Multi-Channel Integration: Understanding the New Age of Customer Sales and Service
In sales, it’s all about connections, and not just phone, Internet, and remote computer connectivity. You need social relationships. That’s really at the heart of sales. It’s about people. With that said, you don’t always need to “press the flesh.” Social media is an excellent tool to reach out to people in your target market. So is email. Here’s how to understand the new age of customer sales and service.
Use Social Media
Social media is one of the best ways to connect with people. Facebook, Twitter, and other similar sites are not the most traditional ways to deal out customer service, but they’re becoming more normal now.
How many times have you seen companies advertise their Twitter account, saying “connect with us on Twitter”? Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that more and more companies are doing this. Why not you?
Email is still one of the best ways to communicate with people. It’s personal, it’s professional, and it’s intimate. It’s the next-best thing to actually being in a person’s home. But, with spam filters doing an exceptional job of blocking emails, how to you keep up with your clients and make sure your emails are getting through?
First: Make sure that your clients and prospects have you “whitelisted” in their email program.
Second: Make sure you’re using a lead capture and management app that can intelligently automate follow-ups and keeps the sales cycle moving for you.
For example, this mortgage software allows you to set up leads, track them, and follow up with them automatically. That’s what you want in your organization.
Pick Up The Phone
Allowing customers to call in to place and order or ask for a refund is the most direct way to handle customer service. This is a no-nonsense, quick style of communication. And, if your company has adopted multi-channel sales, you can allow customers to come into the store or make a return request online, thereby controlling the sales and refund process.
Visit Them In Person
For businesses that still do door-to-door sales, this is one of the best ways to handle customer service. You’re physically in the customer’s home, you can place orders online, over the phone, or through more traditional means using paper and pen – it’s a true personalized multi-channel sales process.
Allow For Some Automation
Customers are getting more used to the idea of automation. For example, Amazon.com has almost fully automated its return policy. Users log online and request a refund through the website, get a shipping label and never have to speak with a customer service person.
If you can pull this off, and make it dead-simple for the customer, this might be one of the best ways to handle simple refund requests. It’s multi-channel, since customers can choose to drop off their packages in the store, or they can drop them in the mail.
And, best of all, you don’t need a large customer service staff to manage this solution.
Richard Reyes is a sales team leader. He enjoys sharing what has worked for him and his team over the years. You can find his posts on a variety of websites and blogs.