Some things never change. When it comes to marketing, there will always be one thing that makes your service stand out from the rest: care. Taking the time to hear your customer’s needs, concerns and respond to their feedback is vital to keep your business running smoothly.
The Silver Service
In dining terms, ‘silver service’ is only provided in high-class, luxury restaurants. Through this method, a waiter arrives at the table, serving the diner’s plate from a larger serving plate. This extra step shows the diner they are genuinely cared for, which is precisely what you want your business to show your clients. According to American Express, 90% of Americans consider a company’s standard of customer service before choosing to buy from them. The same study showed that 73% of customers stay loyal to companies because of their outstanding customer service and were willing to spend up to 17% more while doing business. But what makes the silver service what it is?
That Fuzzy Feeling
People love to feel looked after. Letting a client know that you care for them is as simple as showing it. Whether through body language, choice of words or tone of voice, you want to show the customer that your company is open, professional and well-equipped to meet their needs. Ideally, your customer will walk away with the fuzzy feeling of knowing they’re safe in your hands.
Dial with a Smile
Sales calls can be difficult for any company. After all, you don’t know how a customer might be feeling, what they might be doing or where they might be when they answer the phone. Here are some tips to make the most of yours and the customer’s time:
While it’s tempting to get straight down to business, this approach can come off as pushy, turning potential customers away after just a few seconds. Introduce yourself and your company, then follow up with a quick, friendly note. Are you having a good day so far? We’re having some great weather right now. On your way to the football match today? This touch may seem unnecessary, but it’s exactly what the customer needs to hear, allowing them to enter into a conversation, rather than a one-sided call that can lead to them feeling harassed.
Ask, then listen.
This part of the call runs a little like a survey, but really, it’s good marketing in disguise. Ask the customer why they’ve chosen your company, why they need your product, and what more you could do to enhance their experience with you. This will open up an informative chat, giving you the answers you need to focus the rest of your call on this customer’s interests.
Sell your solutions.
Now that you know exactly what the customer needs from you, you’re ready to get to the nitty-gritty of the call. Here is where you showcase the solutions your company can provide to fix their problems or better the service they’re receiving. You’ve built up a solid connection with the customer – now is the time to present your product.
Show pride in your product.
Whether you’re offering an individual product, a service or an experience, let the customer hear your excitement and enthusiasm. You’re proud to represent your company and willing to give them your best: this will come through in your tone of voice and use of emphasis. Keep your conversation direct – you don’t want your client to disengage – but allow yourself the extra flourish here and there. If you’re convinced you offer something unique and exceptional, they will be too.
Encourage their expression.
If the customer lights up at something, you know you’ve hit the spot. Give them the space to talk more about the aspects that excite them most to gain their perspective on your product.
Invest in their interest.
You have them hooked, and you’ve got them talking, now tie it all together by showing how invested you are in their interest – recap what you’ve been over, letting them digest the new information. When doing this, make sure you emphasise the points they liked best, showing them how well you’ve listened, and highlighting how you propose to meet their needs. Then sit back and let them take the action. With your work done, it’s the customer who seals the deal.
Face-to-Face Builds Faith
In-person sales can drive your company toward achieving bigger and better goals. With a customer standing right in front of you, you have all the best conditions laid out to present your product while building a friendly rapport. Add the right sales techniques, and you can take this opportunity even further. Companies spend around 5x more trying to get new customers on board than they need to keep an existing customer. Laying a foundation of mutual respect, understanding, and guaranteed quality care is exactly what you need to keep customers faithful. While sales calls are essential to keep customers updated and engaged with your product, face-to-face sales done right are one of the most effective ways to reassure a long-term customer they’re in good hands or prove your company’s capabilities to someone new.
Your body speaks first.
Body language is a massive component of in-person sales. If you want to represent your company for what it is – professional, competent and engaging, your body language needs to reflect this. Upright posture, open stance, attentiveness expressed through eye contact and enthusiasm through hand gestures are all good starting points in a face-to-face sale.
Have a greeting ready. To best welcome your customer, have something ready to say. This can be adapted to express your company’s style, to relate to your target audience, and even to personalise the experience for the individual customer you’re speaking with. The kind of greeting you offer a young client may differ to how you’d greet an older citizen, and how you address a couple will likely not be the same way you’d greet someone shopping alone.
Take in what they put out.
As a customer begins to volunteer information, make sure you’re listening and adjusting your sales pitch to meet what they need.
If they say they’re shopping for someone, ask who that person is, then make suggestions as to what might be a good fit.
If they’re looking for something for themselves, kick off a friendly but inquiring conversation to learn more about them, and gauge their responses to guide your sales style.
If they’re a student, lean toward more affordable products.
If they’re interested in high quality, longer-lasting products, feel free to move toward the more expensive side of your range.
Respond to non-verbal cues.
Sometimes, a customer won’t be comfortable sharing information directly, but with them right in front of you, you have every opportunity to read their face and body language. See how they react to what you’re saying and respond appropriately. If they shy away from specific deals, try to figure out the common factor behind their behaviour. Maybe these services are too short-term to suit what they’re looking for, this line of products is outside their budget, or these items are below the standard they’re looking for. Once you think you’ve identified the reason for their behaviour, be the one to stick your neck out. Often a customer will hold back information until you address it but will open up once they know you’ve recognised the issue. This proves you’re intuitive as well as attentive and is a significant step toward building trust and even long-term loyalty to your business.
Fit your style to theirs.
How a customer speaks, how much they know about your product, what grabs their interest and what leaves them bored is all useful, in-the-moment feedback for you to adapt your sales style to suit them. Maybe they enjoy a less formal approach, perhaps it’s the opposite. Choosing words and expressions that they’ve used throughout your conversation is a fast way to tailor their shopping experience to them and give them the top-notch, exclusive experience they deserve. This is an experience they won’t pass up the next time they need something from you.
Real Care = Real Connection
It’s easy to tell when someone doesn’t really care for you. From there, things turn sour, and relationships fall apart. Don’t let this happen to your customers. Putting in the effort to provide genuine, thoughtful customer service by listening to problems, offering solutions and following up feedback will establish a secure connection between you and your client. Give more to receive more and watch your sales climb.
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Lead Developer, Victory Front