The sales team and employees of a business are not just selling products and services—they’re representing your brand as a whole. There are many circumstances that can influence customer service quality, from understaffing to inexperienced workers. These issues can often seem small or commonplace, but they can actually hurt customer service quality and deter future customers.
All business owners can benefit from knowing what their sales teams are doing right—and wrong. Here are some of the most common mistakes made by sales teams that can impact your customer service offerings.
Mistake 1: Answering the phone before helping customers
It’s never good to let a phone ring and ring without answering it—that alone can give customers a bad impression. But if you interrupt a conversation with a customer to answer a phone call, you’re showing that customer you’re not interested in interacting with them or helping with their concerns.
Solution: Reiterate to your employees that nothing is more important than face-to-face interaction. If the phone rings while an employee is talking to a customer, encourage that employee to pass the phone to someone who can take the call.
Mistake 2: Recognize repeat customers
Certain industries often see regular visitors on a daily or weekly basis, so they most likely have a rapport or relationship already established. Workers can be tempted to act friendlier to regular customers, or even to give them preferential treatment. Employees might think they’re delivering excellent customer service—however, it’s only directed to that one customer. They might be bypassing newer or quieter customers, who will most likely notice the inferior treatment.
Solution: Teach your employees to treat every customer like they’re a regular. The more time and attention they give to each customer, the more likely that customer is to actually become a regular.
Mistake 3: Forcing customers to search for assistance
We’ve all been there—employees are around when you don’t have questions, but impossible to find when you do. For shoppers, this can be incredibly frustrating. Waiting in a lobby or searching throughout a store to find an assistant to answer a simple question can deter customers from ever wanting to return to your business. It might even cause them to search out a competitor for a better, more involved customer service experience.
Solution: Encourage your employees to be available to help every customer. Make sure employees are keeping an eye on store entrances so that they know when a new customer has stepped into the store.
Mistake 4: Overworked and overwhelmed staff
Working in customer service and sales can be tough, and customers’ demands can often seem impossible. Staff need to have an endless supply of patience. When staff are overworked, especially during busy seasons or holidays, their patience can often run short, and customer service can suffer. Customers walk away disappointed and frustrated, all because of their experience with your business. And when employees’ stress levels reach breaking point, so do their poker faces. It’s not hard for customers to notice that staff is annoyed and overwhelmed.
Solution: Make sure your employees have opportunities for time off, and ensure that you’re hiring enough staff to cover shifts or absences. If a staff member seems overwhelmed or irritated, talk to them and see what you can do to make things better.
Mistake: Being content with the bare minimum
“Going above and beyond” is a well-known cliché, but in customer service and sales, it can be very meaningful for customers. Of course, it’s not always realistic for workers to go above and beyond for every single customer—there’s simply not enough time in the day. But it can really make a difference to people, and even encourage them to become go through with a sale or visit regularly.
Solution: Search for ways to improve your business’ customer service offerings and sales process. This means finding out what’s working and what’s not working. A great way to do this is by leveraging mystery shoppers, which can put you in your customers’ shoes and show you what they see every time they step into your business and interact with your team.
Mystery Shopping Service can help you better understand the customer experience and optimize your sales and customer service teams. We send our intelligent, experienced, and observant shoppers out to your business locations to see how things really are—and let you know what processes need fixing. Start improving your business today with a free shop from Mystery Shopping Service!