If you have ever brought a new born baby back home you’ll know that it doesn’t come with any training or even an instruction leaflet. The nurses pretty much hand the baby to you with the unsaid instructions of ‘keep it alive’. And that’s what you do. Guiding all your actions and decisions is the one directive ‘keep it alive’ even when you get to the toddling stage when the toddlers directive is to kill itself you still know that whatever it takes you have to keep it alive. So you bubble wrap all the sharp edges and barricade the stairs. We may all have different methods, but all parents are united in the one goal – help this child survive and thrive. So what has this got to do with customer service? Well I’ll tell you! Continue reading
Picture the scene, you are on a train platform and a fellow passenger smiles at you. They look friendly and professional enough, so you smile back. Then they quickly walk over to you and tell you how great they are at their job, how much of a catch they are and that they are sure they can make you happy. Then they ask you to marry them! How would you feel? Would you be shocked that a smile had developed so quickly into a proposal? Would you wonder why they hadn’t spoken to you first and got to know you a bit more? Whatever your initial thoughts, it’s highly likely that you would at best refuse and at worst run off!
This is exactly what happens when you connect with someone (either on LinkedIn or by another method) then immediately ask your connection to buy something from you or meet you for a sales appointment. This approach feels rushed and not centred around them and their needs.
Think of a sale like a romantic relationship. If you were on a first date and your date spent the whole evening talking about themselves and what they wanted out of life, you probably wouldn’t want to see them again. Everybody’s favourite subject is….themselves! So we respond well to questions about what we do, how we do it and why we do it. Find out a bit more about your connection in a genuine and authentic way. That way you can discover whether you have connected with a prospective buyer, a new friend or just a great connection to learn from. Continue reading
Over the years I have run various customer services courses and as there was a demand for it, I supplied it. I rarely ran them as open courses because I wanted to ‘vet’ the companies to make sure they were ready for the training. The truth is that customer service ‘training’ is the last step for your organisation to take if you truly want to be customer centred (and then in the end you may not actually need it!).
Many call this process I’m talking about ‘Creating a Customer Culture’ and that in essence is what it is. I prefer to call it making customer care part of your DNA – where it drives your people instinctively, rather than you having to inspire it in them with initiative after initiative!
I’m including your sales and marketing functions in this too as from the customer’s prospective it is all service to them. And I’m also including internal customers because in business everyone who isn’t you is a customer. So that’s pretty much your whole organisation! Continue reading
When salespeople tell me they are still cold calling I ask them ‘When did you last buy from a cold call?’ Almost all say never!
If they want training on how to get passed gatekeepers I ask them ‘How would you feel if someone tricked their way passed your gatekeeper? Would you want to build rapport and buy from them?’ Guess how they answer that one!
We have a wealth of knowledge about how people buy because we all buy stuff all the time. If a fancy sales trick doesn’t work on you then it probably won’t work on anyone like you. Continue reading
The key to winning back business is in service recovery and rebuilding trust and faith.
It’s rare that you can just pick up the phone and resell to a customer that no longer uses you. There will be reasons they no longer buy and they may not welcome a sales call from you.
Taking decisive service recovery steps are a must and even if your efforts don’t result in winning a lost customer back, they may help recover your reputation.
If they left you they were probably unhappy with something you did (or didn’t do) and unhappy people tell others. At one time I think the stats were that happy customers told 3 in 10 people and unhappy told 7 in 10. With social media you can add several zeros to that figure!
Try my 5 step service and reputation recovery method! Continue reading
No company owns a customer. At best you get to ‘caretake’ them until they no longer need you or a better offer comes along.
Most customers are like cats; they come when they need something, have little loyalty (and several ‘owners’) and are easily tempted away by a more tasty meal. They know you need them more than they need you and that there is always a better offer to be had somewhere else.
Now dogs on the other hand, they are so loyal it hurts. You can shout at a dog and it still looks at you as if you are the most magnificent and lovable thing in the world. They don’t eat anywhere else or have several ‘owners’, in fact they will bark to defend you and scare off any threat to your union.
When it comes to customers, we need more dogs! Continue reading
Anyone can sell with the 5 P’s of Selling Success
Product – It has to be good, proven and competitively priced (which does not necessarily mean the cheapest) and you need to know how to promote its value points
Passion – You have to love what you do and it has to show! No-one wants to buy from a misery. A buyer can only get as excited about your product or service as you are. There is no place for the apologetic or lacklustre approach Continue reading
There is an element of fear in every sale for the buyer. You know what it is like; remember when you booked a holiday or bought a new laptop?
We ask ourselves…
Have I got the best deal?
Is this exactly what I need and want?
Will it last?
Is the quality assured?
Can I get it cheaper or better somewhere else?
Have I paid more than other people?
At some point we have all paid too much or bought the wrong thing. It is this memory that makes us apprehensive every time we buy. If we notice these little niggling doubts in ourselves, we can better understand the fear all buyers have.
Whether you are buying something as romantic as an engagement ring or as exciting as a holiday there is an element of fear in every sale for the buyer.
Have I got the best deal? Is this exactly what I need and want? Will it last? Is the quality assured? Can I get something cheaper/better somewhere else? Have I paid more than others have? These are just some of the little niggling doubts buyers have that can stop buyers buying if they aren’t overcome. Continue reading