When Does Customer Service Begin?
The question was asked of me to which I replied, most would say upon delivery of goods and services, but I say that's too late! Some might answer customer service begins upfront at the first meeting, but I admonished this is too late as well. What?!
Clients-to-be recognize when a professional sales or busienssperson enters their office who has done their homework upfront. In the old days prior to the internet, yes, customer service began upon first walking through the door. But given today's technology, we are required to do appropriate research prior to ever departing for a meeting. The size of the company will determine the types of research:
- Website for Executives, keywords, location(s) all which should be read in depth
- Large companies look at where their stock is traded and the 12 month history to get an idea of growth or decline; read the annual report
- Read testimonials from clients; notice where the focus sits
- Compare the company and its clients to their competitors
You can see with this research done ahead of time, you will be well equipped to have an in-depth conversation the first time in. Your credibility will be ahead of your competitors and will most likely land you the next appointment. By finding out the number of locations, you will be positioned to ask if all will be considering your services. Should the answer be "yes", you will then have potentially earned yourself a far larger sale.
Obviously, customer service is required before the first appointment all the way through to delivery, and then frequent check-ins, according to the client's wishes, to see how delivered services are performing. When you operate in this manner, you will be lifted onto the wave of the Smooth Sale!
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