Do you want to be a more successful salesperson? Closing a deal in any industry starts with good customer service skills. We’ve researched the top companies in the world to find out what customer service tips they would share with other companies.
The result, is the most comprehensive list of customer service tips on the internet today.
So if you want to increase revenue, build better relationships with your customers, and become a more efficient salesperson, keep on reading below!
Are you accountable for your actions?
New and existing customers want a salesperson they can trust. And trust begins with accountability.
Think about how you interact with customers and how you solve problems. Compare the language you use to the Accountability Ladder below from Leadership Forces.
Which side of the ladder do you fall on? How can you improve your customer relationships by moving up the ladder?
Use a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM)
How many new and existing customers do you reach out to and work with on a weekly basis?
If you can answer that question off the top of your head, then you aren’t a good salespeople!
If your first answer is “a lot” and you aren’t using a customer relationship manager, then there is no way you are properly keeping track of your relationships.
A sales CRM makes your job EASIER by automatically tracking your Leads (customers) and interactions with them. A good one, like the Buzzy Sales CRM, gives you data and analytics and automatic reminders when you should follow up with a customer or work on your relationship more.
How important do businesses think a CRM is?
From 2017 to 2018, CRM usage increased from 56% up to 74% worldwide. If you aren’t using one, then you are putting yourself at a disadvantage compared to 74% of companies around the world!
If you don’t use one, you probably have these complaints:
- CRMs are too complicated!
- My sales staff will never use it.
- It costs too much
- We aren’t a big enough company
The CRM isn’t your problem. It’s that you haven’t found the RIGHT CRM for your business.
These are some of the reasons why we built the Buzzy Sales CRM:
- Simple for sales staff to use
- Free CRM for sales staff
- Catered to businesses of all sizes
If the Buzzy Sales CRM helps you close a deal or save one sale, it pays for itself instantly.
Pull up a random contact in your address book.
What is their spouses name?
Do they have any kids?
What vacation did they take this year?
Who is their favorite sports team?
If you don’t know these things, why not?
Remember when I said that customer service is all about building relationships? Customers want to feel like they are working with a friend and not buying something from a sales guy. A friend knows the answer to the questions above, but a sales person doesn’t.
For that reason, use these customer service tips and nurture your relationships better.
Speak Like Your Customers Do
Do you provide customer service and sales to agriculture farmers?
Lawyers? Government employees? Basic consumers?
A good customer service skill to learn is how to place yourself in the shoes of these kinds of people and cater your language to them.
You probably don’t talk to your spouse the same way you chat to your work buddies, right?
The same tip applies to customer service.
The Entrepreneur Ride Along recommends building a StoryBrand, which is a tactic where you treat your customer like a hero so that you can guide them through the challenges they face to sole their problems with your products and services!
Cut the Small Talk
Small talk are topics that have no substance. They aren’t about business and they aren’t person either.
The most common piece of small talk is:
“Nice day today, hey?”
“The weather is supposed to be nice this weekend.”
“Hopefully it doesn’t rain this week, right?”
One of the best customer service tips for you is NEVER TALK ABOUT THE WEATHER.
Let’s say it one more time. NEVER TALK ABOUT THE WEATHER.
People chat small talk like the weather because they have nothing worth talking about. Instead, try some of these alternative conversation starters:
“What projects have you been working on lately?”
“Have you and your spouse been planning any vacation?”
“How is that last thing I sold you on working out?”
These conversation starters give you valuable information that you can use to build relationships and work on your next sale!
Get Sales Coaching
Is your sales team flying by the seat of their pants, wandering aimlessly from customer to customer trying to get sales?
How about you ditch the guesswork and get some sales coaching from a real professional with experience in the sales industry?
Not convinced? Check out these sales coaching stats from CheckIt:
- Companies with dynamic coaching programs achieve 28% higher win rates.
- Firms that provide an optimal amount of coaching realize 16.7% greater annual revenue growth.
