Fulfillment and customer service are often treated as mere backend processes; things which happen after a sale is made. But is a sale “over” when it’s closed or is it just getting started?
Some say no. In fact, some sales and marketing experts believe that “closing” a sale isn’t closing at all. They believe that it’s the opening of a new relationship, a relationship which can be long and highly profitable or short and meekly profitable.
What’s the difference? We think it starts with the company’s attitude towards fulfillment and customer service. Here are three paradigm shifts that can turn your fulfillment strategies into profit strategies.
#1: Remember What You’re Really Earning
Marketing guru Dan Kennedy recently published a book on trust based marketing. In this book, Dan claims that trust is a type of “currency,” and that your primary goal should be to earn trust, not money.
Okay, sounds like the cheese fell out of Dan Kennedy’s sandwich doesn’t it? Isn’t earning money what business is all about? Not exactly. While earning money is important, it’s more important to earn trust.
This is because profits and revenues are merely the fruits of high trust. Trust is the root, and you can’t have the fruit before the root can you?
When trust becomes your #1 priority, your entire attitude towards customer service and fulfillment changes. Your marketing also becomes much much more effective. Here’s why…
#2: Remember that Your Customers Are Always Evaluating Your Company
Your customers don’t stop evaluating your company once they become paying customers. In fact, this is when they get the magnifying glass out. They want full value for what they’re paid. They want to be treated well. They want prompt and clear responses to their questions. They also expect to get more value than what they’ve paid for.
Most important, they’re going to talk. They might be happier than a pig in slop because of how you treated them; or they might be madder than a cat in a burlap sack because they didn’t get what they expected. Either way, they’re going to talk to someone.
When your customers talk, your company is being marketed. You and I know this as “Word of Mouth Marketing.” While word of mouth might not be listed as one of your marketing strategies, it still impacts your brand more than ALL the marketing campaigns you are spending your money on.
Add to this that people can leave comments on blogs, forums, review sites and social media sites, and you’ve got a whole new way of looking at customer service. The internet is like a social billboard where your prospective customers go to research your company, based on what your past customers are saying. Are you encouraging them to say great things or negative things?
If you want them to say great things, you need to make this the final of your fulfillment strategy…
#3: Treat Customer Service & Fulfillment as Marketing
If you want to grow from a small (or medium) business to a large one, you have to get intentional about everything you do. This includes customer service and fulfillment. The age of social media won’t be kind to businesses that treat fulfillment as an afterthought.
Why not work to deliver more value during the fulfillment of a product or service than you deliver during the marketing and selling of that service? Why not create a reward system for the customer service agents who help you earn more positive online reviews? Why not start measuring your review rate, your referral rate and your NPS score?
Every review and referral you have posted online is like a virtual salesperson for your company; a sales person who works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and who never asks for a bathroom break or a sick day.
Want more of those sales people working for you? Then make this simple shift in your customer service and fulfillment strategies. We can help you get started. Just call us right now at the phone number on this website. We look forward to giving YOU and your customers a great service experience.