6 Tips to Improve Sales and Customer Service 

THE HIDDEN SECRET TO GROWTH:

For many businesses, 2019 is a brand new fiscal year. Targets are set, commitments and guarantees agreed, but have you thought about whether your customer service lives up to your standards and expectations? Is it efficient, streamlined?

How can businesses expect to grow and generate more revenue from both their existing client base and new customers if their service is not set at the highest standard?

Rather than rushing to set goals for new business and productivity, why not think about what you can do to improve your service standard? It seems so straightforward…. Create happy customers and benefit from their business long term.

In theory that’s fine, however the foundation of positive customer service needs to be firmly embedded in the company culture. You service team needs to live, breathe and execute on these principles across the board; whether it’s a phone call, face to face meeting, an email, live chat or a written document.

The building blocks that every customer service model can be built upon are:

MAKE A GREAT FIRST IMPRESSION:

There will never be a better opportunity to stand out from the crowd than when a new customer is shopping around, and they approach you. Be friendly, concise, careful not to push too hard and be respectful of their buying timeframe. Engage them in conversation and listen closely to what they need. Fulfil this interaction by completing any agreed follow up in a timely manner.

There are a number of courses which can help develop empathy and putting oneself in someone else’s shoes, including our emotional intelligence training London courses. A personable approach, full of understanding and empathy toward the client can help win more business than a hard-headed attitude.

REDUCE YOUR RESPONSE TIME:

This can be an opportunity to stand out and exceed your customers’ expectations. A lot of businesses have turnaround times that suit them, but not always their customers. Having a habit or a mantra of consistently over delivering builds trust long term.

KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS:

Always invest in the time it takes to research your customers. Your knowledge of how their business works and the challenges they face will serve you well as you develop the business relationship. Research their Company website, LinkedIn page, TrustPilot reviews, and Glassdoor or Facebook pages to really understand their business. Think about the language they use, their values and what matters to them.

BE HONEST AND TRANSPARENT:

If I don’t know the answer, be honest. Your openness will establish your credibility and integrity in the eyes of your customer.

PUBLICISE ALL YOUR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCES:

A lot of businesses out there will only publish the very best feedback, or harness reviews for the sole purpose of business introductions. Being completely transparent will cement your credibility and win business, but more than that, it builds trust.

FORM LONG LASTING RELATIONSHIPS:

Holding to these factors and making them a habit leads to increased levels of customer satisfaction, added long term value, longer serving customer relationships and increasing levels of profitability.

 

 

INTRO model for presenting

 

Make a great first impression 

Good presentation skills are essential at work, improving the efficiency of communications and boosting productivity through stronger relationships. 

And in every presentation, the opening few moments are always vital to success. Engage the audience, build rapport, make an impact. You’re nervous and so are they. Smile, break the ice. I read a book on customer service, which advised: ‘In the opening 20 minutes of any interaction between a customer and a member of staff, the customer forms an impression of not just you, but your organisation’. Twenty minutes! It was an old book. These days, try half a nanosecond. 

And why do we present? Presentations are either informative or persuasive. You’re telling or you’re selling. But remember – you’re always selling. You’re selling YOU. And if the audience buy you, they’ll buy whatever you say.  

So, how do we ensure our presentation gets off to a great start? 

You just need a good INTRO! 

Let’s kick off with a suitable salutation. Now it’s time to raise the Interest levels in the room. How? Perhaps a sizzling anecdote or fascinating fact? Or a dazzling picture on the big screen, which provokes many questions? Or, a short DVD? Make sure there’s a clear link to the main topic. 

Next, we point out that they Need to know what we’re about to share. There’s the classic WIIFM approach (what’s in it for me?). Sell the benefits of your presentation message from their perspective: “what this means for you is….” Dangle the carrot! Alternatively, if you KYA (know your audience), then you might decide on a different strategy: abandon the carrot and go for the stick! 

One such sticky approach is to use SIS (situation, implications, solution). Describe the current challenging situation, remind the audience of the terrible implications of not listening to your message and complying with it, and offer a solution: do what I’m proposing! Using SIS as a form of leverage is unlikely to put a smile on the faces in the audience. However, they may not be happy, but at least they understand why they are not! 

Next up it’s T for Timings. Tell them when you start, when you finish and when the breaks are. Let the audience know how and when they can Respond to your presentation. State your question policy! This can save you a lot of frustration and interruptions during delivery. For a short presentation, let’s leave the Q&A until the end. Or, for a longer presentation, let them know they can ask as we go along. Either way, let them know at the beginning!  

Let’s finish off our INTRO: Clarify the overall Objective of your presentation. “I’m here today to inform/advise/convince/etc”. Why are you presenting? You know why, so share it with the audience. 

Remember INTRO… Interest-Need-Timings-Respond-Objective 

Conclusion 

What have we learnt? You only get one chance to make a good first impression, and when presenting the opening few moments are extremely important. You are at your most nervous, and things are most likely to go wrong. So, get the audience interested in your content, point out that they need to hear it – don’t just tell it, sell it! Let them know about the timings and how and when they can ask questions, and clarify your overall objective for being there. A good start really does work wonders – for them and you!