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Standardize customer programs - without losing the personal touch

Have you ever heard Sales talk about the importance of their personal contact with prospects and customers?  And at the same time heard the argument that there just isn't enough time to both chase new customers and take care of existing customers?

The personal touch between the company and customers is very important to reduce churn. But maybe the pressure to follow up should be removed from Sales, and rather a business should create standardized customer programs to follow up customers on a regular basis. That way we could ensure that all customers are followed up with relevant information, and at the same time let our fantastic and outgoing sales reps spice up the communication with a personal touch.

A recent blog post on FriendsOfFeedback.com states from a study conducted by Rockefeller Cooperation the importance of caring about your customers in order to increase retention. This is music to ears of a Business Developer at SuperOffice Online. A daily focus is set on customer care and adapting business processes by using the company resources in the most efficient manner. This can be a challenge for more reasons that can be mentioned here, but two things stand out as important to me to focus on:

  1. Standardize the sales process Setting the expectations in a sales process is vital for a long term successful customer experience. Use a standardized sales process with a communication plan, templates for content and time frames and automated tasks for follow up to make it simpler for your sales organization to succeed selling. You can use SuperOffice to build a sales guide for this.
  2. Standardize the customer program Follow up the expectations set during the sales process to ensure a continuous successful customer experience. Make sure to include a personalized communication plan, content templates and schedule task to make it simpler for your customer care department to follow up.  A great way to ensure this is the use of the Sales Guide in SuperOffice.

It is more or less impossible to argue that implementing the two steps above is a bad idea, and especially the first step is often used in sales organizations with great success.

My experience is still that step two is a bit harder to implement in a sales focused organization. Is it because it is more “Marketing” than “Sales”? Is it because it is not as easy to see a direct income from activities that do not generate a sale? Is it because the responsibility and reporting is removed from sales and over to a customer care department?

Whatever the reason is – companies need to focus on customer care. Make your customers feel special and make yourself available.

This can be achieved if your company has a customer care program, and by standardizing a program you ensure that all customers are followed up and taken care of. And there is another potential huge upside to this.

If your Sales staff is relieved of all the day-to-day necessary follow up by executing the customer program, they can instead use their energy on the personal touch, the extras, the finesse and surprise they are able to provide to customers. If your Sales team is happy, your customers will be happy and “People work best when they are happy”.

There may be no need to say this – but remember to document all steps in the sales process and customer care program in your CRM system. Only by doing this you will be able to reveal the areas in need of improvement.

CRM

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