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The path to successfully combining service and sales strategies is tricky and filled with many potholes, but it is worthwhile. Three key problems must be solved during the planning stage to successfully combine service and sales into a single process and create smoother customer interactions.
The service question must be resolved: When a customer reaches out to an organization with a service question, the agent must resolve that issue prior to making a sales proposition. If the customer issue is not resolved, a sales offer dropped into the middle of a response may further frustrate the customer.
The sales offer must be relevant: When a company makes an offer to a customer during the course of an engagement, it must be relevant to that particular customer. For example, if a customer makes an online hotel reservation, a relevant offer would be to provide restaurant recommendations.
The full interaction must be tracked and analyzed: Both the service interaction and the sales interaction -- including the outcomes of each -- must be captured. This information helps in two ways.
- By providing agents with a full history of the customer's interactions, including service issues and purchase behavior, so the agent has an intimate knowledge of the customer relationship.
- By providing detailed service and sales data to further analyze the types of interactions that lead to successful add-on sales, including the specific types of offers that should be made in different circumstances.
Combining service and sales is not a process that can be blindly switched on; it requires some forethought to remove the blinders in order to drive successful customer interactions.
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