“Is there an after-sales service?” “Do you provide 24/7 support?” “What if I have a problem after I purchase?” These are just some of the common questions potential customers ask before they buy. And they are right to do so.
The sales cycle today doesn’t end with the signed deal. The next, and often the most important, step is building a relationship with your customers.
According to NewVoiceMedia research, “Fifty percent of customers increase their purchasing with a brand after a positive customer service experience. In fact, 86% of customers would pay up to 25% more in order to get a better one”. If you’re not already focused on your Customer Experience, it’s time that you did. Here are 5 proven ways how it can rocket your sales.
Repeat business - It’s easier to retain a customer than to find a new one
According to a research from Marketing Metrics, “the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60% - 70% compared to a new customer which is 5-20%”. That is why, it’s paramount to retain your customers through strong customer experience. Get to know them. In the early stages it’s critical to ask questions and listen. This will not only give you a better understanding of the potential needs of your customers, but will also help build the relationship as a whole.
Referrals - (Word of mouth is still the best form of advertising)
According to the Engagement Labs study, “10% of consumer sales are attributed to word-of-mouth.” The fact is, in our everyday lives, we sometimes recommend a business without realizing it. You might ask a friend “where’s the best restaurant in town?” rather than spending hours trawling through online reviews. One quick message can save you oodles of time and you get honest feedback from the person you trust.
Remember, happy customers are your best brand advocates as they will naturally recommend your product or service because they love it, not because they have been asked to…
Online reviews - A review from a customer is worth 10x of self-promotion
If you don’t ask you don’t get right!? If you provide an amazing customer experience and your customer recognizes it, whether it’s over the phone, email, or on live chat, don’t be afraid to ask for a review on a public forum, like LinkedIn, TripAdvisor, Trustpilot or GetApp to name a few. Or better yet, ask them to take part in a case study and share their experience on how your product or service helped them in their business. This can significantly improve the reputation of your company and will do wonders for your SEO. The more 5 star reviews you have from your current customers, the more likely you will get noticed by the potential new ones. Plus, the smallest praise coming from your customers always carries more weight than the biggest shout coming from you.
Stand out from the crowd - Customers remember. Be exceptional, not notorious
Have you ever called a company with an inquiry only to have a customer service rep try to upsell to you halfway through the call? Or even worse, you email a company with an issue and have to repeat the same information over and over! You wouldn’t want this kind of experience to be associated with your company, would you?
Get your Customer Support in order and deliver an outstanding experience. Better yet, do it Zappos style. When an issue arises, it’s all about how you handle it. Always listen to the customer, acknowledge the problem and show empathy. Assure them that you’ve taken all their details (repeat back to them if necessary) and give them confidence that you’re in control of the situation and will be back in touch. Where possible, follow up before the set time. CRM’s are great for setting reminders and ensuring you don’t drop the ball. In cases where there is an occured inconvenience, offer a goodwill gesture like a small discount or a token gift. And remember, resolving issues in a timely and efficient manner builds trust and confidence.
Hiring the right people is key - Prevent issues by hiring the right people from the start
Hiring the people who genuinely care will do wonders for your Customer Experience. When interviewing a new hire remember to ask competency based questions to find out if they are really right for your team. Pay particular attention to their answers to communication, problem-solving and organizational type questions as these are critical in a support-driven role. Friendly and enthusiastic personalities are usually innate and should be imminent within the first few minutes of your meeting. The right people are key to setting you apart from your competitors and providing outstanding customer experience.
You can’t expect to up your sales game without having strong customer relationships. And you can’t build those relationships without providing an exceptional customer experience. Invest in the right people and training, ask and listen, go the extra mile to resolve your customer’s issues, reach out for recommendations, tell your customers story and you will see the impact it has on your brand loyalty, sales and overall business.