Customer Service Tips for Sales Managers: How to Coach Your Team

December 5, 2017
Customer Service Tips for Sales Managers: How to Coach Your Team

Are you a sales manager looking for customer service tips? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

We’re focused on customer service development on the blog this month. And today, we’re diving into customer service tips to help sales managers in their coaching efforts.

Let’s explore.

Customer Service Tips

When it comes to selling, customer service comes first. Why? Well, when all is said and done, your customers are the reason you are in business in the first place!

So, your company has three options. They can treat customers one of three ways:

  • Good – Or, arguably: GREAT! In this scenario, the customer is put first—even before the salesperson’s quota. The salesperson goes above and beyond to service—asking questions and making it their mission to understand the needs of their customer. They build rapport and a trusting relationship.
  • Neutral – Salespeople with a neutral view on customer service do the bare minimum. They do what they are required to do, but don’t go above and beyond to service. They’ll help, but only when it is convenient for them. Once a sale is made, they may or may not help when customers have questions or problems.
  • Bad – Salespeople that treat prospects and customers badly are bad for business. What does this salesperson look like? Well, they could care less what the customer wants or needs. All they’re concerned with is their numbers! They’ll sell any product or service, regardless of fit. Then when customers call with problems or complaints, they’ll blame the customer.

As a sales manager, do not accept bad or neutral. If you aren’t aiming for superior customer service and the highest quality of treatment from your sales staff, you aren’t aiming high enough!

3 Customer Service Tips for Sales Management Coaching

Here are three customer service tips to coach your team in the right direction.

  1. Customer service begins at interaction number #1.

Ah, first impressions. They can be great, or terrible.

Ever walk into a store and have a salesperson bombard you from the moment you looked up? Then follow you around and talk way too much? And rather than asking you questions, they tried to sell you junk you didn’t want or need?

And what about on the other side of the spectrum? Ever walk into a store and have an incredible experience? Perhaps rather than following you around, they said, “welcome! I want you to know that I’m here to help. If there is anything at all I can do to make your visit better, or if I can help you find anything, or answer questions—please just say the word!”

Coaching Advice:

Whether you sell a product or service—are B2B or B2C—the same runs true: excellent service matters. As a sales manager, coach your sales team to start all relationships on the right foot. Work with your team to develop 30-second commercials and other introductory scripts. But remember, the point is not for your sales team to share how great you are. Instead, have your team focus on letting your potential customers know how much they care, and that their job is to add value.

Be sure to add your introductory scripts and 30-second commercials in your Sales PlayBook! That way, the team can continue to edit and expand on language. And a bonus perk—new hires will be set up with the best lingo.

The ULTIMATE Sales PlayBook Guide

  1. Great service means having a servant’s heart.

What does it mean to have a servant’s heart? Well, in my opinion, it means being helpful to another person no matter what. No matter the situation or circumstance, a person with a servant’s heart wants to help. Even when the other person has a bad attitude or is acting unkind.

Employing salespeople that love to serve others is key here. If you’ve got salespeople that complain about helping prospects and customers, take note. This is a red flag that you’ll want to pay attention to for the sake of your business and its reputation.

Coaching Advice:

Just like first impressions, employing salespeople that have servant’s hearts starts from the moment they sit down in that interview chair. During the hiring process, make it a point to emphasize the importance of this characteristic. You might even consider adding a question to the interview process such as, “What does having a servant’s heart mean to you?” Or, “In what ways have you gone above and beyond for a prospect or customer while they were treating you badly?”

If you have an existing sales team and have never used this terminology before, that’s okay. You can change the rules anytime you’d like. At your next sales team meeting, share your thoughts. Let the team know that you’d like to focus on improving customer service. Then ask the following questions:

  • What does having a servant’s heart mean to you?
  • Do you believe that you have a servant’s heart? If no, are you willing to adopt a new mindset?
  • Are you willing to be patient and kind, even when another person is expressing a negative attitude or tone?
  • What steps will you take to improve in the area of customer service?

You might choose to ask these questions verbally, or hand them out on paper to fill out. Whatever the case, be honest with yourself. Have the best interest of your prospects, customers, and company at heart here. If you discover an individual on the team that seems resistant, or expresses toxic or negative behavior, let them go. Your company, and the world, deserve to be treated better.

free download: the CFS guide to hiring

  1. Customer service is unending.

Customer service is not a one-time deal. Servicing customers, and serving them well, is a never-ending process.

What’s important to remember here is that at the heart of great customer service are people. And people long for positive connection. Getting to know someone beyond the sale is a choice. Are your salespeople choosing to make deals? Or are they choosing to build relationships with customers that last for years? Or even decades?

Coaching Advice:

If you want to have a business that people rave about, your team absolutely must build strong relationships with customers. Want to get a gauge on where your team is currently, or, during the hiring process? Ask the following questions:

  • What is the longest current client relationship that you have? How long ago did you meet, when did they become a customer, and how long have they been a customer?
  • How many of your clients are repeat customers? Said another way: of your list of clients, how many have made multiple purchases or referrals for business?
  • How many of your former customers (from a previous job or jobs), do you still speak to?

You'll discover some really cool insights after having your team do the above exercise. You might even choose to ask more questions, or have your salespeople share stories. Storytelling is very powerful, and allowing your team to learn from one another is a smart way to grow.

Building Relationships for Success in Life and Work [and How Your CRM Can Help]

Love these customer service tips?

Drop me a comment! Let me know what you loved about it. And, if you decide to adopt any of these customer service tips—or use the exercises—I’d love to hear how it impacted your business.

Want more customer service ideas? Download a copy of our free eBook, Why Customer Service Matters in Sales: 4 Ways to Help Your Sales Team Excel. Click here or on the image below to download.

Free Resource: Why Customer Service Matters in Sales: 4 Ways to Help Your Sales Team Excel

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