- 75% of sales organizations waste resources due to random and informal coaching approaches.
- Companies with a formal training process reach 91.2% of sales quota.
- The average company spends $10,000 to $15,000 hiring an individual and only $2,000 a year in sales training.
These are just some of the reasons why Buzzy Sales offers professional sales coaching to all businesses and sales teams. We want you to increase sales and increase revenue!
Follow Up After the Sale is Closed
Contrary to believe, your service doesn’t end when the deal is closed. In fact, in most cases this is where the real customer service tips can be applied!
Studies suggest that only 10% of salespeople follow up.
Imagine being the customer on the other end and how that makes you feel?
A follow up provides extra value to the product or service you just sold. It costs a little bit of time and can lead to huge customer retention (more on that later on in this guide).
A follow up doesn’t have to be a phone call either.
How about an email?
Connect with the customer on LinkedIn?
Good salespeople think outside the box and make the follow-up feel more natural than a cold call.
Seems simple, doesn’t it? A smile goes a long way to make your customer feel wanted and make you feel approachable.
Your customer doesn’t care if you’ve had the best or worst day in the world. They want their interaction with you to feel personal.
The Toky Blog claims that a smile can increase your confidence by up to 10%. Take every advantage you can get to increase sales!
Actually Resolve Your Issues
Not every customer experience will be all roses. Sales staff are always trained on how to be the most positive in all situations, but it’s actually your actions when an issue arises that strengthens relationships the most.
In the customer service world, your job is to make sure that your issues are solved on the fly and that the customer doesn’t walk out feeling hurt by your actions.
Need a good statistic to back it up?
Check out this statistic from American Express:
Are you fixing your customer service problems or are you giving your customer a chance to tell 15 other people about their bad experience?
Use Positive Language
In sales, there is no “I can’t”. Remove that language from your vocabulary right now.
Also, a customer doesn’t want to hear about how you have to move mountains in order to make them happy. It can be one of the most frustrating things about being in sales and it applies to all industries: retail, business-to-business, consulting services.
Consider these two responses when a problem arises:
“I can’t get you that because our supplier has listed this product as backordered.”
“I can’t get you that until our supplier has listed the product in stock again, which I will follow up on today.”
The first sentence offers up an excuse and tries to point blame someone else. The second sentence offers a solution and person accountability.
Track Your Customer Service Interactions
For every single new lead you add to your address book, you should be following up with five existing leads.
These follow ups are called interactions and each day as a salesperson, you will have dozens of them.
Take a look at these stats from The Brevet Group:
- 92% of interactions happen over the phone
- It takes an average of 8 cold call attempts to reach a prospect
- 80% of new leads require 5 follow up calls before you make your first sale
In short, expect to interact A LOT with all clients.
If you don’t track these interactions, did they really happen? You’ll never be able to remember what you talked about in all of your interactions.
Or what actions you have.
Or what information you need to provide on the next interaction.
Tracking your interactions in your CRM allows you to neatly organize your relationship with each client efficiently.
Use Event-Triggered Customer Service Tips
So you’ve just met a potential new customer for the first time. Where do you go from here?
If you don’t setup your next action and next action date with them, what are the chances you remember to follow up?
Work smarter, not harder you dummy!
Automatic event triggers can be setup for a variety of things:
- Follow up email
- A reminder of a deadline
- A trigger for you to send an upsell or cross-sell opportunity
- Product or warranty follow up
At the very least, setup reminders in your smart phone and put that $1000 brick to good use. These automated tips give you a daily agenda of tasks to perform.
Even better, use a CRM to setup Interactions and let the CRM notify you when its time.
Embrace the science AND the art of Selling
Is good customer service a science or an art?
The truth is, you must embrace both in order to appeal better to your customer.
Some salespeople get by their their gut instinct well – they love talking to people and selling themselves and their product and have no problem doing so.
On the other hand, some salespeople find it better to use the data and stats about their business to appeal to the customer better.
The best salespeople learn how to use both skills efficiently for maximum success.
