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Why good customer service makes new customers buy on price

Far too many sales people are fixated on customer service

“We offer excellent customer service!”

“I’m what makes the difference: I look after my customers personally”

“I’m here for my customers 24/7”

“Our customer service team is second to none”

We’ve all heard claims like these before. Possibly you are making them. You’ve probably heard your colleagues coming out with something very similar. Your competition is certainly saying that they do all this and more.

Many customer service claims are untrue


Here’s an interesting fact: 80% of companies believe that they offer above average customer service (source: Directors’ Centre). You may believe that your customer service is excellent. You may think it is something to be proud of. But your customers may think differently.

Is your customer service as good as you think it is

Here’s another statistic from the same research: only 11% of customers feel that they receive above average service. Good customer service is no longer enough if you want to wow your customers. You have to reach the highest possible standards if you want to impress. But, before you make this a central part of your sales message, there is something else you should bear in mind:

Good (or even excellent) customer service does not set you apart from the competition

Over my years as a buyer, I received sales approaches from over 1,400 printing companies. Around 98% of them talked about their customer service as a major part of their sales message. No matter what claims they were making about customer service, they all began to sound the same.

There’s another problem about leading on customer service in your sales approaches: buyers expect good customer service. You are telling them that they are going to receive something that they thought they were going to get anyway. That’s not exactly going to get them sitting up in their seats, anxious to find out more about you.

What happens if you sell on something that everyone else offers? What happens if you sell on something that buyers expect as a matter of course? I’m sure you’ve already worked out the answer: the buyer will focus on price instead.

What’s the alternative to selling on customer service?

If you want to get buyers listening to you, focus on solving the challenges that they face in their business. (Here’s a little hint: they are rarely trying to find a better printing company!)

To do this I use a process called the TPD Principle. You can find out more about it here. Essentially, it focuses on solving a customer’s pain.

So is good customer service a complete waste of time?

Of course not! All companies should be providing excellent customer service. They should be seeking to constantly improve the customer experience. Excellent customer service is a very important strategy.

However, customer service is not about winning new customers: customer service is about retaining your current clients. It is about making them so delighted with the experience that they are receiving that they cannot imagine moving anywhere else.

If you focus on this strategy, then you can concentrate your sales efforts on winning business to grow your company. If you do not provide a good customer experience then your sales efforts may have to concentrate on replacing lost business.
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