Over the past twenty years, I’ve picked up a few tips about sales that I’ve been sharing over on our YouTube channel. If you want to dive into the video version of this article, go check out the video Sales Training Techniques for Beginners in Customer Service. And if you like what we have to say, subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss any videos we post in the future!
So yes, 14% increase in your ability to close sales. That sounds pretty good doesn’t it?
So how can you do that?
Simple, focus on customer service.
Current clients and customers are up to 14% more likely to buy from you than someone who’s never done business with you.
14%! That’s huge!
But you don’t necessarily want your sales people focusing on your current clients and customers – they need to be focusing their time on finding new opportunities and, after all, that’s why you have a customer service team, right?
So here’s my question…why aren’t you giving your customer service team sales training?
I’m sure that the people on your customer service team are probably pretty new to selling, if they have any training or experience at all so I’ve got a few tips to teach beginners in customer service how to recognize a potential sales opportunity and what to do with it.
Step 1: Focus on the things to listen for
Customer service folks are trained to solve problems, and usually not trained to turn those problems into sales opportunities. That’s fine for some but if you want your customer service team to help you identify new sales opportunities, they’re going to need a little training in what they should be listening for.
Every sales person knows how to identify sales opportunities based on what the people they hear from the people they’re talking to.
Now you need to make those things to listen for known by everyone on your customer service team as well.
For a quick reference, have them printed up on mouse pads or posted on a wall. Make sure that your team knows what to listen for so that they can help identify opportunities.
Step 2: Teach the questions
Now that your customer service team knows what to listen for, it’s time to teach them the follow up questions to ask.
Again, this is something that is going to come pretty naturally to sales people but you need to make sure that your customer service group knows what questions a sales person would ask and, more importantly, what information they’re trying to elicit.
Take time with this and go question by question. This is an important part of the process.
Step 3: Adapt the questions
Keep in mind that your customer service team is having different conversations with your customers than your salespeople are. Since they’re not in an actual sales conversation, the questions, and more accurately the way that they’re being asked, need to be a bit different.
Spend some time working with your customer service team to adapt the questions that your sales team would normally ask to customer service scenarios. Role playing is particularly useful for this because everyone can see how the questions are being asked in response to various scenarios.
But the key thing here is to make sure any adaptations are still eliciting the same information that was identified in the last step.
Step 4: Smooth out the transfer
At some point, the transition is going to need to be made to move the conversation from a customer service conversation to a sales conversation.
Depending on the size of your team, this could mean that customer service has to connect the customer to your sales team but, for most smaller businesses, it’s probably just going to mean changing the conversation from a service conversation to a sales conversation.
This can be a really tricky process, regardless of whether you have one person playing double duty or it’s an actual transfer. Either way, this is something that you HAVE TO smooth out.
When a customer calls in with a service issue they don’t want to feel like they’re being sold something. If you do this wrong, you’ll just end up with a frustrated customer and an entirely different service issue.
This is something that you should definitely role play with your team. Make sure that this is as smooth as it can get. Doing so is going to make everyone a whole lot happier.
Step 5: Make sure they follow up
Here’s where you can really set yourself apart from your competition. It’s more than likely that, once the hand off has been made, the customer service rep never actually does any follow up to see how the process went.
How do I know? Because it’s practically standard business practice that once a conversation turns back to sales, then the sales person follows up and the customer service rep doesn’t reach back out until there’s another issue or a specific reason to do so.
This is an opportunity to really wow your customers and show them just how dedicated to their success you really are.
Make sure that there’s a follow up from the customer service rep in addition to the standard follow up that’s happening from the sales team.
It doesn’t have to be much – a simple phone call or email with a “hey, checking on you to make sure we’re still treating you right” will do, and of course you want to make sure that it’s in line with your sales process, but that one step can go a long way in making a good impression.
Now I know I haven’t talked at all about opportunities to automate this and I’m sure you’re disappointed by that.
But, you’re in luck, this last follow up step is a perfect opportunity to add automation into your process. You can automatically send an email from the customer service rep from your CRM or just automate a task reminder to them to follow up. And, if you’re more advanced in your follow up automation, you can even create a full workflow that will manage the entire process that includes tasks and emails from both the sales person and the customer service rep.
Want more on automating follow up?
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