Guess Your Customer’s Age
Do you talk to your mom the same way you talk to your grandma?
Is a chat about mutual funds and retirement investments going to resonate better with a 30 year old or 50 year old?
For every single customer, you need to be guessing their age and using this data to make your relationship more efficient.
Whether you are right or wrong isn’t important. And whatever you do, NEVER tell a customer what you are doing. But putting yourself in your customer’s shoes will let you relate to them better and understand which customer service tips will work best on them.
90% of customer service is you reaching out to the customer and bugging them.
The 10% of the time when a customer reaches out to you, treat this very special!
It means that you customer has a question or comment and is taking the effort to reach out to you.
How long should you wait before you respond?
Anything longer than one hour is too long!
Even If your response is that you are out of the office, be accountable by setting a deadline on when you will give the customer the information they are looking for.
Be a Problem Solver, Not a Problem Redirector
I know we’ve said over and over in this customer service tips guide to work on your relationships.
However, this tip lets you to put your Engineering hat on for your customers.
Most reasons why a customer comes to you is because they have a problem. And if you are not giving them a solution 100% of the time then you aren’t using your customer service skills properly.
Even if you don’t know the answer off the top of your head, act like you do and figure it out. Use the relationships you have with fellow salespeople, with distributors and manufacturers, and with other customers to get the answers you need.
Also, learn how to delegate tasks as necessary. Lots of companies use an article writing service to add content to their websites and local press without having to do the work themselves. Give off the illusion that you are working 30 hours per day.
Use “We”, “Us”, and “Our”
Practice thinking of yourself as being on the same team as your client. When you are on a team, you use words like “we”, “us”, and “our” to convey the message that you are in this together.
This tactic helps your customer believe that you have their best interest in mindand can relate to these issues and needs.
Collaboration is key to good customer service!
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Do you want to hand your money over to a superior or a teammate? Use this customer service skill to improve your relationships across the board and win more sales.
Ask For Referrals
If a customer is interested in whatever you are selling, they probably have 50 friends that are also interested in the same thing.
That means that for every customer you gained through a cold call, there are 50x other potential new customers for you to go after.
According to The Brevet Group, 91% of customers say that they’d give a referral to their salesperson, but only 11% of salespeople ask for them.
Good referrals are worth their weight in gold, so take the time to go after these opportunities and increase sales and revenue today.
Make Your Sales Team Work Together
If you are a salesperson, do you work alongside your co-workers or compete with theme?
If you are a sales manager, does your sales team work together or against each other?
Sales people need to work TOGETHER in order to be the most efficient.
Let me put it to you simple.
As a salesperson, you’ll never be around 100% of the time. And if you are a good salesperson, you’ll keep yourself 100% utilized most of the time. And if you can leverage your coworkers and friends for 10% to keep your clients happy, you win.
In return, you’ll help out your coworkers when needed as well.
Stay unified to supercharge your customer service, learn together, and grow customers.
Customer Service Consistency is Key
In the customer service world, you end up using a lot of the same script over and over again to different customers.
It makes sense right?
You are selling the same things over and over and will teach yourself a version of your story that you can remember and regurgitate to new leads all the time.
This can be redundant, but it’s also a good thing. More practice will let you refine your craft and tinker with things to win clients.
Taking this idea one step further, your business should also deploy consistent branding across social media, in store, and all other marketing. This tactic is called omni-channel and while only 20% of companies were doing it in 2010, over 80% will be omni-channel by 2020.
Embrace Mobile Communication to Communicate with Customers
If your mobile smart phone isn’t your primary means of communication then you are not living in 2020 for customer service.
EVERYBODY has a mobile phone. And not utilizing all communication channels a mobile phone offers is a 2020 customer service sin.
It’s 2020, and there are 28 billion more mobile searches than there are desktop searches. As a customer service expert, you need to utilizes all mobile communication methods:
- Phone calls
- Text messages
If you didn’t know that mobile is overtaking desktop, it’s time to adapt because this isn’t new! In fact, this trend has been happening for over 3 years already!
