The sales job has an element of customer service in it. Sadly, many sales people frown upon it claiming, “It’s not my job. Once I deliver the account, I’m out.” Equally, many customer service representatives strait jacket themselves in their job description and put blinders on even the most glaring of sales opportunities. “We’re not sales people.” they’ll say with upturned noses as if referring to lepers. And therein lies friction instead of a smooth customer transition.
Points of contact examples
Now then. To overcome this impediment, both the sales person and customer service rep should first see themselves for who they are: customer facing points of contact or touch points. And so, whereas the former is in the fore front of initiating the relationship, the latter has the enviable opportunity of deepening it. Even if, to enhance specialization, the business structures have the two mutually exclusive , the progressive salesperson knows better. He knows only too well that, even with a customer transition plan template or CRM in place, it’s a hazy line where he drops off and the customer service rep picks. This is why the meaning of smooth customer transition is not as clear cut. Overlaps exist. And poorly managed, they will leave the customer frustrated from being kept hanging or bounced back and forth. Of course, at this points he starts looking for the exit signs.
Smooth customer transition B2B example and importance
For example, B2B travel agencies have sales people who source for business. Having done so, the sellers transit the client to the travel consultant. That’s the one that does the bookings or makes the reservation. Ideally, the hand over is in the shape of informing the client that, “When you call, you will speak to (names of the reps)”. Perhaps a smoother customer transition may be arranging a face to face meeting, but this may not always be feasible. Anyway, being the first point of contact for customers, the frictionless transition of account acquisition to account servicing is the salesperson’s domain; so is handling heady customer complaints arising in the course of servicing the account; and so too, following through on how the client feels about the service being rendered.
And why? Because retaining an account is cheaper than losing one. Further, such sincere customer caring will most likely lead to a referral. This does not make the salesperson a travel consultant. No. In fact, to counter technical questions, he most likely is not versant with, the salesperson goes with the travel consultant to help address such complaints. However, continually feeling the pulse of the service being rendered on the account he landed, comes with the territory of the progressive salesperson.
How to smoothly transition customers, with examples
Now then. By the same token, having taken over the account, the customer service representative (or customer success manager) cannot cocoon herself in her job description and be purely an order taker. She too has a component of selling in her job. Why? Because it is day to day engagements that allow people to open up more. Now, in the example shared, this is the opportunity the salesperson does not enjoy but the travel consultant does. If a client books for a flight to, say, Mombasa, the travel consultant should offer ideas on places to stay; and invite the client to book through her; and just like that, a sale or extra sale is made. At this point a smooth customer transition has in effect been entrenched further.
Employee elasticity and smooth customer transition
Finally. So what to do? In today’s world, a plumber is wise to learn the basics of being an electrician, and the electrician, a plumber. Also, human resource personnel are being challenged to go beyond merely knowing corporate staffing to understanding how business runs. In fact, rigidity in a profession is akin to taking a professional suicide pill; Employee elasticity is a career enhancing move. To stay stationery, in today’s world, let alone get ahead, knowing the basics of something else closely related to your job is a basic must. It is even more pronounced when that “something else” is an opportunity to deepen the client relationship through an extra sale.
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