Great service means more sales
On the weekend Jaz and I went looking for beds. It was an exciting moment for us, our first time buying a big-ticket item together.
A quick side note about me. When it comes to money I am a walking contradiction, spending money on my business, Jaz, or my other passions (including food), I will throw cash like Elon Musk at a Thailand Soccer team. But, when it comes to stuff I need, i.e. a new bed, I am tighter than an Olympic diver’s speedos. So it was with both excitement, and some trepidation we set off to buy a bed.
An hour or so in and everything was going well for my cheap side. We were able to walk around cluelessly in all the bedding stores without those pesky, helpful sales staff assisting us. Some of them were nice enough to not even acknowledge our existence. If this kept up, we wouldn’t know how to buy a bed. I could go back to wasting my money on other non-bed items. That was how it looked, right up until we walked into Forty Winks at Logan.
Forty Winks Logan
Within 30 seconds of walking into the store, we were greeted by a staff member. He was with a customer, but acknowledged us, informed us of their sale, and then went back to assisting his customer.
“Uh oh” My Scrooge side whispered.
Another couple of minutes and we were greeted again, by another sale person. Again with a customer, but happy to say hi as their customer lay on the Sleep Tester 4000, or whatever they call it.
As we were doing the all-important finger push test on each mattress when Richard approached us. Richard was smoother than a varnished coffee table and twice as useful. His friendly, easy-going manner was disarming. He exuded confidence, it was apparent he knew his stuff. At this point, my Scrooge side was panicking, we both knew we would buy a bed from this guy.
“So guys, what kind of bed are you looking for?” Richard asked after the pleasantries. He didn’t ask how he could help. He knew how he could help. He could help by selling us a bed. Why else would we be in a bed store?
*Pro tip – If you manage a sales team, get them to stop asking how they can help. There are a ton of different ways to ask that question.*
The entire sales process went “training video” smooth. Richard popped us in the Sleep Tester 4000, looked at numbers that printed out, wowed us with his technical bed knowledge, did you know there is more than one kind of mattress? Left us alone when he thought we needed space, and built rapport using personal and relatable stories. No question was too hard. He met our indecisiveness with patience and understanding. Even as a salesperson, I could see what he was doing and I still wanted to buy from him. He came across as a genuine person, who honestly cared about our sleep cycle and red/green comfort level. The result? We ended up paying $2500 MORE than our original budget, and we left happy with our decision.
The important parts
I would gladly sing the praises of Richard and the team at Forty Winks Logan. This is evident by the fact I dedicated an entire blog post to them. But why? It wasn’t because Richard is a great salesperson, it is because he offered incredible customer service. That made him a great salesperson.
I have been in sales and marketing for over 20 years, I have known salespeople who were so good they could close a deal for a Vegan to buy a butchery. But, they rarely saw repeat business, it is excellent if you can close, but it is ideal if you can keep the customer coming back. This was the difference with Richard; he didn’t close us, we closed ourselves, he merely provided the tools and justification we needed to do it.
Two significant parts of sales are creating leads, and closing leads. If you can give fantastic customer service, and train your staff to do the same, you will find it easier to gain more sales from the leads you have coming in, and those satisfied customers will generate more leads for you.
The Top 5 ways you can improve your customer service.
1. Acknowledge the customer asap – regardless of being in a store or an online customer, if they contact you within your business hours, you should be in contact with them in less than 5 minutes online, and less than 1 minute if they walk into your store.
2. If you say you will do something do it – I am amazed how many salespeople miss this, if you tell a customer you will phone them back within an hour, make sure you do, even if it is to say to them you are still waiting on more information. If you know, it will take a while, be honest about it, don’t say what you think they want to hear.
3. Treat your customer as a person – Empathy, compassion, and patience go a long way in customer service. Your customer is not a walking wallet. They are a person with thoughts and feelings, don’t be afraid to let your humanity shine through when talking to them, as the saying goes “People buy off people”.
4. Know your products – You are the expert, make sure you know what you are talking about, give the customer the features and benefits, explain why you are showing them that model/service option, and tell them why it is the best fit for them.
*Pro tip, limit the options you show them to 3, pick the 3 best options that fit their needs and stick with them, any more than 3 and people tend to get overwhelmed, which can hinder closing the sale.*
5. Follow up – Once your customer has purchased don’t forget them, send them a card, an email, or a phone call, asking how the product/service is going, make sure they are happy. This follow up is what helps you retain your customers, when you show them you care, they will appreciate it and tell their friends.
There are plenty of other ways to offer fantastic customer service which I will go into in another blog, but if you can start with these 5, you will see a better response from your customers and an increase in sales.
I would like to conclude this blog with a huge thank you to Richard and his team, if you live around the area and need a new bed, have a chat with them, you will not be disappointed. Even if you don’t live near them, give them a call, they are seriously that good.
Do you have a memorable customer service experience you would like to share? Comment below