Customer service and sales
As well as insightful presentations from Domestic & General, Thomson Holidays and the Customer Contact Association, delegates heard from Paul Barnes, Eptica’s UK managing director on the trends driving the sector. He opened the event by talking about the power of multichannel customer service to transform the experience for consumers, increase efficiency and drive greater sales.
On this blog we’ve often highlighted the dual benefits that excellent customer service brings in terms of happier consumers and more efficient operations. This obviously has a big impact on revenue – dissatisfied customers are either going to leave, while increased customer contact to solve a problem pushes up costs.
But Paul’s presentation included examples that went beyond customer retention, positioning customer service as a sales tool, creating revenues rather than its traditional role as a cost centre. Essentially being able to demonstrate a positive link to sales changes the agenda when it comes to justifying customer service budgets.
By arming staff and customers with up to data knowledge businesses can:
- Help move customers along the buying process, by providing information to answer their questions in real time
- Deliver unparalleled insight into customer behaviour, enabling companies to tailor their services to meet customer needs
At Haven online sales are up by 5% since the introduction of web self-service, with the reduction in incoming calls allowing agents to spend more time helping holiday makers pick their perfect break. Customers that engaged with the Eptica self-service system were three times more likely to buy than other site visitors. Societe Generale, one of Europe’s largest banks, provided its front line staff with access to customer and product information through Eptica. This has seen sales of financial products go up by 5% as increased knowledge helps agents provide the best service and advice to customers. These are not isolated examples, showing that it is time for all businesses to start looking at the positive, direct impact that customer service can have on sales.