As a business owner who helps small business owners with their online presence and email marketing, I’d like to discuss a too often overlooked detail of making a sale… Customer Service! No matter how much time, money and energy you put into your digital marketing and marketing materials, when you get that call, email, text, or Facebook message from a customer or prospect, be prepared to engage in a positive, professional manner.
Too often, after much investment in a website, SEO, social media and online advertising, businesses and their teams fall short on their initial customer contact. I’ll share a recent personal example. When my husband and I were searching online and found the home we KNEW we wanted to buy, I quickly researched the sponsoring real estate agents, their websites, social media profiles and reviews and then selected the one I thought would be the best fit. Everything about their online presence said ‘friendly, professional, qualified and able to get the job done.’ I was very surprised when the individual answered the phone. It was immediately clear this agent was not a good fit. The person on the ‘other end of the phone’ simply did not align with their online presence. She had no sense of urgency, poor communication skills, and was more interested in selling herself than in selling us the house. I could not wait for the opportunity to tactfully end this call.
I called my second choice in agents and BINGO! She was great. We immediately had a connection. She was friendly, professional, and helpful. We made an offer on the house within hours and were in contract by morning. Her great customer service skills ensured the process was seamless and we now call that house our home.
The first company likely invested more in their online presence, but fell short on a 5-minute customer service call on what was pretty much a guaranteed sale. That mistake cost them commission on a house and future referrals. The second agent nailed the customer service aspect and won the deal. Which agent represents your customer service? If you’re not sure, have a friend ‘shop’ your business and provide objective feedback.
5 Tips to Build a Foundation for Sealing the Deal
Fully understand the personality of your business (professional, fun, helpful, scientific, etc.).
Invest in and build your online presence (website, email marketing, social media, SEO) in a manner that reflects the core personality of your business.
Align your customer service with your online presence. The customer should never feel surprised when they engage with you for the first time.
Have a customer service plan and train your team members so all customers receive a consistent experience.
Never assume that your online presence is all that you need. Great customer service is invaluable.
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