Most products and services have become commodities in the marketplace since the internet makes them so easily available. The existing definition of customer service has expanded as customers now actually choose to buy experiences from companies and form business relationships with their employees before purchasing. This has led to a need for increased client engagement skills and processes inside every company to help drive sales.
The following skills can help businesses do an effective job of keeping their customers engaged, which can help with boosting long-term revenue.
4 Valuable Client Engagement Skills...
Since customer service often means extended direct customer engagement, being able to actively listen and have a dialogue with a customer is important.
This can be difficult when employees immediately put a customer in a category and start selling them a predetermined solution—perhaps one they don't need. Learning what customers' actual needs are up front can help companies have a higher sales success rate.
2. Empathy and Patience
Two of the most important client engagement skills to have are empathy and patience. Being in a rush to resolve customers' issues—or to understand what they need—can sometimes hurt sales if proposed solutions fall flat.
As previously mentioned, letting the customer talk is an important first step. Having the patience to listen can help customer service employees show the empathy needed to understand the customer's point of view and pose several sales solutions.
People buy from who they know, like and trust. It can take time to build this sort of trust, especially in larger, more complex sales. A company shouldn't assume they have the trust of the customer until they make repeated purchases or refer other buyers.
Every customer interaction is unique. Employees should be able to use their client engagement skills to adapt to every possible situation. They can't let their own personal moods or daily challenges get in the way of offering the customer a quality buying experience.
To accomplish all of this, many companies now hire team members that have experience in the hospitality industry since they have many of these client engagement skills. Being able to foster solid relationships with customers through great service can help lead to repeat sales and referrals.
… and 4 Helpful Client Engagement Processes
1. Be intentional with your client interactions.
One way to improve your sales is by determining the purpose and desired outcome for each client interaction.
You can do this by segmenting customers based on their industry, specific need, product purchased or stage in the entire process. This can help companies customize a sales approach that matches that specific customer's needs. It may also increase the chances of a successful outcome.
2. Monitor all channels of communication.
Consider monitoring traditional phone calls, emails and all the social media platforms your company uses. Customers communicate what they need through all of these channels, and it's important to be there to address them. Those needs can also inspire necessary process changes that can help improve sales.
Most social media platforms will send a notification when the company is mentioned in a post. But there also needs to be processes in place for timely, person-to-person follow up. This can help increase the opportunity for an initial or follow-up sale. Tools like Google Alerts and Talkwalker also notify users when new content featuring the company name is posted on the internet, allowing you to respond in whatever way you need to based on the content.
3. Watch peer-to-peer communication.
Some customers may trust reviews and other user's comments more than any advertising or other promotion a company does. In fact, many customers will read about other buyers' experiences before contacting the company to purchase.
Keeping this in mind, consider monitoring and responding to comments made on these sites .
4. Follow up with customers until a resolution is reached.
A big complaint customers have is needing to explain their needs over and over again.
One way to avoid this is by implementing processes that either has the same team member handle the sale process from beginning to end, or makes sure that someone is responsible for dealing with all customers at a certain stage of the sales process.
The buying process for customers has changed. As a result, companies that foster new client engagement skills and train their employees in processes that leverage them to boost sales are able to change with them.
Read more articles on customer relations.