In a competitive market you need to stay on your toes to keep customers happy. It is not enough to sell your product to someone once and think that a leading product makes the customer loyal. A signed contract is just the first step on the customer’s journey. What makes you stay ahead of the competition is a good after service that adds value.Getting to know your customer
Everyone in a service organisation needs to have an ambition to understand and to get to know the customer, their challenges and their offer. This goes beyond just selling that initial product and continue to suggest add-ons to the purchaser later. Getting to know your customer enables you to build a solid relationship with them that will last longer and be more profitable than making a quick buck. For the customer, a vendor that is knowledgeable and engaged in their business, provides true added value.
Sharing information gives one view of the customer
In your organisation everyone that deals with a customer, from accounts payable to service technicians, gather different types of information about the customer. In order to start building that relationship and get one view of the customer, you need to be able to share information internally. This is best done through a collaborative method connecting different business system with each other Sharing up to date information will help all members of staff to have a constructive dialog with the customer and not just focus on their small part.
Sales and Service need to have a dialog
It is more profitable to keep customers than to constantly chase new ones. In order to keep customers loyal and coming back to you, Sales and Service in particular would benefit from a close dialog with each other. Before any of them speak or meet with a customer they could update themselves on what the status of service issues is? What is happening right now - is someone from another department visiting the customer? What has happened lately? Having access to this information adds value as everyone is engaging with the customer from a better vantage point and can offer more relevant support.
Everyone is a salesperson
Everyone in your organisation who interacts with your customer is a potential salesperson or at least a key factor in building a strong customer relationship. In many cases the service technician is an underestimated resource. They are meeting the customer face to face, perhaps more often than your actual salesperson do. Being briefed before going to the customer and having an up to date 360-view of the customer, your service technician can, with the right tool in their hand, offer further value. One way is to recommend products or services to the customer when out on a call. For example, if the service technician notices a machine they are servicing should be better off on an industrial mat, they should be able to discuss this with the customer and place an order on the spot by being connected to the order system. Connected services also enable service technicians to answer price enquiries for a particular customer so that they can give a price estimate for example for an upgrade straight away. Being able to close a sale or meet a customer service request on the spot is not only good for businesses, it is also a much better service to the customer than having to wait for a salesperson to contact them.
Be your customer’s natural choice
It all boils down to adding value to your customers and building solid relationships. Customer retention is less about controlling your customer and preventing them from leaving and more about becoming their natural choice through the smooth, high quality services that you offer. Knowledgeable service staff that can hold a strategic discussion rather than just focus on solving one small part adds value to the experience. A quick easy step from idea to order is also a way to add value for you both. The companies who have mastered the art of adding value are focused on their customers’ goals and prepared to go beyond what their core product offers. Customers should always feel like they’re getting the better end of the deal because at the end of the day value outweighs price. And if that value is thanks to a great service, it is something you and your staff can be proud of.
At Stratiteq we help businesses connect people with the latest technology from Microsoft. We call this approach Connected Services. With Microsoft's services or a mix of other services, you can get a better overview of your customers and potential customers as well as a more efficient way of doing data analysis and convert into concrete action proposals.