Archive for the ‘Customer Service’ Category

As you work with your customer remember there are two sides two a coin. I’ve found that sometimes you may be discussing the same issue but coming at it from different angles that can cause a disconnect. Make sure to understand your customer’s perspective so you can better serve them.  This will not only help you in positioning and selling your product but also how you provide the best customer service possible.

Jody Sedrick
Follow me on Twitter: @jodysedrick and @zenewareinc
LinkedIn Profile  | Zenware | RoadFS
Instagram: @jodysedrick  | @roadfs | @zenwareinc

Communication with your customers is critical to your on-going success especially when things are not going to plan. Make sure to communicate what went wrong, a plan of action to correct and an estimate timeline for resolution. It’s ok to have bad news – be willing to address the problem and articulate what you can do to best serve the customer.

Jody Sedrick
Follow me on Twitter: @jodysedrick and @zenewareinc
LinkedIn Profile  | Zenware | RoadFS

Your growth as a company is dependent upon your Execution. We often think and push the importance of the sales team executing. However, your entire team needs to execute to ensure your customers have a phenomenal experience.

 

Jody Sedrick
Follow me on Twitter: @jodysedrick and @zenewareinc
LinkedIn Profile  | Zenware | RoadFS

Once a deal is sold and paper inked is your work done?

if you said yes, you are missing significant opportunities for future sales.

Your work is just beginning.

Case in point, one of my sales team recently signed a deal for our product RoadFS™. We are in the final stages of the setup and training.  This morning I asked him how the final training went with the customer.  He responded, “I heard it went really well”.  I asked, “Wouldn’t it be better for you to personally touch base and see how the training went?”

Fortunately he took the hint and made the call. Two people were involved in the training. In his first call the response was more of “Thanks for checking in. We are good to go”. The second call led to a in depth discussion about previously unknown plans to grow the retail side of their business. He is now entrenched in  discussions to roll out RoadFS™ to the mobile side of their business.

That’s right he discovered a new sale from an existing customer. Why? Because he made the effort to stay engaged with the customer.  He followed up not to “touch base” rather he called with a specific purpose to follow-up on the installation and training of our software.

Would the customer have called to initiate the next purchase? Probably. However, due to his continued investment in building the relationship, after the sale, the door was opened earlier to a new sale.

Remember just because a customer is sold doesn’t mean you stop investing in solidifying and building the relationship with your customers. A customer’s experience continues after the sale. Prove that you are the trusted resource you sold yourself to be.  As you get embedded with your customer you may discover the opportunity is a lot bigger than you imagined.

Have a great week!
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Jody Sedrick
Follow me on Twitter: @jodysedrick and @zenewareinc
LinkedIn Profile  | Zenware

Travel and salesI wouldn’t consider myself a road warrior. But I spend enough time on the road to catch glimpses of conversations on planes and in airports.  This week while traveling to North Carolina, Atlanta, New York and finally Boston I had the “opportunity” to “overhear”  a very loud sales person talking on the phone while waiting to board the plane.

His conversation went something like this…

“I really don’t care about the sale. They’ve drug this out so long. I just want to be done – so I can move on. This has taken way to long and now they are rushing the contract. What’s the hurry? Implementation and rollout aren’t until April.”

Obviously I don’t know the background of the sale, the sales person, the customer or circumstances. But as I listened to this totally disinterested, frustrated and arrogant sales person and his attitude toward serving his customer a flow of thoughts and questions hit me. Here are a few:

  • I hope that’s not what my sales team sounds like.
  • How does the customer feel when interacting with this sales person?
  • During the early stages I can imagine him dropping in with a cheesy smile, dinner and glass of wine saying “So you ready to sign?”
  • Is his attitude bleeding over to the customer? Are they sensing a change in attitude? If not today, how long before they see the real character of their sales rep?
  • He sounds like a one and gun sales man complaining when he doesn’t get the sale and even when he does.
  • Was he concerned that the contract wasn’t right for the customer or right for him? Based on his conversation my guess was the later.
  • What long term opportunities are lost by such an attitude?
  • What company does he work for? Is this a company mine set or an individual? Based on a secondary conversation where he complained about someone “He’s not on our side he’s a company man. That’s why he was promoted”

I was left with a very small glimpse of the story. But his conversation gave me  a moment to reflect on my own attitude and interactions with customers. A few personal questions:

  • In every conversation am I building positive relationships? This could be with customers, team mates, managers or potential customers eavesdropping on a conversation.
  • Do  my customers know and feel like I’m working for them?
  • Am I genuine through entire process – sales, close, implementation and account management?
  • Do I work the sale after the sell?
  • Have I slipped into a mode of negativity?
  • Do I need a personal attitude adjustment or is it time for a change?
  • If someone overheard my conversations would they want to do business with my company?
  • Would they want to do business with me?

