There has been a great deal written about the ‘new consumer.’ That is consumers that are in control of their own product learning curve. They have the whole world at their fingertips via the internet to virtually answer any question. When the spirit moves them into the buying mode (whether it is 3pm or 3am) they will search online for the answers they need on your product or service. Yet, still the customer experience requires good customer service because most consumers ROBO (research online, buy offline).
With any luck (and some work and attention by you) that customer wannabe will land on your website, your blog, your landing page, or your fan page – hungry for information. Once they’ve done their research and (hopefully) responded to your strategically placed CTA (call to action) button the real customer engagement can begin. NOW, your sales and customer service machine can move into action.
Great sales organizations will rapidly move that engagement to the face-to-face or personal contact mode in order to close the sale. To close the sale you or your sales team member should be ready to be the best consultant possible. What your customer is now craving is a trusted counselor to help them make a good decision. Excellent consultants always ask the right questions (even if they think they know the answer) to determine wants vs. needs; their budget or ability to pay; the motivation for buying; and the buying timeline. A misfire on any of these points could spell: Bye-Bye Customer and Sale.
Armed with that information so skillfully teased out by your best sales person – extreme customer service takes over. Here is the bottom line – if your customer has been truly heard; if your customer has been skillfully guided through the decision-making process; if your customer has a good understanding of the true value of your product and service – they will, more often than not, make the purchase.
And, if you do a good job (no, a great job) at customer service, the customer will buy again and again, or, if your product is a once-in-a-lifetime purchase they will tell their family, friends, neighbors and co-workers about their experience. Sadly, they will do the same if they have a bad experience. When it comes to customer service – some things never change!
Recently, I learned of a lost sale/lost opportunity at one of my client’s place of business. It made me think again, how important it is to never take good customer service for granted.
My best to you – Katie Donovan