Selling Zip and Tek Screws - The Art of Customer Serviceby MaryLouise on 04/05/14
By Rebecca Marcotulli:
Mastering customer service, so you don't have to perform 'customer service'. When I first started this job, selling tek screws and zip screws, I knew I had the right intentions in mind. But, I also knew there were things I needed to focus on, in order to make this position fulfilling, all the way around. Fulfilling for our customers, for our prospects and for the company I work for itself.
What were my goals?
What were my priorities?
What could I bring to the table, for all involved?
It always starts with the customer. When you put yourself in their shoes, you are just much more geared to be a valued source. What are their needs? In what ways can I benefit their business? Having this particular mindset during a conversation with a prospect or a customer pretty much guarantees a healthy, business relationship.
How can I answer questions or concerns that any contractor would understandably have for me, during an introductory phone call?
Answer: By having a thorough and consistent knowledge of my product. By having confidence in the product that I’m selling. By staying on top of a changing market and doing the best I can to offer the best deals, and the products that are conformed to suit their business. But more importantly, by understanding the customer’s needs from the beginning.
What is customer service?
Answer: Service to the customer: before, during and AFTER the order is placed.
This is why I ask questions. Questions that are constructed FROM THE BEGINNING to find out what I can do to benefit the customer.
“What items are you using the most of”?
“What application are you putting your current fasteners through”?
“What are you main concerns when it comes to screws/fasteners”?
“What quantities would work for your overall needs, while saving you the most money”?
Questions like these guide both me, and the contractor I’m speaking to along a certain path. The path to a mutually beneficial relationship between my company and our customers, a path to success. We are always geared towards gathering information that can only benefit the client.
Taking the time, in the beginning, to find out more about a customer’s needs, and listening, REALLY listening, are key to my position, here.
Another position I take when I’m on the phone with a prospective client: I pretend I am THEM.
Now, before you jump to the conclusion that I am off my rocker, this I what I mean by that statement.
I put myself in the customer’s shoes, IN THE BEGINNING.
“What would I want to have happen, if I were the person on the other end of the line”?
“What would make ME happy”?
“What would make ME satisfied”?
Thinking along those lines from the beginning goes a long way towards creating a productive, functioning, business relationship, from the start.
One of the most important lessons I've learned along my road to learning better customer service: Accept responsibility:
This kind of attitude means that we truly start out with an attitude of servitude. In other words, we are here for YOU. If there is something we can do BETTER, we will do everything in our power to do so. Having an open mind and attitude as representatives of this company allows for the quickest, most efficient process, possible.
Another one of the ideologies I try to stand by is: “Leave the customer with more service than he/she was expecting to get”. Helping a customer make the correct and most cost-effective decision is paramount, in what I do.
Lastly, we are not entirely selfless in our pursuit to be Number One in customer service in our industry. We realize that a strong business connection with our customers can only instill an even stronger foundation under our own feet. It also confirms that All Points Fasteners stands out, among the many suppliers available to contractors. We understand that the more successful our clients are, the more successful our business is.
I want to change the perception people have about telecommunications. I want them to finish a conversation with me, having full confidence that I've just provided them with quality, and lasting service. I want them to feel GOOD about having received my call.
The goal, ultimately, ends up being this:
Good Customer Service. So, I don’t end up doing any… ‘customer service’.