Want Truly Loyal Customers? Align Sales and Service - Action Selling ®

Want Truly Loyal Customers? Align Sales and Service

October 2017 – Issue 161

eCoach Newsletter


Dear Sales Executive:
What happens in your company after a sale is made? When your sales force gains a customer, how well does the rest of the organization align around the goal of cementing that customer’s loyalty so as to strengthen the relationship for the long haul?

Too often, what the customer finds instead is a lower degree of loyalty-building skills among your service people—and maybe your professional staff, as well. Pretty soon, that customer belongs to one of your competitors.

What can you do about it? Plenty. Please read on.

If you have a question about how to align sales and service to create customers for life, click on “Ask The eCoach“.

We are committed to your professional success.

Duane Sparks Author of Action Selling ®

Want Truly Loyal Customers? Align Sales and Service

Everyone loves to talk about customer loyalty, but what does that mean, really? I argue that customers are not genuinely loyal to your company until they have stopped shopping among your competitors. They aren’t just “satisfied” with you until a better deal comes along. Instead, they value their relationship with you so highly that they go deaf to the appeals of your competitors. They are your customers for life.

The Action Selling ® process teaches salespeople how to forge relationships like that. But no salesperson can maintain loyalty alone. The sales force needs help and support from everyone else in the company who interacts with the customer—the service people, technicians, and professionals who actually must deliver the solutions that the salesperson has sold. Sales and service cannot be at war; they must be in alignment. They must reinforce each other. Ideally, the reinforcement should be so effective that loyalty generation becomes synergistic, the whole being greater than the sum of the parts.

For that kind of alignment to happen, post-sales service has to be about more than fixing problems, managing complaints, and reacting to the aftermath of the sales process.

How does service become “more” than that? I believe that every customer-contact person in a company must learn to act as a Customer Relationship Professional. CRPs take responsibility for improving customer coverage, creating customer successes, and fulfilling the organization’s commitment to the practices and values that create customers for life.

CRPs don’t just try to fix problems that arise. They anticipate and prevent problems with recommendations that fine-tune and optimize the solutions that their company provides. They ensure that customers are happy with these solutions because they gain the customer’s agreement and ask for the customer’s commitment to the notion that the solution resolves a situation in the best possible way.

Alignment demands a common language for sales and service.

That is how sales and service align to create genuine customer loyalty. This means that sales and service need to collaborate and overlap. If, after the sale, customer-relationship responsibilities are “handed off” without extreme trust between sales and service, what you get is tension. To avoid a breakdown in trust, it’s critical that everyone on both the sales and service teams uses the same language to communicate with customers and with one another.

If we expect salespeople and CRPs to pull in the same direction, we must give them a common language, one grounded in common concepts. Just like the wheels on a car need alignment, groups of people must have a meeting of the minds on how to accomplish something if they are to work as a single unit with a common goal. This doesn’t come naturally. It takes training to build a foundation for such a high degree of teamwork.

More about that in the next edition of eCoach.

Get the full story on how to create customers for life. Click here to receive a free copy of my latest book, Masters of Loyalty.

Action Selling ® CRP in Action

Any employee who interacts with your customers can be trained as a Customer Relationship Professional. That includes not just customer-service agents, but also technicians and professionals.

Take accountants, for example. Bergen KDV is a high-growth accounting firm with several offices in the Upper Midwest. Bergen introduced Action Selling ® years ago and has grown into a regional powerhouse. Recently the firm extended Action Selling ® training to its CPAs by means of our new program tailored for Customer Relationship Professionals.

The results were eye-popping, according to Bergen KDV partner Lee Roberts. “When we chose Action Selling ® CRP, we expected to improve client satisfaction and add revenue opportunities,” Roberts says. “To our great surprise, we got much more than we expected.”

To begin with, he continues, everyone was struck by how much easier it became simply to talk to one another, once they began speaking a common language: “Within days following the initial launch of the CRP program, the office was alive with comments about how we were communicating on a better level, not just with clients, but with each other. Our internal sales and service teams actually have found a way to work better together!”

For information about how to make sales training pay huge dividends, contact Action Selling ® at (800) 232-3485.

Learn how you, too, can align your sales and service teams. Get a free copy of my latest book, Masters of Loyalty.