Although salespeople and customer service reps have two different skill sets and are trained differently, their goals should be the same: success for the company, the customer, and the team members. Everyone wins when both customer-facing teams share goals and values; it's the best way to grow an enterprise.
A recent report from the Tempkin Group, a research firm specializing in customer-centric practices and loyalty, indicates that revenue from both repeat and new sales significantly increases with just moderate improvements in customer service. The correlation between customer service and repeat purchases was particularly high.
The Tempkin study, entitled “ROI of Customer Experience, 2018,” focused on large companies, but the results would undoubtedly be similar in any business big enough to have separate sales and customer service roles; the numbers would just be proportionately smaller.
Why is aligning sales and customer services so critical? Let’s delve into some particulars.
Satisfied customers become brand ambassadors
Customer experience thought leader Tricia Morris, writing for Business 2 Community, cites research showing that the average number of people a social customer will tell about a good customer experience is 42, whereas bad customer experiences create brand critics. Their negative stories may dissuade their friends from buying from you, leading to sales losses.
Satisfied customers become repeat customers
Repeat customers are 50% more likely to try a new product than new customers. Think of the potential gain in sales.
Good customer service requires coordinating expectations and execution
It’s hard for customer service representatives to give customers good experiences if the sales team is setting unrealistic expectations because they're disconnected from how customer service does things. When that disconnect happens because the teams aren't collaborating and supporting each other as they execute the plan, chances are the customer – and repeat sales – will disappear.
Repeat customers free up sales time for new leads
The cost of retaining a customer is less than the cost of acquiring a new one, partly because it's easier to upsell than convert new leads, allowing salespeople to spend less time in the sales process.
Customer service data helps define the ideal customer
Strategically gathering, curating, analyzing, and sharing valuable business intelligence allows the sales team to make more efficient use of their prospecting time.
Say you’re a salesperson and you call an existing customer with a new product offer. They're annoyed because they have an open service ticket for something they already bought, and they're in no mood to purchase anything else from you until it's resolved – but you didn't know because you can’t see the customer service record. Wouldn’t it be better to know before you make the call and lose the sale? Timing and shared customer knowledge are everything.
Businesses, teams, and customers all benefit when sales and service work together. It’s worth the effort to establish integrated procedures and goals.
CRM is crucial in a collaboration between customer-facing teams such as sales and customer service. It supports shared structures and knowledge about each step of the customer’s experience from the sale through satisfaction and on to the next sale.
Later this month, we’ll publish a post with some specific steps you can take to get sales and customer service on the same page.
If you see the immediate value this can have on your company’s success, or you know you need to make changes, please contact us with your questions and needs. Our experience with business systems, collaboration, and customer relations have prepared us well for consulting on cross-team alignment.
Topics: Sales & Service Integration