I read a great article ” Sales through service: The start of social business
” By Jennifer Kirkby. We have been doing this at Prosper for about a year and our students that were sold through service are very happy! Please read and let me know your thoughts? She wrote the following:
‘Sales through service’ is a simple concept, and one that is becoming increasingly popular as organisations look to drive their contact centres into profit centres. But sales through service requires a lot of hard work to get it right. Jennifer Kirkby explains what it is, why it’s important – and how it can be implemented successfully. Jennifer Kirkby,shares examples of sales through service:
- Key account managers, whose role is to understand client’s needs and find solutions from his company. The best do this through personal conversation, like the IBM client manager for an airline who spends most of his time talking in the airline’s staff canteen.
- The Dyson field service team who, whilst carrying out servicing in the customer’s home, find out through conversation what issues and needs the customer has. They are well versed in all the products and connected to operations to put right any issues. Customers have been highly delighted with this ‘time saving’ service.
- John Lewis thought that leaving customers to browse was what they wanted, but customers thought staff were being aloof and unfriendly. After a five year sales through service programme, staff now acknowledge the customer, open up conversations and close sales by matching product to need as closely as possible – even if it means selling a lower priced product than the customer had intended to buy.
- Amazon, which was founded on a sales through service philosophy.
- O2, which supplies service contact centre staff with information on the customer’s risk of attrition, and the three best offers (sales or service) to make to that customer based on propensity modelling and the content of the call. Around 6% of its 50 million annual calls now generate revenue, and customer satisfaction is reported to have risen.
All the examples emphasise that sales through service is not just about revenue generating sales, it is about exchanging value. That may be free upgrades, helpful advice or customer care, in exchange for customer engagement, recommendations, valuable data – and yes, at some point sales
I agree, after being involved in Prosper customer/Student care for many years. We have found that Jennifer Kirkby is 100% right on point!
Resource– Sales through service: The start of social business” By Jennifer Kirkby-28-Aug-2008-MyCustomer.com
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