Any way your customer wants to communicate with you, it’s time to get on board because mobile isn’t going anywhere (in fact, it’s only going to increase).
Use Your Data
One major area that customer service teams need to utilize in 2020-21 is data.
If you gave the same pitch to 100 different people, how many sales would you make?
How many interactions with a customer does it take before you make a sale?
How many customers are likely to return for a second sale if you never call or check out with them after the original sale? What if you check up with them once? Three times? Five times?
Do you have a business website? If so, you have access to all kinds of data:
- Where users are clicking on your website
- What information they enjoy reading
- How often someone is contacting you
Do you get the picture yet? One big advantage of using a CRM is that you get free and easy access to DATA.And that data helps you work smarter and not harder.
For a free look at how data can help you make business decisions, salespeople can sign up to the Buzzy Sales CRM and get free access to this data.
Reward Loyal Customers
The hardest sale to make to a customer is the first sale. Once you have them, everything else is relatively easy!
Vision Critical states that acquiring new customers is 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining them.
As well, increasing customer retention by 5% boosts profits by 25 to 95 percent!
Go through your contact list and count how many customers are repeat ones. Any one who isn’t, reach out to them right now.
Leverage your existing relationship to boost additional sales.
Provide Incentives for Customers
This customer service tip has two meanings to it.
If you are a salesperson, you need to provide incentive to your potential customers in order to hook them in and close the same.
For some businesses, this means upselling or offering a value adder for a discount (warranty, extra service, etc).
If you can’t upsell, you can still relate to a persons problem and provide incentive in the form of a solution if they buy from you. Cater to your customers and close more deals.
If you are a manager, you need to provide incentive to your salespeople! Being in customer service or sales is tough. It’s hard to stay motivated when half of your job is looking for new clients or being turned down.
According to NXL Performance, 90% of the top performing companies use recognition and rewards to inspire sales and customers.
The more inspired your sales staff is, the more sales you make, and the more revenue you earn.
If you don’t have any, start an incentive right now. It can be really simple – the person with the most new customers this month gets an added percentage of what they sell.
Learn how to turn bad experiences into good ones
According to Vision Critical, 42% of Americans will stop shopping with a brand after 2 bad experiences.
The trick you need to learn as a customer service leader is that you have the ability to skew what a “bad” experience is.
In other words, you can learn how to turn a bad experience into one the customer perceives as a good one.
Consider a case where a customer is excited to make a purchase from you, only to find out that whatever they want is out of stock at the last minute.
Bad experience, right?
Not so fast.
Instead, you offer to order the item online and ship this directly to the customer’s door. In addition, you slide them a coupon that gives them 20% off the next time they come in and purchase from you.
The customer hasn’t gotten what they want, but they walk away with a POSITIVE experience AND you’ve given them an olive branch to come back in and be a recurring customer for you.
This skill gives you the unique opportunity to earn more chances to win a customer’s loyalty.
Lastly, one of the most complicated customer service tips to master, but one you should have in your arsenal:
Learn the Different Customer Personalities
All customers and potential customers can be divided in to four different birds depending on their personality: eagle, rooster, dove, and owl.
Understanding who you are dealing with lets you adapt and cater to that customer’s personality style.
We will publish a full guide on this soon, but here’s a basis for each animal.
- Out to solve a problem and make a decision
- Wants to be the boss and wants you to make him look good
- Likes to socialize and wants to be heard.
- Wants you to stroke his ego.
- Likes to get stuff done in a hurry
- Wants to build a relationship.
- Can be very loyal.
- Notices and appreciates a personal touch
- Wants to analyze the stats.
- Needs you to know your stuff and be accurate.
- Wants time to make an informed decision.
Catering to these style will give you extra ammo to close a sale!
Which of these customer service tips above are your favorite? Comment below and let us know!
Did we miss any key customer service tips? Let us know that below as well!