Across nearly every industry, highly questionable sales and service behaviors are unfortunately quite prevalent in many sales cycles, new client onboarding processes, post-sale communication, and client inquiry/incident support channels.
The purpose of this article is to cite three behaviors to avoid if you want to not only acquire but also retain your customers. Firms continuing to exhibit these behaviors will lose market share.
As you read on, it should be clear how crucial it is for marketing, sales, and service teams to be aligned, in sync, and equipped with the exact same updated client data. Also, it’s important to recognize (and appreciate!) that optimal service should be provided by all departments across all prospect/client interaction points and not just be delivered by the Client Support Unit.
Let’s dive in!
Do you constantly receive ill-timed and inappropriate follow-up email campaigns?
I know I do…
This is a big turn-off for valued, influential, and noteworthy customers, as they may doubt if their business needs are actually understood and if their data is being kept secure and up to date. Merely going through the motion of having to sort through and delete unnecessary email correspondence or call a vendor, supplier, contractor, or partner directly about a blatant mistake on an account can actually cause some high-end clientele to have second thoughts about proceeding with a transaction or continuing a relationship.
For instance, the other day, one of my credit cards incorrectly sent me an “alert” email informing me my credit limit was about to be reached. I knew that wasn’t the case since I barely use the card. Then again, what if I had been hacked? Yikes!
After looking online, it appeared my account was safe and sound. To give me additional peace of mind, though, I then also called into the card services company. It turns out they were stumped, too, and they told me to ignore the odd alert message. This experience was certainly not reassuring!
A few days later, they sent me an apology email saying this did, in fact, happen in error. By then, I had already moved on and forgotten about the incident. Sure, I was not happy that I lost a few minutes addressing the issue during a workday, but I’ve had the account for a very long time, it’s generally served me well, and complaining or trying to close the account would just take up more time. Moreover, shutting it down would negatively impact my credit score and eliminate one of my pseudo emergency credit lines.
On the other hand, I guarantee some people went berserk and canceled or threatened to cancel their account right then and there, or later that day or week!
Have you ever not received a follow-up call to a buying inquiry or request for information in your personal or professional life? How did it make you feel?
When this occurs, many interested prospects or clients, including myself, begin to wonder if their business relationship is truly appreciated or even desired. The following thoughts creep in as days go by without a call back:
“Am I really not big enough for ‘Company X’…It’s rather annoying that I’m going to have to call them back…No one is that busy, are they?…Why wouldn’t anyone want to do business with me…Ugh, what’s wrong with me?…Someone help!…Anyone?!…Screw it, I’ll just go with someone else…That’ll show ’em!”
I guess the money really is in the follow-up.
Have you ever been bombarded with email offers for a product or service that you recently bought?
This usually occurs between systems that are not integrated. In particular, the marketing engine is not connected to the client system of record or there is a very long delay in new client updates trickling over to other systems, including CRM.
To demonstrate, after welcoming another child into our family we increased our life insurance coverage. For probably every week for the six months after that, I received the exact same life insurance offer that I originally responded to. Maybe it was by design, but I don’t think so because the wording in the ad was clearly targeting a brand new customer. I’m convinced it’s because the large company’s systems and departments were not updated in a timely fashion. At least entice or astonish me with a strong investment/insurance/banking cross-sell offer, right?
Granted, I’m just one person. However, if a vendor cannot distinguish between something so simple as when one single prospect turns into a customer, how will they be able to accurately handle a more complex scenario where a company expands exponentially and has key contacts across various business units located in multiple offices offering a wide array of services throughout different regions of the globe?
How industry-leading CRM systems put these concerns to rest
By equipping top-producing account executives, sales operations, and customer support reps with a full CRM suite of Marketing, Sales, and Service functionality, firms can better manage and maximize their most critical client relationships. Employees will become productive with a centralized, real-time depository at their disposal that has data they can find easily and trust, such as:
- company and contact snapshots and associations
- senior decision-makers
- contract signers
- customer buyer patterns and products/services owned
- client interaction history
- upcoming meetings and activities
- competitor profiles
- sales opportunity details and won/lost results
- individual and team sales goals and forecast
- referral sources
Thus, associates can spend less time on administrative tasks and searching for data in disconnected, cumbersome systems. Instead, they can focus more on prospecting, qualifying, executing account sales plans, closing interested buyers, and delivering a memorable customer experience. Additionally, performance indicators for the key metrics can be reported on in CRM with the use of comprehensive and dynamic dashboards and charts, which can be leveraged by Senior Management or for personal use.
All in all, leading-edge CRMs enhance communication and the sharing of information between sales and service employees to streamline the sales cycle and ultimately improve the prospect buying process and ongoing customer experience.