By Dick Wooden on January 6, 2017 at 11:00 AM
In order for any company to attract new customers and retain current ones, Customer Service and Sales teams must have a collaborative relationship. Infor CRM makes this possible.
Recently when we talked about how customer service teams use Infor CRM to solve and manage
important customer relationship issues, we only briefly touched on how it relates to the sales force. Attracting new customers relates to sales activities, while retaining current customers points to customer service activities. In essence what we are talking about is how customer service teams and sales teams work together to grow customer loyalty and increase sales productivity.
Since these two teams usually deals with customers at different stages, the sales force at the pre-sale stage, and customer service at the post-sale stage. Their activities are often viewed and handled separately organizationally, but collaboration makes it possible and necessary to enhance the customer relationship management experience where both teams work together to respond promptly and knowledgably to sales opportunities and customer inquiries.
Sales productivity does not just come down to how much revenue a sales force generates, but also how they can use their time more effectively in doing so. Also, increasing customer loyalty does not just come down to giving customers whatever they want, but to providing positive customer experiences and creating additional relationship and sales opportunities that benefits the customer and the company.
5 Reasons Customer Service and Sales Teams Must Collaborate
- Increase Sales | Positive Customer Experience: Customers, whether new or existing, value a good experience where the Customer Service Representative (CSR) shows that they care, are pleasant, and go above and beyond to service the customer. As a result the customer is more likely to share their positive experience with friends and colleagues. This sets up an increased opportunity for a referral and a quality lead for the sales team later.
- Customer Loyalty: The customer has a strong sense that the company is committed to offering quality service and support.
- Sales Productivity: Referrals from satisfied customers that had an experience unlike anywhere else eliminates the time and resources needed to acquire a new customer. It also decreases the reservations that come from new customers who must first get to know the sales person and the company.
- Sales Trust and Retention | Customer Service Knowledge: When a salesperson closes a sale, he or she gathers pertinent information from the customer that should be noted and passed along to the customer service team and managed through a CRM system. This ensures that CSR’s, and everyone else in the company is aware of customer issues, their product, and the details about the sale. This makes the customer’s interaction with the company more comfortable and shows the salesperson more trustworthy.
- Customer Loyalty: When a customer speaks to a CSR and they are aware of the details concerning their business, they feel confident that everyone in the company is communicating and working for them.
- Sales Productivity: The result is that the customer knows the salesperson can be trusted to act in support of them as well as increases their desire to continue the customer relationship.
- Increased Sales |Timeliness and Personalization: When a CSR responds to customer needs in a timely manner, and further, before speaking to them has taken the time to truly understand who, what, when, where, and why concerning the client themselves and their business, it shows that the company wants to get to know them better to better serve their needs.
- Customer Loyalty: The customer sees that the company care about them and their business beyond the sale.
- Sales Productivity: When the customer knows they have support throughout the company and that the company is able to relate to them on an individual basis and not just a sale, the company is more likely to retain them as a customer. And because a relationship is fostered through this type of interaction, it opens up an opportunity for future sales.
- Customer Retention | Customer Feedback: Customer feedback in the form of suggestions or complaints about a product, service, or process can be made to either the sales person or to a CSR. Nonetheless, when the suggestion or complaint is heeded and the customer is made aware of it, it only deepens the customer relationship.
- Customer Loyalty: The customer feels like the company really listens and values what they have to say.
- Sales Productivity: This usually becomes a sale that turns into a long-term, if not, lifetime customer.
- Increased Sales | Customers Service on Chat: By using the CRM Live Chat feature, many times, a customer’s questions, concerns, or issues point to their need for a different or additional service or product. Both of which can be recommended by the CSR. This interaction is valuable because it can either generate a sale on the spot or invite a conversation between the customer and the sales force.
- Customer Loyalty: CSR’s provide live support to offer timely support and needed information that the customer will find convenient.
- Sales Productivity: The Live chat feature offers additional sales opportunities without having to engage in prospecting activities.
What is clear in each of the 5 reasons for collaboration is that the work that is done by Customer Service has potential to generate sales opportunities that can save the sales force time and resources while increasing overall sales.
When customer service and the sales team collaborate through the use of a system such as Infor CRM, both teams win. With customer loyalty and sales productivity - the company wins. And ultimately the customer wins because they receive the service and experience they deserve.