Providing outstanding customer service can give your business a ‘head above the rest’. This could allow for a point of difference amongst your competition and keep people coming back to you again and again. Find out some practical ways to provide outstanding customer service in this segment from an interview between Dale Beaumont and Belinda Yabsley.
In 2005, Belinda was appointed to the role of marketing and customer relationship manager for Mercedes-Benz of Sydney and 2006 saw her become the first female and youngest branch manager of a Mercedes-Benz dealership.
What are some of the practical things you have done to exceed the expectations of clients and deliver outstanding customer service?
- Customers crave and reward memorable experiences. Word -of -mouth is the most powerful advertising tool a sales professional can leverage in their business and it is created from memorable experiences. We must understand that customers are not always right, but they do come first! Therefore, the better you know your customers, the better your understanding will be of their expectations, likes and dislikes.
- I always think that the relationship I have with my customers is like the relationship I have with my partner. More often than not, it is the simple things in life that are often the best. I think about the things that pleased my partner; made him smile, laugh and love me more each day. Was it the picnics? The lipstick messages on the bathroom mirror? The notes and little gifts left on his pillow, or remembering and celebrating monthly and yearly anniversaries? Or was it because I was always there to listen and be supportive when he needed me most? It was a combination of little things and this is exactly what customers crave and talk about – the promised follow-up call, the handwritten letter, a thank you gift, an unexpected visit, an invitation to a function, remembering their birthday or the offering to collect their car when their service was due. The strategy I have for customer relationships is not that different to my personal relationships (except I leave out the lipstick and pillows!).
Exceeding expectations and delivering outstanding customer service should be part of a sales professional’s DNA. Once this is mastered and consistently delivered, you will then become the talk of every dinner party and every Sunday afternoon barbecue. Whatever you do, you want to be doing what the majority of people are not doing so that you remain at the top of everyone’s mind every time your product or service is discussed.
- It is also vital to note the importance of thanking prospects for the opportunity of their business, even if you did not win it this time around. I religiously send out a handwritten note, remembering that two per cent of mail today is handwritten and 97 per cent of people prefer a handwritten note rather than an email. In the letter, I simply say, ‘Thank you for the opportunity of your business. Sorry I missed it this time, however, if there is anything I can ever do for you, your friends or your family in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me’. Regardless of how much effort you put into the lead-up of a sale, or if your prospect purchased elsewhere, you should still stay in touch with that person.
With a long-term vision in mind, you should still want to convert that prospect into a customer in the future if they were someone you felt you had built trust and a good rapport with. Mark my words on this because your competitor will drop the ball at some stage, and you want to be the first person they call for their next purchase.
For more of this interview and finding out some practical ways to provide outstanding customer service check out “Secrets of Top Sales Professionals Exposed!“