Recently, I was in a prospect’s office waiting to make a presentation to the vice president of sales. The office was quite busy. I could clearly hear the clatter and chatter of customer service people processing orders and addressing their customers’ issues. I nearly fell out of my chair when I heard one of the customer service people answer an incoming call. It was brief to say the least. The customer service person simply stated the price of the product and that was it! No other details were offered. No pertinent questions were asked. The customer service representative didn’t even ask for a name or phone number. The very brief phone conversation lacked any effort to help the customer buy or to provide a lead for the sales force.
After my successful presentation to the vice president of sales on C-Level selling, I returned to my office. My curiosity and disbelief about what I overhead was driving me crazy. I wondered, was the call I overheard an aberration? So I conducted some unofficial research. I called that company’s customer service team five times to inquire about their products and services. In only one of the five calls was I asked for my name, phone number, and e-mail address. Yet, this is where a prospect’s call can be converted into a sale or a qualified lead for their sales force.
This begs the question: how are your prospects’ calls being handled? Does your entire customer service team understand that every “touch” with a customer or prospect is an opportunity to sell? Do they understand the sales process and their key role in growing business? Are they reminded that they are not “just a customer service person” but a key player in your overall sales strategy? In fact, they need to know they are just as critical to the success of your company as your salespeople!
The customer service team is a fundamental component of any organization. Unfortunately, too many companies treat their customer service team as an afterthought that is not fully utilized to maximize sales potential.
Ask yourself, how does my customer service team perform? You may want to conduct your own “research”. If your findings are similar, we need to talk. Your customer service team should play a strategic role in growing your business.