Secrets of Promotion by Christopher Given Dip in Bus Admin, Cert in Mgt, ACMI
Sales does not have a very nice image. Salesmen ringing up out of blue to sell their latest product, untrained or unenthusiastic sales staff knocking at your door, are some of images that spring to mind.
But service doesn't need to be like that in order to make sale.
What is Customer Service?
"Customer Service is supply of that which satisfies consumer need and want"
This is about providing a physical product plus all individual tasks that make up entire process. Please do not confuse service with sales, as they are totally different.
"Sales is use of language and presentation in order to persuade customers to buy"
Elements of customer service
Availability of item
After sales service
Handling of orders
Reliability or quality
Most organisations employ people to handle customer calls, emails and to wait on customer's needs The functions are to:
§be there when customers contact company
§provide timely and accurate service
§support sales organisation
All of this is designed for one purpose - Customer Retention
Who is customer?
We usually think of customers as people outside of our company. It could be agreed that a customer is a person who purchases. Another definition could be someone with whom we have dealings.
Customers fall into external and internal types:
These are lifeblood of every organisation. We deal with them every day, either face to face or via telephone. You may have heard sayings like ‘the customer is king' or ‘customers are our no 1 priority'. Well, it's true, because without them there would be no sales, no company and no job.
These people work inside your company. Although they are not traditional customers, they rely on us to provide services and help within organisation in order to get their work done. It is vital that they are treated well, not only because we have to work together, but if we upset one another next time we require each others services, either party could be reluctant to carry out their duties, which could effect business as a whole. Not professional behaviour at all. And if work is held up because of conflict, eventual loser is always customer.
Worth and Price
Businesses need to make a profit in order to survive. Assuming that products are of excellent quality, have been tested and market research has been done, clearly establishing a need and want, then all we need to do is to sell. However, there is one obstacle - customer.
Every person will consider what product is worth to them before purchasing. The price has to be just right before they will buy. One definition of price could be:
The price is sum, consideration or sacrifice given in exchange for goods and services.
An organisation will price a product and that price would suggest it's worth to company. But, imagine customer likes product, but not price - customer now thinks product isn't worth purchasing at that price. In other words, Something is only worth what someone is prepared to pay for it. The customer may have been put off purchase because price was too high. This means a balance needs to be made between price and benefits/features of product.
The company can either lower price and produce more sales that way, or it can make product more attractive by e.g. adding more functionality or re-designing to make it unique in some way, this way product can maintain it's current price. Either way, customer will be satisfied.
Personal selling is about communicating with people, and knowing something about ways in which they can react in different situations will help you to approach them, and find out whether their a serious purchaser, require more information or just browsing. Let's assume for a moment that we know how to sell effectively. Businesses have external visitors that contact them by different means. They will:
·use telephone to enquire about products ·visit company website
We will tackle these in order.
1. Handling inbound calls
Every thing an organisation does will be noticed by customer at some point. From producing a web site to answering telephone, everything must be executed to a high standard in order to generate most favourable impression. When customers enter business premises, they will gain an impression of how organisation operates, value it offers and this includes quality or level of service. And one of ways customer service will be noticed, is via use of telephone.