Customer service is a huge part of any selling entity. So how do you make it stick? Three words: customer service exercises.
The best way to start is by having your sales team practice with each other. Not only will this help your team members develop a better understanding of customer service, but it will help them get to know one another better and improve the overall selling culture on your team.
And who doesn’t love a learning environment?
Here are some customer service exercises to include in your sales and marketing meetings or training.
Customer Service Exercises:
Role-playing is one of the most basic of customer service exercises. The first step in role-playing is to have management create a set of buyer personas that your salespeople will typically encounter. Your team should switch off between being the buyer and the seller.
To make even more of an impact, have specific scenarios ready for your salespeople pretending to be the buyers. This way, the person acting as a salesperson will get the most out of the role playing, and the person playing the buyer has less to come up with on the spot.
Although—I’m sure your sales team will have plenty of examples of scenarios to provide!
2. Never Saying No
This customer service exercise teaches your salespeople that there is always an alternative to something your company cannot provide to clients.
The exercise is as follows: have your team stand in a circle (or a few circles). One person will present a request to another person in the circle asking something that the other person cannot say yes to, but they also cannot use the word “no.”
Example: One person asks, “Can I have a three-hour nap at work each day to maximize my performance?”
Instead of a cold hard “no,” the other person is required to respond in a different way. The goal is to offer multiple options to lead the “customer” away from the impossible request.
For this specific example, it might sound something like, “I wish there was enough time in the day for naps! Did you know we actually have a Nespresso in the break room? The espresso is so good – really helps me focus when I feel like I’m losing energy!” Or, “have you ever tried working out in the morning? It really wakes you up.”
3. Writing Customer Letters
Out of all the customer service exercises you learn today, this one may seem very basic – but it’s definitely a great foundation to instill in your salespeople.
The first step of this exercise is to have a participant share a customer they recently worked with. They will need to share the person’s name, their most recent purchase, and what they needed help with.
Then, the rest of the participants will then write thank you letters to your company from the perspective of the customer described before. These letters should say how the salesperson’s guidance helped them and how it was enjoyable to work with both the sales rep and your company.
These letters are basically mapping out the ideal selling scenario with this specific client, helping your sales reps envision how they should act.
As an example, let’s say Jonathan is a customer, and he just bought a monthly subscription of your service for his marketing department that needed help signing up more users. The letters would be from Jonathan thanking your sales rep for helping him through his problem and explaining why your sales rep was so great to work with.
This customer service exercise boosts team morale and leads to extensive discussion on how salespeople can really be customer-centric in any step of the sales process or thereafter.
One of the most important parts of customer service is personalization. Get your sales team focused on the importance of memory with this customer service exercise. This exercise requires at least six people (you’ll see why).
Have two equal groups (of at least three) line up across from one another and give them about two minutes with each person to ask and answer these following questions:
- What is your name?
- What is a hobby of yours?
- Where did you grow up?
These questions can be modified to fit the needs of your team.
After about three rounds of asking and answering, have each participant fill out a sheet of all the information they retained from their three separate Q&A’s.
At first, this exercise will stump your team. But as you practice this activity more and more, your salespeople will be much faster at retaining important information. They will be masters of personalization! This is also a great exercise to help boost CRM usage. When your sales people are out on the field, make sure they know to plug this type of information into CRM so they never forget the details of someone they’re working with.
5. A Mile in Their Shoes
This exercise is all about understanding where the customer is coming from.
Break your team up into small groups of three or four people. Each group will brainstorm demanding, rude, or vague statements that customers have said to them.
Have each group fold up their papers and pass them to the group to their left. Then, have each group come up with a back story for the customer described by the statements recorded. This should take about 5-10 minutes. This could be that the customer was having a bad day or maybe had a sub-par experience with your company. Either way, have your team come up with a customer service solution for each “customer” as an entire group.
Having a sales team that knows the value of customer service is, well, invaluable! The more you work to integrate customer service in everyday selling practices, the easier it will be for your sales reps. It will create a trickle-down effect and you will see growth and discovery happening in a much wider range of sales activities than just customer service.
Make sure you use these customer service exercises to get your sales team on the track to sales and customer service success.