It goes without saying that any returning customers (regular or not) want to be recognized and, per say, do not need to be “sold” to your product; hence the annoyance when you persist following a process with them regardless of their status.
All you really want is to ensure they have the best service possible from anyone at your company. One of the best ways to accomplish that is to create value for them…yes, again and again! Value is perceived in as many ways as there are people out there; it is a question of perception. Value for a customer would be “call me by my first name”, for another one: “just tell me how much it costs”.
With that said, once you know who is calling, amongst other information you might have on this person, ensure, at least, that you are using their name. Knowing there is a relationship already on the go with this customer, this approach can make a difference.
So, if a customer is calling your company where he/she knows the personnel by first name, and you know them by their first name, the best practice is to professionally pick-up the call and move to towards a transaction phase.
From get go, I would use the name and still use as many sales techniques I know. At first, it might take the customer by surprise, but would certainly put him/her at ease immediately as you are going straight to business.
- Good afternoon Terry, this is Francis. What can I do for you today?
- Hi Francis, I am looking for…
- Sure, let me see what I can do for you – and I would go on with qualifying the need properly, asking for the sale and trying to fill other needs.
At the end:
- Is there anything else I can do for you Terry?
- Thank you…
In light of this, one of our clients asked me the following: “Our goal is to efficiently take care of our loyal and repeat customers, while capturing all the highlights of our scripted calls with the random callers. How can we do that?”
We tend to fall easily in the “oh, I know this guy” trap. The needs of those loyal and repeat customers are essentially the same as the new ones. The only difference is that they have knowledge and past experience with your business; that definitely will help speeding up the call, but the rest must remain the same. Here how it goes:
- CONNECT: they still need to have the same courteous service like: smiles, eye contacts and undivided attention. For new customers, this is to build the relationship, for repeats, this is to maintain it.
- DISCOVER: they might know (or not) what is needed to fix their problem (so you qualify the need thoroughly). There’s a good opportunity for you to show your expertise and, in a sense, educate your customer.
- DELIVER: You want their business, so you ask for the sale and, to ensure they have all that they need, you fill other needs or offer related items. This will save them time and money…not to forget that it will make you look good!
- CLOSE: Once the transaction is done, you sincerely thank them. Signs of appreciation, mainly for a repeat customer, is probably what is valued the most.
Remember one of my #1 rules in sales (I have about 10): “in sales, take nothing for granted but make sure you cover all that will help you make that sale.”
So, yes, cover the entire sales process while interacting with those repeat customers…but be certain not to used steps that are unnecessary.