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Customer service redefined…as a selling tool
by Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey

 


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A "Secret" note for Business Owners and Sales Managers

Customer service redefined… as a selling tool

by Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey

“How can I reinvent myself, or my company to better serve
and provide for your changing needs?”

Is there some service or additional product I should be providing that would make ‘your’ experience easier, more rewarding, or user friendly? Just two of the questions you need to ask yourself and your customers on a frequent basis.

Remember, if you aren't asking these questions -
your competitors are!

Point to Ponder:

"One need not be a servant to be able to serve." Victor Frankl

Here are some tools which will help you keep and expand your market edge. Tools to keep your customers happy and coming back for more.

Each of these tools is a valid reason to touch base with existing clients, and a chance to do additional, repeat business. Why not invest time to develop an account management system that incorporates one or more of these tools? It may provide insights on how to retain, retrain or remain a long-term supplier or vendor of choice.

Customer surveys. Checking in on a regular basis to ask a few questions will work wonders. Take a look at the survey page answers for some tips to make your business more responsive and profitable. Perhaps do an exit poll as a spot form of customer survey.

Telephone polls. Sometimes a quick phone call to selected customers will be enough to keep you informed and current as to how well you are doing. How about actually calling a month or so after you've delivered your service or product to see how it is going and how the customers are enjoying it. You can bet, not too many businesses are doing this!

Service calls. These are often a neglected form of information as to the true satisfaction of your customers and the serviceability of your products. Make your service team part of your information gathering team and apply what you learn to make your business better.

Focus groups. Take some time and invite a few of your best customers to sit down and discuss honestly what you offer and what you deliver. Put your ego on hold and listen carefully as they give you a very valuable gift -- a gift that will help you succeed.

Product sampling. What a great way to find out what your customers want and what you can provide professionally and profitably. This allows you to test market and adjust before you go full tilt into a new product or service roll out.

Web site feedback. This is emerging as a great way to allow your clients to tell you how you are doing, what they like, what they don't like and what they would like. It's a great way to share suggestions, changes and updates with your customers at their convenience. Often they will share ideas that will solve problems for each other as well.

Others. There is a multitude of great ideas.

Invest in your selling career or 'business' future by asking the right questions, and then acting on the responses your customers give you. This might just be the competitive ‘selling’ edge you need as we navigate the turbulent and volatile field of selling and business in 21st Century.

Exercise:

Discuss how you and your sales team can incorporate one or all of these tools in your current marketing and selling strategy.

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© 2007 Bob ‘Idea Man’ Hooey www.ideaman.net All rights Reserved. Used with permission of the author.

Bob ‘Idea Man’ Hooey is a productivity strategist and creativity catalyst who regularly writes for North American Consumer and Trade Journals, on-line magazines and company intranets. He is the author of 10 books including 2 on selling; and the 48th person in the history of Toastmasters International to earn their coveted professional level Accredited Speaker designation. He is a professional member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers and the International Federation for Professional Speakers. Visit his website for additional articles like this one: www.ideaman.net

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2/12/08


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