You probably already know that excellent customer service is key to keeping both old and new customers happy and to cultivating a positive brand reputation.
But did you know that excellent customer service could actually work to boost your sales?
In fact, according to Sage, 40 percent of consumers buy more from companies that offer excellent customer service, and 86 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for a product or service.
Take a look at these ways to leverage the power of excellent customer service to boost your sales.
Ditch the FAQ
There is nothing that frustrates customers more than having to dig through piles and piles of FAQ questions to find an answer to their question or a solution to their problem. The goal of excellent customer service is to make things easier on the customer.
More often than not, FAQs just don’t do that.
The far better strategy is to send every confused customer a support email.
An added bonus?
When a customer can go online and look for the answer to a question in an FAQ, it ‘s hard to figure out how common a problem is. When customers contact you directly, it is much easier to get a grasp of the frequency of the problem.
Also, you can feed that information into product development. A better product translates into more sales.
Make sure to respond quickly
It is important to note that quick response time to a customer query can actually drive sales. Customers associate lengthy response times with poor customer service, which is a surefire way to lose sales.
According to Sage, over three-quarters of consumers have stopped making purchases from a brand because of poor customer service while close to 90 percent will go to a competitor. Furthermore, nearly half of consumers will stop doing business with a company if it takes longer than a week to respond to them.
The faster you respond to customer queries, the better.
Seize appropriate customer support opportunities to up-sell and cross-sell
When a customer calls in for help, you should learn to recognize and seize appropriate opportunities to up-sell and cross-sell while you have his or her attention.
However, the keyword here is appropriate. Remember, not every customer support interaction is necessarily a sales opportunity. If a customer contacts you for help, you first need to solve the problem.
For you to up-sell or cross-sell in a customer support interaction, two essential conditions need to be met.
Firstly, the customer needs to be happy with you. There is no use trying to sell to a customer who is upset. Not only is it a waste of your time and energy, but it could also end up making your company look bad.
Secondly, the customer needs to have some kind of unmet need that you can help with. After you have solved the customer’s problem, perhaps you’ve realized that you can offer more value with another product or service or an upgrade to an existing one.
As long as the customer is happy with you and you have resolved the problem, it’s worth taking a shot at trying to up-sell or cross-sell.
Create incentives for referrals
As you likely already know, word of mouth is a powerful form of advertising. That’s why it is a good idea to try to capitalize on successful customer support interactions by encouraging your happy customers to give referrals.
It is an especially wise idea here to offer incentives to encourage customers to give referrals.
It is important to conceptualize excellent customer service as an investment in relationships between your business and your customers.
The bottom line is that excellent customer service helps you build powerful relationships with your customers.
Whether you are cross-selling a product after you’ve successfully resolved a problem on a customer support call or are soliciting a customer’s feedback to gain a better understanding of his or her needs as a consumer, you are ultimately laying the groundwork for strong relationships with your customers rooted in respect and trust.
There is nothing more powerful than a loyal customer base when it comes to sales.