Ultimately this overheard conversation reminded me to be mindful that even when you’re not selling you’re selling! Maybe to people you don’t even know are listening.

Have a great week!
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Jody Sedrick
Follow me on Twitter: @jodysedrick and @zenewareinc
LinkedIn Profile  | Zenware

Customer Service - The Power of FriesWhen was the last time you were WOWED by customer service? Can you even recall a customer service WOW moment?

I dare say that being WOWED as a customer is the anomaly not the norm.  Wait check that…. I suspect we’ve all had a WOW moment but it was more in line of “Wow! Can you believe the horrible service we just received?” “WOW, Can I talk to a manager? or “Wow, I’m NEVER going there again!”

I recently had a “WOW! That was UNBELIEVABLE!” moment and it gave me pause to reflect on the power of WOW in customer service.  Let me share my “WOW! That was UNBELIEVABLE!” moment.

After a full-day of business meetings and no lunch I stopped with my partner at Chic-Fil-A.  I ordered a spicy chicken sandwich and a lemonade.  Thinking that I had ordered the Spicy Chicken Meal I was surprised when my order came with only a chicken sandwich, lemonade and no fries.  I commented (more as a reflection to myself), “I thought I ordered a meal?”  My server said, “I”m sorry but you ordered just the sandwich. If you like I can get you some fries. Don’t worry it’s on us”. I protested saying, “No it was my mistake I’m glad to pay for the fries.” He responded, “No worries, let us take care of that for you today.”

I couldn’t believe it. I walked away and said to my partner “WOW! Can you believe that?”.  “That’s never happened before”.

Now throwing in some fries may seem like a little thing, but WOW what an impact.

Lessons Learned
1. The customer comes first. This wasn’t a question of whether the customer was right or wrong. I admitted to messing up the order. I  offered to pay the difference. Yet, the server was willing to take care of me.  He didn’t make a big deal about the missed order. He focused on getting the order right. In the process he provided a phenomenal dining experience.

2. Empowered Team Members impact the customer experience.  As my partner and I sat down to eat we discussed the rarity of such a customer experience. He wisely observed, “It’s not only that he took care of the situation but that he felt empowered to do so.”  Obviously this server had the power to act. There was no hesitation. There was no “let me ask the boss.”  He was empowered to act. Thus, when it came time to act, he acted with out hesitation – leaving at least 2 customers “WOWED” by the experience.

3. Culture of Service. Now you might say, “Well that’s nice. That doesn’t happen very often.” Your right!  But here’s the kicker. My experience didn’t stop at the free fries.  When I returned to the counter for a lemonade refill a second server greeted me with “Hello sir, it would be my pleasure to refill your drink what did you order?” before I even made it to the counter.  Yes, it’s a little thing. But being greeted with an attitude and desire to be served left me with my second “WOW” for the day. I recognized that the manager and team of the Boise, Idaho Chic-Fil-A fostered a culture of service. I hung around to see other customer’s interactions with the Chic-Fil-A team. I was surprised to see that the culture of service was exemplified in every interaction – even when they were clearing off the tables.

Yeah I know customer service is touted by every company.  Maybe it’s time we actually took a lesson from my experience at Chic-Fil-A and developed a culture and attitude of service. We might just find our customers being WOWED by Incredible Service.

Happy Selling!

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Jody Sedrick
Follow me on Twitter: @jodysedrick and @zenewareinc
LinkedIn Profile  | Zenware

It’s the end of the month. Your manager is pressing you to hit that monthly or quarterly sales number.

You call the prospect and say something like “If we’re able to close by the end of the month we can do ….”

Desperation kills!

Desperation kills the natural momentum of a sale. Desperation shifts the focus on price rather than value. Desperation causes the customer to second guess your intentions. Desperation ultimately puts the customer in the driver seat.

Remember confidence!

Confidence is service minded. Confidence engenders helpfulness. Confidence works a calendar even though it’s set by the customer. Confidence reminds you to work for the customer not the sale. Confidence wins customers.

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Jody Sedrick
Follow me on Twitter: @jodysedrick and @zenewareinc
LinkedIn Profile  | Zenware