What does customer service have to do with sales and marketing? EVERYTHING! Companies who provide ongoing exceptional customer service often spend half the money in marketing and attain twice the results. Additionally, properly trained salespeople who have exceptional customer service skills are more likely to close the sale. 

Additionally, companies who employ sales reps think the reps need sales training. Or perhaps your sales reps have been through all the sales training, but sales are still behind. Selling is also about customer service. Many a sale is lost due to poor customer service – not poor sales skills.

In my marketing career, I did a good deal of media buying. I also worked on the sales and marketing side of advertising in the newspaper industry. What I found out is one's sales skills aren't nearly as important as their customer service skills.  Let me explain.

Sales reps are trained on how to sell. I have been through many of those sales training programs. Few, if any, teach a salesperson to actually provide good customer service, how to listen, clarify, ask questions, follow-up and follow through.

I cannot tell you how many times a sales rep promised to send me the requested follow-up information that I needed to make a buying decision and did NOT.  Or, perhaps they provided something else that I did not request, leaving me to call back again.

Others don't call back at all. Website inquiries are ignored or lost. Some are late to appointments. They think that being only five minutes late is no big deal. Some arrive grossly early. Both the early and late person are not respecting your busy schedule.

I knew of a company that spent a couple millions dollars a year on advertising. When friends of ours went into this retail outlet, the sales staff all sat around talking to one another. The couple stood by the product they wanted to buy and after ten minutes of waiting for the sales people to stop socializing, no one came to assist them and they left. They were there to make at least a thousand dollar purchase, plus consider all the lifetime repeat business.

The list of poor customer service stories goes on and on, all leading to lost sales.  Fortunately some companies know how to provide excellent customer service and it should be no surprise they spend less in marketing and are more successful.  Excellent customer service has a huge return on investment and should not be ignored.

If you are spending money on marketing to get the phone to ring, consider using a mystery shopper service experienced in sales and customer service to make sure your staff is turning inquiries into sales.

About the author

Beth Boen

Beth Boen is on a mission at The VOICE Customer Service Training - to restore the lost art of providing exceptional customer service and turn the tide on poor customer service becoming the norm! Her blogs contain tips on how to provide exceptional customer service in everything you do!

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