Excellent cooperation between sales and customer service teams is essential for growing a business.
The departments often compete or simply don’t realize the benefits working together brings. The sooner the team members realize that everyone plays for the same team, the better.
The customer experience today is different from ten years ago. It’s more relational and less transactional. The relationship between the brand and the customer has to be transparent at every stage. The customers have control over how your brand is perceived on the internet. Good or bad.
1. Promote exchanging of customer data
Documenting the relationship with the customer is essential for both the sales team and the customer support team.
Sales representatives should have insight into ongoing customer service interactions with clients. That will help them sense the right time to take over.
Salespeople need to know whether the customer is about to turn away or is likely to renew the subscription.
Encourage in-person conversations between the departments in your company. Apart from exchanging emails, a salesperson and customer service rep should be speaking face-to-face as often as possible. That will help build initial rapport and trust.
If your company hasn’t done it already, implement a CRM system. A customer relationship management system tracks the entire customer experience.
2. Encourage cross-team training
Both departments need to learn where each other’s skills are required. Salespeople need to realize that customer service teams know how to talk to customers, find solutions to problems and identify the causes.
While both teams represent the brand, the sales team’s primary focus is building trust with customers and potential customers.
Once the departments understand each other’s roles and the processes involved, sales and customer service can offer a consistent customer experience.
Cross-team training is essential to gain one another’s skills. Sales representatives have probably no idea how to use AI writing assistants in customer service strategy. Or that they have an average handle time target.
Customer service could get to know why sales representatives need critical thinking skills and excellent verbal communication and listening skills.
One of the ways for cross-team training is shadowing. Pair a team member from each department and let them spend a day observing one another.
After the training, they will be able to understand the processes and interactions better.
In the end, it’s the customer who will be the judge if the company works towards the same goal.
3. Take feedback from customer service teams
Your customer service teams have insights into how customers use your company’s products. Customer service agents will be able to provide information on how your clients feel about the products.
They can ask customers critical questions, like “what are the product’s strong points?” “What needs improving?” “Would they recommend the product?”
Your sales teams can use all that knowledge to sell to other customers more successfully.
Take, for example, the legendary shoe brand Crocs. The brand was founded in the early 2000s with the intention of creating foam clogs for boating.
The feedback that the customer service team received surprised the founders. As it turned out, the sailors started wearing their crocs even when they were not at sea. The company started to market crocs to celebrities, presidents, politicians, and other influencers. This move resulted in consistent and rapid commercial growth.
4. Identify opportunities to cross-sell and upsell
The customer service teams often get data that can be extremely useful to the sales teams. Your customer service team should collaborate with the sales team to work out the best questions to ask them. Although customer service’s job isn’t to sell, there are some situations where they can cross-sell quickly.
Let’s say, for example, that your company sells rugs, and a customer calls customer service to find out when their rug will arrive. Apart from answering customer questions, the agent could also check if the customer has thought about purchasing a rug cleaning product.
On the other hand, sales teams can also identify which repeat customers to upsell or cross-sell to, depending on feedback from the customer service team. That team, after all, typically gets customers’ complaints and problems.
Upselling must come at the appropriate time and situation. Sales representatives are usually trained to sense such situations. A customer support team often builds a rapport with the customer. They are the ones that guide them to a solution for their problems. The relationship can be used to upsell appropriate products.
You can upsell and cross-sell via live chats. Recent research found that for customers who use live chat before making a purchase, there is a 10% increase in average order value, a 48% increase in revenue per chat hour, and a 40% conversion rate.
- Your sales and customer service teams can achieve great results by exchanging customer data.
- Encourage the departments to get to know each other’s tasks and problems through cross-team training.
- Your sales representatives should also be taking feedback from customer service. Your customer service representatives and sales team should also be able to identify opportunities to cross-sell and upsell.
- Create a seamless customer journey, so your happy customers come back for more.
Remember, convincing the customer to buy from you the first time is a challenge. Once your customers learn to trust your company through excellent customer experience, they can become allies for your brand.