Monday, April 29, 2013

Why the VP of Sales Should Care About Customer Service

Building a first-rate customer service organization often falls on the shoulders of the VP of Customer Service; noticeably absent in the process are figures like the VP of Sales. Before the onset of social media and the era where a single consumer could broadcast his feelings to the entire world, the VP of Customer Service could bear all the responsibility. But today’s world calls for a collaborative effort across Sales and Service VPs because their personal success is directly impacted by the quality of customer service the organization can deliver.
Here are a few reasons why every Sales VP should take customer service to heart:
  • Service inquiries can generate sales opportunities: whether your agent is presented with Next Best Offer suggestions or in a position to mention additional support packages, the result is new leads for the Sales team and an increased bottom line. Provide your agents with detailed information about each customer’s profile and they’re empowered to upsell and cross-sell products.
  • Consumers pay more for better service: Consumers will pay more for better service, which means the Sales team doesn’t have to compete solely on price. Customers are also more loyal (spend more after initial purchase) to companies with good service. Your customer is up for a valuable renewal? Better hope he isn’t in the middle of a customer service nightmare.
  • Service history provides important intelligence: when a sales person can see the customer’s service inquiries and open issues, he can factor this into his sales strategy and execution. Rather than walking blind into a sales meeting pitching a new product, he can walk in with empathy and understanding to the customer’s recent experience with the company.
  • Accelerated response to cross-departmental situations: Even after a prospect has signed the dotted line to become a customer, he often faces a deluge of steps to complete the process that involve customer support: invoicing, onboarding, training, etc. A first impression is key, and this requires a collaborative effort among Sales and Service.
  • Happy customers sell for you: Happy customers share their experiences with their friends. But perhaps more important is the fact that unhappy customers tell MORE of their friends. By providing superior customer service, your sales team can ensure all the tweets, facebook posts, and word-of-mouth exchanges about your company are positive in nature.
The most successful companies don’t see Sales and Service as separate departments; every employee is a sales rep and a customer service agent. The happiest customers are born from a collaborative effort between the two departments.