Sales and Service vs. Marketing and Sales

LoriAnne Hancock By LoriAnne Hancock, 25th Jul 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Business>Analysis

When did 'Sales and Service' become 'Sales and Marketing'? It didn't happen overnight. No, there has been a long, slow, steady and painful decline in service. But let's think of ways you can enhance your business by building employee and customer loyalty through a simple follow-up satisfaction call.

What is Sales and Service?

Before 'Sales and Marketing' there was 'Sales and Service'. Businesses became successful based on a formula that included both. Customers felt safe when they purchased something because there would always be a 'service department' to fix things when they broke. This method seemed to work until products became so cheap that it was more expensive to repair them than to buy something new. Service departments were no longer needed, in fact, service was no longer needed. Service training fell down, the young people never got the 'service concept' and now it has morphed into 'Sales and Marketing.'

Why 'Sales and Service'?

Service with the sale worked because consumers spent money and products were built to be repaired and to last. If you don't believe me, check out the Sears Refrigerator built in 1947 that is still working, old sewing machines, old space heaters, old toasters, vintage garments if they've been protected. Sales and Service built customer loyalty and customer loyalty put a lot of young people through college back in the day.

Customer Service Revival

Maybe your company is all about 'Sales and Marketing', and you'd like to bring more of a Service aspect to it. A follow-up satisfaction phone call is a good add. You can do random single attempts or make a list and commit to making three attempts to reach each customer, leaving a message 'Thank you for doing business with us.' on the third attempt if you are unable to connect. Adding a 'Customer Service Reply Card' to the bag upon purchase will gain valuable feedback and let your customer know that you care. Listening to your employee's ideas on servicing your customers is also valuable because they are, after all, a business's 'first customer'.

Examples of how Follow-up might change things

Back in the day I spent a good number of years calling to renew a wide variety of magazines. One of our magazines was a popular wildlife conservative publication and almost everyone we called for a renewal stated that they were put off by the glossy printed materials sent to them because they weren't eco-friendly. There was no place on the card for comments, so the publisher lost that customer and didn't know why. My employer would have done well to take note of that information and perhaps they would have had us call first, because sending out paper wasn't eco-friendly. My employer and the publisher both would have benefited.

Another Example

Remember when AT&T had the long distance market cornered? If they would have called their customers and told them they would match any offer Sprint or any other carrier would have offered, the others would have barely had a chance at the market. Instead, they watched their customer base get sucked away one at a time. Once I did call them, they matched the competitor's rates for six months and switched me back to the higher rate. Lifetime customers would have been lower at higher rates if they would have simply communicated with us.

One More

Remember when Cable TV had the market cornered in the cities and the dishes were 12' across and dotted the rural landscapes? Years of bad service made it possible for the little satellite dishes to take hold and nearly take over. A simple call periodically would have resulted in customer loyalty, more programming sales, and a retention of the customer base they established. They would have learned the complaints and fixed them. Little dishes might have replaced giant ones, but they would have never gotten the hold they now have if the customer service would have been there in my opinion.

Service builds loyalty

Being service minded and service savvy will build employee and customer loyalty. The same skills that come into play in retaining happy employees will apply when building loyal customers. Asking for feedback, specific or for 'what is on top' is going to net you information you didn't even know you needed and that information will be with you while making decisions for your business success.

Let's Talk About It!

If you need a contract person who will study your business as if they were part of your team, pick up the phone and give me a call: 406-741-5177. My team will learn your business and make sure we represent you fully as we make follow-up calls with open ended questions allowing your customer to express themselves about what is 'on top' for them. You will receive quoted and paraphrased feedback in weekly or bi-monthly reports, for your eyes only, or share with everyone! I call it 'Teleconnecting' = Connecting with Customers over the phone for their feedback. - Google that and maybe we will talk with you soon.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
30th Jul 2013 (#)

so true what you write here LoriAnne...quality has gone too...just quantity and poor at that seems to remain....

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