How to Make Your Customer Service a Sales Advantage

There’s a distinct link between customer service and sales. Here’s how to capture that advantage.

Organizations with stellar customer service have an easier time selling both repeat and new business. However, it’s not just because they have a great reputation. It’s also because their sales and customer experience are in alignment. In an age where companies are feeling pressure to move beyond hard-sell tactics, selling with service can give you an edge over your competition. Here’s a closer look at how to make your customer service an advantage and stand out in a crowded market place.

Turn customers into advocates: Offering great service has its benefits. One of the most important is turning your customers into walking brand testimonials. Consider how fantastic service can transform your relationships with customers. Ask happy customers for a testimonial or referral, or connect with them for an upsell or cross-sell.

Capture your service policy as part of your offerings: Consider Zappos’s amazing customer service reputation or the now lamented LL Bean lifetime return policy. If your business is built on fantastic customer service, let prospective customers know. Whether it’s a customer service or return policy—or a guarantee that’s sold as part of your products, like a great service plan—make it obvious. Many customers will buy based on potential service alone.

Listen to what your customers want: Another way to sell with service is to listen to what your prospects are asking for. At a high level, it’s about prioritizing customer service during the sale—rather than making a hard sell. Instead, take the time to find out what prospects are really looking for, and customize your offering to their need. Find out their concerns, and showcase how your products and services are different from the competition.

Sell by turning things around: Many people don’t consider the opportunity to make a sale to an unhappy customer. When a customer is displeased, it’s easy to believe all hope is lost. Yet great customer service can turn an unhappy customer into a lifetime fan. Don’t miss the opportunity to make a sale to a customer who has just seen that you can turn around a negative experience and put your customer’s needs first.

Customer service can be one of your most important advantages in making a sale. Sell with service—whether that means creating a great customer service guarantee or turning your best customers into brand evangelists.