A Customer Service Department that can sell sounds like an oxymoron, and many Customer Service centers in the direct response world claim that their agents can “sell,” but in most if not all cases, after you sign the deal and start having a company take your CS calls, you realize that there is no selling going on.
Providing the customer with exceptional customer service in a CS department is first and foremost, but the next step is to actually make you, the marketer, money. Many marketers consider Customer Service an expense and have a tough time even considering the fact that if done right, Customer Service can make you money.
First thing is the most obvious. Ensure the customer has a good experience when they call. If they are calling for a refund, looking for their package, have a question about how to take or use your product, or questions about a refund policy, it is imperative that the CS Agent is trained properly and has all of the answers to the most frequently asked questions internalized. By providing a good experience with the customer, regardless of the reason for calling you have increased your chances dramatically that your customer will remain a customer. Even if they cancel, request a refund or are not happy with the results of a particular product, if the CS Agent does their job at “selling”, then that customer more likely than not will buy from you again.
As I stated earlier many companies will sell you, the client, on their abilities to, save a sale, cross sell, up sell, transfer and even sell a club. I have been doing this for over ten years and worked with several of the “top” Customer Service companies out there and I have yet to find one that really can sell. That is precisely why we created our own Customer Satisfaction Department.
At Blue Vase Marketing, we wanted to create a department that provided Customer Satisfaction but also made money. At the end of the day for the marketer in a capitalist society, it is about the bottom line. Our first and most important objective when speaking with the customer is solving the problem in a manner that in many times exceeds their expectations. If that means offering a discount on shipping, or offering a comp product or extending a guarantee, we have effectively solved the problem and also “sold” the customer.
Most Customer Service Centers have no idea how to sell, they do not think about how to sell and their agents resist it and only do it halfheartedly because it is their “job”. At Blue Vase Marketing our Customer Satisfaction Agents are not only trained at handling customer service calls and inquires but they are also trained to sell. Our agents understand that it is the product that is being sold that ultimately provides them with a job. They understand that by offering another product or service on a call, it actually improves the customer experience while making money for them and YOU! Our agents go through extensive sales trainings on a weekly basis. We have a dedicated sales training department that works exclusively with our Customer Satisfaction Agents to improve their selling skills. Maybe you have a new product that you just launched that is a great complement to your core product, what better place then at our Customer Satisfaction Center to offer that product. Maybe you want to capture some demographic data from your customers, or test a new offer or price point. Our Agents are trained to enthusiastically implement and SELL your marketing ideas.
What about re-orders? Is your current Customer Service center taking those calls and if so are they maximizing those calls, are they asking probing questions, do they offer larger packages or some of your other products? Bottom line, when you are looking for a Customer Service Center, make sure that they can sell, because it is a win – win – win situation; a win for your customer, a win for you, and a win for the Customer Satisfaction Department.