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garydale's avatar

How could improving customer service through customer service management lead to more sales?

Asked by garydale (216 points ) February 25th, 2010

I have a monthly column in an international business magazine and I am looking at ideas as to how using customer service management to improve the customers’ experience can lead to more sales. Any concrete ideas that might not be obvious? Or even personal examples?

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18 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

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frigate1985's avatar

Arent you more likely to go to a restaurant where the waiters/waitresses are all smiling and kind rather than where the folks are all grimacing and mean??

Cruiser's avatar

For me it is the basics that seem to get overlooked and make all the difference between a good and bad experience with whatever business you are in and starts with the first person you encounter in the business. I dread that bitchy receptionist or too busy counter person and just want to hang up or turn around an walk away.

I often hear from my customers how much they enjoy our secretary and how friendly she is. To me that front line person in a business IS that business and will make or break your ability to make your customers happy.

Simple things like a smile, and words like Hello how are you today, How can I help you, Have a nice day and the biggie like a simple “thank you”. These are sorely missing in many of the transactions I encounter these days.

marinelife's avatar

Customer service management sets the tone for the customer service staff. If they are complaining about the customers behind the their backs that sets a negative image in the customer service reps heads.

Customer service management can go the extra mile when they talk to a customer to same a sale (and thus future sales). For example, at Christmas time, I got a coupon for $20 off from a $50 purchase at Hale Groves, a citrus vendor. Nowhere did it say the total had to be $50 before shipping and handling was added. My total was 49.99 before shipping and handling. At first, they did not want to give me the discount. But the customer service rep. talked to a supervisor who authorized them to give me the discount. Keeping me a customer with a good feeling about the company.

ucme's avatar

Lingerie & swimwear departments,the girls should “model” that stuff.Certainly gets my attention.That can only lead to one thing, cash sale yay!!

Yetanotheruser's avatar

My motto, as far as customer service is this: The most important customer to your business is the one you are with at this moment! I have often heard feedback from customers that they would come to a vendor who provides top-quality service (the current trend seems to call it “wow” service”) even though the price may be a little higher. Most customers will pay a little extra for service that makes them feel that their needs are being considered and steps are taken to meet their needs.

in any business, whether it is in a retail, wholesale, business-to business, whatever, the attitude of the point of contact is the face or voice of the business.

philosopher's avatar

I have worked Customer Service, Provider Relations and Public Relations.
People want solutions and respect. People do not want to be bullshitted.
American’s wish to speak with other American’s; not to people in other nations who speak English poorly. People do not want to speak with computers. People do not want to be put on hold endlessly.
This is my message to Dell, American Express and many other so called American corporations.
Verizon has American Representatives but they all bullshit around every question. They have almost no technical knowledge.
They are mostly over paid bullshit Artist.

davidbetterman's avatar

I would tell you, but it will cost you $$$

philosopher's avatar

@garydale
I recently delt with the jerks from Dell. They called my house asking for my Husband at odd hours. It seems like they are unable to calculate the time difference between here and India. I also had difficulty comprehending their English; and they could not understand me.
I have an acer computer. My husband bought a Dell. Never again. There is no difference.
Dell’s Customer Service is very poor.

YARNLADY's avatar

I like it when the place where I frequently shop remembers my name. Many of the checkers at the grocery store know me, and several of the tellers at the bank I used to use knew my name. As they were all replaced, I do all my banking online now.

I think the person in the shop is more important than the one who calls on the phone. There should be a separate clerk to handle phones instead of making me wait at the counter while the clerk that is supposed to be helping me talks to someone else.

I like clerks who know their product and can give sensible answers to my questions.

If they don’t carry the product I want, they should offer to order it for me, or know where I can get it.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

It’s easier and more effective to grow your business by keeping the business you have. The best way to do that is to deliver a customer experience that is heads and shoulders above what your competition offers. In this day and age, people expect good service.

e-Enablement through clear, concise Web page layout, functionality that’s been tested through a number of different user demographics, offering a variety of ways to interact, all keep business. While many people do shop price, a lot of people shop experience as well.

A good example of great customer service is Land’s End product returns. http://www.landsend.com/customerservice/returns/index.html

Directions are clear, multiple ways to interact are clearly stated, getting to live help is available in several ways, including having Land’s End call you, instead of you calling them. LL Bean’s customer service experience is similar.

philosopher's avatar

@PandoraBoxx
My experience with Landsend is OK.
I bought some sweat shirts this Winter. They sent me coupons. I bought my Husband a really great warm Winter Coat

PandoraBoxx's avatar

What happens with a bad experience, is that everyone talks about it. An example would be Circuit City. It didn’t take long for the fact that they were charging a $50 restocking fee for anything that was returned with an open box to make the rounds. Nothing can kill a business faster than the idea that, if you buy something and decide it’s not right, you are going to pay $50 for returning the item. Coupled with the fact that they fired all their long time associates and replaced them with people who were paid $2 an hour less, it’s no wonder that people avoided the stores in favor of Best Buy.

Twitter can be leveraged to gauge what’s being said about your customer service on there, by monitoring your company or product names. It’s an ongoing process, however, and not a sometimes thing. There are services out there that will monitor company image though social commentary.

philosopher's avatar

@PandoraBoxx
I agree.
We buy a lot on line these days.
Lurve for you.
Are you from AB? I think I know your name.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

That’s @Pandora. She’s on here under that name. :-)

frigate1985's avatar

After seeing ucme’s response, i realized that the sales difference can be seen evidently in “Hooters.”

As a hilarious story, when I first went to the US and didnt know wht Hooters was, i thought their logo was pretty neat (I mean, oo for eyes! How creative!) so i asked my friends whether we could eat there and why we couldnt eat there lol and that was 5th grade!!
i had to work real hard to build my name again hahahaha

snowberry's avatar

I got burned big time by a moving company (Bekins to be exact), but I found out that they all have the same tactics, more or less (the theme is don’t trust a word they say). Now I will do just about anything to protect my hundreds-of-years-old antiques from being shaken up like a box of dice again. And now I do everything I can to educate others in how to protect themselves. Contact me if you need a primer. I can offer a graduate course.

In this situation, we bought full replacement coverage, but the insurance company and insurance adjuster screwed me big time out of thousands. My 250 year old sofa is in crumbs because they let it ride 1500 miles on its end. Stupid a——holes.

The lesson? Make sure the companies that represent you don’t screw your customer! They’ll give you a black eye too!

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