Your Sale Went Perfectly……Too Bad You Blew It!

Congratulations! You made a sale! Everything went perfect.

You were polite and kind to your customer.

You answered every question they had to their satisfaction.

You pointed out all the great features and benefits of your product.

The customer was cordial towards you and was pleasant to deal with.

You accept their payment, say thank-you, please come back and shop with us again.

The customer thanks you for your help and goes on their merry way.

A text-book transaction.

It’s too bad you didn’t optimize your opportunity to create a loyal return customer!

That customer may come back or they may not come back. All that neat stuff you did for them was nothing special. It’s routine. They expect what you did as a minimum.

There is something you didn’t do, and most salespeople are guilty of it, that would have pretty much guaranteed the return of that customer.

When was the last time you said this to a customer before they left the store:

“If you have any questions or problems with your purchase, please contact me personally”. I want to make sure you are satisfied with your decision.

That is the most powerful question you can ever ask customers to gain their trust and loyalty.

Do you have the confidence and moxie to ask that question?

Poor Customer Service And The Non-Complaining Customer!

There are some customers that don’t complain when they are unhappy with customer service. They just quietly leave and never come back.

You never had a shot at selling them and you never will!

How can you tell who these customers are?

YOU CAN’T!

Will these customers recommend your business to others?  NO!

Will these customers talk negatively about your business? PROBABLY!

Are you willing to risk losing these customers with a so-so customer service policy and attitude?

Are You Searching For Ways To Improve Customer Service?

Are you searching for the perfect customer service policy? The one that neatly fits every customer concern or complaint? “The magic bullet”? A system that eliminates those tough decisions and makes customer satisfaction a simple 3-step process?

Well, here’s the news. If you are looking for the above, put it in the folder marked “pot of gold at the end of the rainbow”, and file it under the letter Z. You are not going to find that solution.

If this is what you are doing, you are using what I call “assembly line” mentality. You want every situation to fit neatly into your policy with the same efficiency as you find on a manufacturing assembly line. Well, the only place that type of thinking works is, (you guessed it), in a factory.

Assembly lines are efficient because at every station that the product stops, it does exactly the same thing every time. The same partially finished product enters the station and the same part or parts designated for that station are added to the product. Nothing changes.

The operative word here is change. When you are dealing with people, you are always dealing with change. They change their rationale and they change their emotions and they often do this with high frequency right before your eyes. I’ve had customers go from angry to happy and back to angry again within a few minutes. Machines won’t do this. You get the same results every time. You must be more flexible when dealing with people. But if you learn this and understand it, and apply it, you will be less susceptible to frustration when dealing with people. Less frustration leads to better customer service and better customer service leads to higher customer retention. Enough said!

You’re dealing with people. People’s minds are flexible and changeable. Your customer service policies must be the same way if you are going to deliver “excellent customer service”. It’s less stressful this way.

Don’t Complicate Customer Service Trying To “Exceed” Customer’s Needs

When I read mission statements that state they want to exceed the “needs” of the customer, I always shake my head.

How can you plan in advance to “exceed” the needs of customers when you have no idea what those needs are?

First of all, the majority of “customer needs” aren’t needs at all. They are desires. The customers don’t even realize this. The only true needs anyone has are food-clothing-shelter. Anything else we have or want is a bonus. We all want lots of bonuses. this is good. Don’t get me wrong though. In some situations; job, profession, business, there are things people do need in order to perform efficiently. But the emotions involved with satisfying these “needs” aren’t as strong as the emotions people have for “wants” and “desires”. I know this from my own experiences in sales.

And therein lies the rub. EMOTIONS! It’s been determined that people make most of their buying decisions based on emotions and justify the purchase later with logic. Logic is a linear process with conclusions. Emotions are definitely not linear and can be all over the board. They also can change in an instant right before your eyes. I’ve run into this also in my long sales career. And trust me! You cannot, with consistent accuracy, guess what customer’s “needs” are. So how can you possibly “plan” to exceed those needs? Doing this is like throwing a wrench into the machinery. It creates confusion for employees without them even realizing it.

So, get your notepad out and pay close attention to what I’m about to say in reference to your customer’s “needs”.

When people walk into your store, or click on your website, or call on the phone, this is what they “need”——-YOUR HELP! That’s It! If you are competent at what you do, you can provide this. If you give them attention, respect, and appreciation, while doing this, the rest will take care of itself. Try this and you may be surprised at how it will save you time, money, aggravation, and needless planning sessions down the road. Don’t try it and all I can do is wish you luck in the future trying to figure out your customer retention policy.