Getting more customers is what makes your company successful. And, naturally, you pay close attention to the way you finalise a Fire and/or Security sale.
But what happens after the first sale has been closed is even more critical if you want to turn a customer into a raving fan.
Why raving fans are important for Customer Service
Raving fans are far more likely to recommend you to their friends and connections.
And having a deeper, more personal relationship with your customers can also prevent a lot of potential customer service issues.
I watched a great video on this recently. Here’s a summary of how it applies to YOUR Fire and Security customers.
There have been several studies done with doctors in the US that shows if they can sit down and educate their patients for a few minutes on the kind of care they will be getting, it dramatically reduces the number of times they get sued!
When the patient feels they actually know the doctor personally, they are more emotionally involved. So, if something goes wrong during the treatment, the patient is much less likely to feel the more negative emotions that put them on the road to taking legal advice.
Why? Well the doctor may have made a mistake but the patient knows they are, at heart, a caring person.
This data can be applied directly to the Fire and Security industry in terms of customer satisfaction and customer feedback.
If you are a business development or account manager who is driven and goal orientated, you are focused on the equipment, maintenance and monitoring services you can upsell to hit your quotas.
So, when you are talking to the person responsible for a company’s fire safety or security systems, it makes you less likely to take the extra 10 minutes to ask more personal questions.
It’s not a priority for you to add some human interaction to your business conversations.
But perhaps it should be.
What happens if your customer gets called by a rep from your competitor who is a lot more engaging. At a time when your contract is up for renewal. And you’ve had a year where some things have not gone as smoothly as in previous years.
You can see where I am going with this, can’t you?
If there is no loyalty, no personal connection, the decision to switch suppliers becomes a lot easier.
How can you build and nurture your Fire and Security customer relationships?
Could you find out what you have in common? Maybe you’ve both become new parents recently. Or have a sport or hobby in common. I know one salesman who regularly ‘touched base’ with his customers just to talk about the football team they have in common. Or even have a cheerful chat about a football rivalry.
Use that advice with care though. My Dad who sold insurance, had a rule: “Never talk about politics, religion… or football!!!”
The important thing is to build some affection and compassion into this relationship that you can depend on if something goes ‘tits up’ in the future.
Sadly, so many Fire and Security business development reps and account managers keep things strictly professional. There is no crossover. They have nothing to talk to their customers about except what they can upsell them. It makes for a very one-sided relationship.
It’s not just the staff involved with your commercial Fire and Security customers either.
Even your domestic engineers or installers can get involved. If they are at a house that is unusual – or even just immaculately cared for – they can comment on how nice the house is. Ask if the owners have had it redecorated recently or has it been extended. Start a more human conversation that is not just about more sales. It may well lead to a better testimonial – or even to a testimonial that you might not have got otherwise. Customer feedback on Google Maps or some other online review site is crucial to getting new leads for your sales team to close into customers.
I’m not saying that you have to put huge amounts of time into these more personal interactions – that can make for a very expensive business relationship. But you should invest something in order to ‘humanise’ your company’s brand.
As Donald Miller says in the video: “Let there be a few minutes of human to human interaction. Especially at the end of any sales cycle that you have guided your customers through.”
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