Here’s the thing: happy customers are more likely to buy more, and they can do so repetitively. In fact, retaining your customers can be much more profitable than focusing solely on acquiring new ones in the long run. That’s precisely why it makes sense to align customer support and sales teams and take care of both customer acquisition & retention.
Here’s how customer support affects sales, and how to make sure its impact is positive.
Customer Support vs Sales
If you think about it, customer support and sales revolve around responding to specific problems and offering solutions in the process. In the case of sales, its prospects who reach out to your company. When it comes to customer support, however, it’s the existing customers who get in touch. They both have some expectations and require assistance, though, which is why customer service and sales can be treated as a combination of proactive and reactive selling.
How else do customer support & sales intertwine? Take a look at the following stats:
- The majority of Americans have decided not to make a purchase because of a poor customer service experience,
- 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated,
- 89% of companies consider customer experience to be important to retaining customers,
- Loyal customers are five times as likely to buy again, four times as likely to refer your business, and seven times as likely to test an offering.
It’s clear to see that both sales and customer support agents create the overall experience that every customer, be it potential or existing, has with a company. If both teams are doing their best, the profits are likely to reflect that. Here’s why.
#1 Good customer service improves customer lifetime value
Without customers, your business would be irrelevant – which is why it makes sense to attract and appreciate them constantly. If you do it right, they are likely to reward you through repetitive purchases and free endorsement.
Generally speaking, satisfied customers are much more likely to interact with you and spend more than new customers – which is why focusing on customer retention and loyalty can definitely pay off. Basically, the better your customers are treated, the more willing they are to continue buying from you – and loyalty translates into higher customer lifetime value.
Why is it relevant? Because the higher the customer value gests, the better for your profits. Actually, rumour has it that satisfied customers can have an LTV even six times higher than regular ones.
#2 “Proactive” customer service creates more cross-selling and upselling opportunities
The customer support team can easily notice what the current issues and needs of the existing customers are. If they share these insights with their colleagues working in sales, they can easily create more cross-selling and upselling opportunities in the long run. How come? Such details, paired with an understanding of your products or services, make it easy for sales specialists to tweak both the offer and the narrative to the specific customer expectations.
That’s precisely why it’s essential not only to have skilled sales professionals but also great customer service team on board. And their proactivity shouldn’t stop here.
#3 Customer service team can influence lead generation efforts
Nowadays, customer support doesn’t only have to be the form of “aftercare” for your customers. In many cases, offering assistance way earlier (for example via live chat while potential customers are browsing your site) can also boost your lead generation efforts.
In fact, when providing on-site support for your visitors, you can truly influence their choices and keep them on your site for longer. And it works the other way round too: poor assistance has a negative effect on customer experience. 78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction because of a bad service interaction – make sure this doesn’t happen to you. Be there for your customers whenever they might use your help to make a decision, and consider implementing chatbots for less complicated queries to resolve their doubts even faster.
#4 Poor customer service costs you money and reputation
Customer support can be tricky. Basically, your customers expect an outstanding experience – and they will very rarely praise your team for actually offering it. When something goes wrong, though, unsatisfied customers will not only stop buying from you – but 95% of them will tell other people about it. In many cases, they might even shout it from the rooftops. And the worst part? It can take up to 12 positive reviews for a potential customer to ignore only 1 negative review.
It’s clear to see that customer service is important to your sales, then. Your team has to be well-trained and equipped with the right tools to be able to offer outstanding and consistent support, preferably across multiple channels. Yet again, it pays off to be proactive – you can use brand monitoring to find mentions about your company and quickly identify whether there are any issues and negative comments.
How to align customer support and sales
When working together, customer support and teams can create a proper customer experience. They are both invaluable to the whole customer journey – basically, sales specialists help customers find the right products, while customer support professionals make sure that their overall experience has been positive, before and after the transaction.
How to make both teams work together, though?
- Make both teams nurture customer relationships. Naturally, this has already been the primary focus of customer support teams – but it’s often neglected by sales professionals. After all, it’s the sales team who start the relationship, and they should do so in a proper manner. This way, your customers keep having a positive experience throughout the journey with your company.
- Make it possible for both teams to exchange customer data. With the right software, your customer support & sales team can easily exchange data with one another. Take CloudTalk, as an example. It’s a perfect solution for any contact centre, as it makes it easy to facilitate both inbound & outbound calls. You can keep all your customer data documented and updated, and access them even before picking up the phone.
- Encourage customer service reps to look for opportunities to upsell and cross-sell. As mentioned before, both customer support professionals can do a lot in that department. Since they communicate with customers on a daily basis, they can easily identify such opportunities and share their insights with sales reps to close more deals without being pushy.
Make the impact customer support has on sales positive
Ultimately, your company is only as good as your customer support & sales teams are. If you provide them with proper training, tools and resources – you’re likely to take the overall customer experience, along with your profits, to the next level. Good luck!