Let’s cut through all the platitudes of why businesses say they care about customer service; the core reason for any business to care about customer service is sales – generating revenue.
Now that’s not what you want your staff thinking about when they’re interacting with customers, because customers want to be served, listened to, respected – not treated like a company’s own personal ATM machine. But the bottom line is the bottom line. Businesses serve to sell.
Companies that don’t understand how service leads to sales often have terrible customer service. Those that understand the link make customer service a priority.
When an initial sale is made, a company has two choices – the first is to continue to view that customer as a prospect and to treat them, communicate with them, and market to them as a prospect. The second choice is to view that customer as a prized possession, someone you want to develop a relationship with, become vital to, retain, and grow your business with over time.
The first choice leads to efficiencies in marketing on a per transaction basis and lower expenditures on customer service. But it also leads to the organization as a whole being less efficient. It leads to huge customer churn. It leads to lower profitability.
The second choice requires that companies focus much of their growth strategy on how to form deeper relationships with and greater value to customers. How to go from a sale, to service, to another and another and another sale. The second choice leads to repeat business, with the effort to sale being much less with existing clients than first-time clients. It leads to relationships with customers who are more willing to forgive an organizational mistake. It’s leads to higher retention of customers and revenue, and lower pressure on marketing to offset customer losses.
Since the bottom line is the bottom line, you need to serve to sell.
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