Why Customer Service is Important for Business Development

Sales is no longer about the transaction, it is about the relationship. Customer Service is no longer about solving problems; it is about enhancing the relationship. A good biz dev person should also have great customer service skills. Customer service can also lead to good business development opportunities.

Photo Cred: jm3

Every day that I am on Twitter or Facebook, I see people either praising or condemning companies for issues that they are having. If a person has a negative experience with a company, they no longer just tell their immediate contacts, they will extend their reach by using social sites. I have done it before, I am sure that you (the reader) may have done this in the past too.

Whether you are selling B2B or B2C, it is important to develop rapport with every person you meet. One bad experience may not lead to a letter written to your superior, but may be posted on Facebook or Twitter. The reach of this message could be worst if others comment or re-tweet the message. The results, even if minor, could have a lasting effect since they are now published on the web.

Some companies have great customer service running through their veins, look at Wegmans as an example. Wegmans culture is focused on the consumer, giving them what they want. I have watched Wegmans use social media to enhance their reach using Twitter. Rachel Barnhart of 13 WHAM just did a great piece on this. The outcome is that Wegmans’ social media team has been able to create negative experiences into positive ones. The result is many people thanking Wegmans for their help, which appeals to other consumers as this level of customer support enhances the “Wegmans experience.”

Even without the social media aspect of customer service, it is imperative to build a relationship with your customers. People buy from people they like, building a relationship with your customers is the best way to retain the business and get them to buy from you again. This does not just extend to sales or biz dev people, but service reps as well. So on your next call or client meeting; make sure to take interest in the buyer, influencer, and gatekeeper. Take notes, take a lot of notes and ask them questions about themselves and their business.

Have you had a bad experience with a company and posted it to your Facebook page or Twitter account? What was the result? I would like to hear your stories

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