There is an increasingly stronger interdependence between sales and customer service and smart companies are paying close attention. I’m not referring to the global behemoths that go to battle each day to win the hearts and minds of consumers. Nope, I’m referring to you and me and all of the smaller entities that must be even more attentive to the hand off between sales and service.

We’ve all bought products and services that pleased us initially however when there was even the most minor hiccup the relationship turned incredibly sour:

  • The item wasn’t working well and the merchant made you feel as if it were your fault.
  • The service provider kept tacking on additional fees even though they were never discussed in the project set-up meeting.
  • The company never responded to your email or calls.

Unfortunately I think we can agree that the list of customer care mishaps can go on and on.

Here are some simple things that every company should do to ensure that their attention to sales success is matched equally by their attention to post-sale customer care:

Don’t win the battle but lose the war.

Digging in your heels on a minor issue can cost you the customer as well as elicit very negative word of mouth. You don’t have to “give in” on every demand however you must be able to negotiate to arrive at a mutually acceptable conclusion. It’s important to not enter the negotiation pre-judging the customer and assuming they just want to take advantage of you. Remain open-minded and remember that the customer might not always be right but they are always the customer and it is up to you if you wish to retain their business or not.

Make it easy to do business with your company.

If it is difficult to do business with your company a smart buyer will simply go to your competition. Review your processes and procedures to make certain that they are customer friendly. If you find that the processes and procedures are difficult to follow or to even understand make it a mandate to change them as soon as possible.

Be responsive.

How many times have you reached out to a company and didn’t hear back from them in a timely manner? How did that make you feel? Thought so! Don’t be “that” company. Make certain that you respond to all requests in a prompt manner and understand that each and every touch point with a customer provides you with an opportunity to create a raving fan.

Let’s face it. We’re all so focused on making the sale that oftentimes what happens post-sale because secondary. My suggestion is to make certain that you pay as much attention to your customer care and retention policies as you do to your customer acquisition efforts. Remember that by keeping your customers happy you’ll keep them coming back for more.