Posts Tagged ‘bad customer service’

Bad Customer Service Should Not Be a Sales Objection

Selling in today’s world has many challenges.  Bad customer service should not be one of them.

Top sales performers know how to overcome a sales objection. Yet when that sales objection is something beyond their control such as customer service, delivery by another vendor to invoicing, earning the sale becomes even more difficult.

Real Time Bad Customer Service

Recent events on social media have shown the impact of real time customer experience.  A colleague, Carole Mahoney said “The customer experience is just a viral tweet away.” And she is quite correct.

Not only do current customers know of the less than desirable customer experience and how it was handled by management, but other sales leads or sales prospects are now witness to that same experience in real time.

Imagine for a moment you are just about to “close the sale” when a viral tweet reveals bad customer service.  How do you handle this sales objection?  And the better question is why should you if everyone in the organization has the same clarity of purpose?

When the smallest to the largest organizations have an engaged sales culture where everyone knows his or her actions can have a positive or negative impact on current and future growth, they are probably less likely to deliver bad customer service.

Excellent customer service supports the organizational and the salespeople goal to increase sales. The salespeople no longer have to fear “what happens after the order is placed.”  Yes, they know they must stay in communication with the customer, but they also know their in house team has their back.

Executive Leadership Must Lead

Failure to address the bad customer experience correctly is the responsibility of leadership as noted in this posting: Tone Deaf Executive Leadership Ignores What Customers Value. When executive leadership fails to listen to the customers, their tone deafness just adds to the sales objections.

With all the resources including books, podcasts, webinars, seminars, training and development available, no organization should deliver bad customer service. Salespeople should not have to overcome this sales objection.  If it is happening, then executive leadership must get off their rear ends and start leading in the right direction.

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The Economic Collision of Customer Service and Social Media

customer-serviceThe customer has evolved from being King or Queen to being an Internet socially connected King or Queen.  No longer must he or she hang on for minutes to speak to your customer service department. Today, social media has expanded communication and has created a very loud and significant economic collision with customer service.

Sprout Social Index recently released some customer service research that suggests seven out of eight messages on social media are ignored within the first 72 hours.  Add this research to other research that suggests bad customer service costs US businesses $41 billion annually (New Voice Media) and one can almost hear this economic collision.

This past week I reached out to a local small business through a website that advertised handyman services.  I then received an automated message from this small business about being contacted by this firm’s office person and asking if there was anything else the firm could do.  First I was never contacted by the office person and second the email I sent has remained unanswered for well past 72 hours.

Additionally this study revealed that four out of 10 messages required an immediate response from the business.  Better customer service is a motivation for switching brands or businesses for 40% of customers as reported by Zendesk.

From all the data, social media is not only another marketing channel, it has become an economic customer service channel. Failure to recognize the importance of this evolution will cost small business sales leads as well as customer loyalty.

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

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