It’s a buyers market, even in B2B sales. Buyers now expect the innovation they’ve experienced as consumers when they’re buying solutions at the workplace—and less than one-third report that B2B sellers exceed their expectations. One way that sellers can work on improving buyer perception and exceeding those expectations is to consider the role that service plays in B2B sales.

Let’s start by considering how customer perception has evolved in the past few years. In the past, customer complaints needed to be either of great magnitude or multitude before they received any attention. But the rise of ecommerce platforms and social media has caused a shift. In this brave new world, businesses who rise to the top are those who provide the best customer experience.

Take Zappos, for example. Their stated purpose is “to live and deliver WOW,” and they prioritize delivering superior service on every call to its contact center. Zappos trains its staff to collaborate with customers to find solutions to their problems, whether that’s finding a dressy shoe that’s able to accommodate a wider foot, offering upgraded shipping so shoes arrive in time for an event or “gifting” misdelivered shoes to a customer so they can donate them, rather than forcing them to undergo the hassle of a return.

Imagine what your customer relationships and company reputation could be if your customer service team made the same authentic connection with customers as Zappos does.

Businesses today must be able to compete not only on price and performance—but also on service. The customer service experience is a key differentiator and plays a major role when it comes to maintaining customer loyalty.

Customer Loyalty: The Secret to Success

Sales sells the first deal; customer service helps sell every deal thereafter. The 2018–2019 Sales Performance Report from CSO Insights shows that more than 70 percent of revenue comes from existing customers. It’s essential that positive buyer experiences continue long after you’ve closed the deal. But how?

To extend customer relationships, the service team has to continue delivering on the promise of the initial sale. Customer service makes sure the solution sold is a success, in fact many teams have renamed the service team to be the customer success team.

Data shows that customer satisfaction scores, contract renewal rates and even employee retention rates improve when there’s an open bridge connecting service and sales. Every interaction between sales, service and your customers is an opportunity to either build or erode customer loyalty. When you align sales and service, you also anticipate and prevent problems. Therefore, companies today must recognize that sales and service are two sides of the same coin.

Fortunately, service representatives are well positioned to continue the work of the sales team. According to the Technology Services Industry Association, service reps have 10 times more client interactions than salespeople, which makes them well-suited to bring the sales team insights on a client’s pain points, internal changes or any other feedback.   An organization’s service response then ensures the client has an experience that creates customer loyalty, paying dividends in the form of the four R’s: revenue, repeat business, referrals and reputation.

Sales and service teams share the goal of building customer relationships that improve company performance. This shared goal delivers excellent customer service throughout the buyer’s journey, which builds greater loyalty and helps your business grow.

Ready to take the next step toward aligning sales and service? Our Service Ready training takes a holistic approach that focuses not just on getting new customers, but also on building loyalty and keeping them—and it shows how aligning sales and service improves customer relationships and company performance. After implementing our training program, one client’s customer satisfaction scores soared from 69 to 90.6 percent in just three months. Another client trained their tech support team and experienced a 60 percent drop in their backlog of cases within six months.

Contact us and find out how to transform your service into sales today.

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