In today’s market in Zimbabwe, attention is the scarcest commodity. Your advertising and marketing messaging must be designed so it stops people in their tracks. The more you can stand out from the crowd, the better your chances for the product or service to be purchased.
As business owners and teams we need to make sure we remain relevant in the face of our customers now more than ever. It matters how we treat our customers and how we remain relevant in their eyes through what we say do and communicate.
Today, we will mention key attributes that stand the test of time when it comes to differentiating your sales teams in business.
The key being your customer service in selling your offering. Every organisation determines goals and targets certain types of consumers.
Your customer service must know these objectives well and they should be able to recognise potential buyers. Be clear about what you are selling, how to approach buyers and the best way to handle those in case problems occur.
Customer service should always thank the customer, whether it’s an internal or external customer.
However, arrogant or boring they might be, customers represent the central point of the business, so make sure to leave the best impression in the end of the consumer journey. Purchases are based on emotional connections and who you appreciate will determine who they refer.
I am yet to come across a perfect brand and product, in fact they don’t exist. If they did I don’t think we would be having customer complaints. Every once in a while, customers will complain about the product quality or ask for additional support.
In this case, customer service has to solve the problem as soon as possible. The worst thing that can happen to your company is to neglect customers’ needs.
It may sound simplistic, but customers are the best generators of valuable ideas, meaning that companies only need to follow their remarks to improve services. Never turn down an opportunity to listen to a customer
Frequent communications calendar
Avoid losing your customers by not building relationships and keeping in touch using a rolling calendar of communications. This is a programmed sequence of letters, events, phone calls, “thank yous”, special offers, follow-ups, magic moments, and cards or notes with a personal touch etc, that occur constantly and automatically at defined points in the pre-sales, sales and post-sales process. People not only respond to this positively, they really appreciate it because they feel valued and important.
It acknowledges them, keeps them informed, offsets post-purchase doubts, reinforces the reason they’re doing business with you and makes them feel part of your business so that they want to come back again and again.
A powerful system that improves the interpersonal skills of your team and changes the spirit of your organisation is a courtesy system. It involves speaking to colleagues politely and pleasantly, without cynicism, rather treating them at least as well as you would want them to treat your customers.
This will help your team to feel worthwhile and important, which makes for pleasant social contacts at work. It also motivates them to provide extraordinary service, encourages them to be consistently pleasant in all of their dealings and to relate to customers in a warm, human and natural manner.
This results in better, warmer, stronger, more trusting relationships and longer term bonds with your customers.
Integrity in the brand
Long-term success and customer retention belongs to those who do not take ethical shortcuts. There must always be total consistency between what you say and do and what your customer’s experience. Don’t say we will deliver on time and then do a 48- hour delay.
The design, build quality and reliability of your product or service must be of the standard your customers want, need and expect.
Service integrity is also demonstrated by the way you handle the small things, as well as the large.
Customers will be attracted to you if you are open and honest with them, care for them, take a genuine interest in them, don’t let them down and practice what you preach . . . and they will avoid you if you don’t.
A complaint is a gift
If 96 percent of dissatisfied customers don’t complain. They just walk away, and you do not know why? You are in trouble and that’s because they often don’t know how to complain, or can’t be bothered, or are too frightened, or don’t believe it’ll make any difference. Whilst they may not tell you what’s wrong, they will certainly tell plenty of others.
A system for unearthing complaints can therefore be the lifeblood of your business, because customers who complain are giving you a gift, they’re still talking to you, they’re giving you another opportunity to return them to a state of satisfaction and delight them and the manner in which you respond gives you another chance to show what you’re made of and create even greater customer loyalty.
I hope these few tactics will aid to your business growth model as we won’t be able to exhaust this subject today. Expect a follow up in the next article and as always your views and comments are most appreciated.
The views given herein are solely for information purposes; they are guidelines and suggestions and are not guaranteed to work in any particular way.
Robert Gonye is a Business Growth Expert and Influencer. He writes in his personal capacity. Comments and views: [email protected]