but perception is reality. And the “takers” outnumber the “givers” by a wide margin. But the “givers” are the ones who have the best relationships and the fattest wallets. The choice is yours to make!
Learning, asking, and offering are the “magic” verbs for developing impeccable customer service. While it’s not a difficult undertaking, you will need to commit to all three on a consistent basis. The tangible and intangible rewards for doing so are surely worth the effort!
About the Author
Buff Parham is a widely recognized thought leader and outstanding coach in the media sales and sales management field. With 35 years of sales experience, Buff has worked at Univision, FOX, Belo, ABC and CBS. He started in the mailroom at CBS, but quickly moved on to selling locally at KABC/Los Angeles and nationally for ABC Spot Sales in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York. Buff then continued on to spend almost 12 years with Univision, first as General Sales Manager at KUVN/KSTR in Dallas, and then 5 years in New York as SVP/Sales.
Buff believes that hard work matters and that raising the bar and having greater expectations tend to generate greater results. In his spare time, Buff finds cooking and playing golf to be two of the best therapies for a somewhat hectic existence!
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Check out Buff’s Blog www.BuffParham.com
About Steve Bookbinder
Steve Bookbinder is the CEO and sales expert at DMTraining. He has delivered more than 5,000 workshops and speeches to clients all over the world and has trained, coached, and managed more than 50,000 salespeople and managers. Steve continuously refreshes his training content to reflect his latest first-hand observations of salespeople across industries and regions. Through him, participants in his workshops and coaching sessions learn the best practices of today’s most successful sellers and managers across industries. Steve understands that sales is a competitive game. To outperform competitors and our own personal best results, we need to out-prospect, out-qualify, out-present and out-negotiate everyone else, not merely know how to sell. Through his specialty programs in Pipeline Management, Personal Marketing, Great First Meetings, 2nd-level Questioning, Sales Negotiating, and Sales Coaching, Steve trains sales teams to master the skills they need to overcome the challenges they face in today’s world… and keep improving results year over year.