Overcome customers’ sticker shock
by Betty Hintch, editor, First-Rate Customer Service Forum
In an uncertain economy, customers seek more value for the money they spend. When a customer says that your prices are too high, respond with these answers:
- Highlight benefits. Know your products and services well, and compare those to your competitors’ offerings. Ask your supervisor to discuss product benefits at your next staff meeting. Seek input from the sales and marketing team about unique features that set your organization’s products apart.
- Note service quality. When your products and services are similar, excellent customer service can set you apart from your competition. Note that your organization makes customer service a priority and trains reps to understand their needs and how to meet them. Example: “Mr. Taylor, I understand that our prices may be slightly higher than those of the competition. However, we offer 24-hour customer support seven days a week, so we can resolve any issue at any time. Our competitors can’t offer you that same support.”
- Offer added value. Maintain a list of promotions, discounts and free items that your supervisor has approved. Examples: “Ms. Smith, I know everyone is cost-conscious these days. To show our appreciation for your continued business, I would like to offer you a coupon for $10 off your next order.” If you meet customers face to face, insert a few free samples of your product. Although the free items may be worth very little, the perception of added value goes a long way. Caution: Be sure to have your supervisor’s permission before you give away merchandise.
Price objections aren’t the only tough questions you’ll receive from customers. “Think Like the Customer, Act Like the Owner” is an online training course that prepares you for tricky customer situations. You’ll have the confidence to handle even the most difficult scenarios.
Last month’s poll
This summer, most of our readers are taking a vacation. Almost half of readers who responded to last month’s poll about planned vacation time said they would be away from the office with no contact. About four in ten said they would take their earned time off, but they would stay in touch with colleagues. Only 5% said their workload was too intense to justify a vacation.
If you’re planning to take some time off, download the Vacation Planning Worksheet at www.OrganizedExecutive.com to ensure that you have everything covered while you’re away. Find it and other reports under the Free Reports button in the navigation bar!
Special thanks to those who provided feedback to last month’s survey. Read on to share your views on the impact of the economy on your business.
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Each issue of the First-Rate Customer Service Forum offers you tips for improving your customer service skills. Plus, you have the opportunity to request advice on your most vexing customer service problems—and receive feedback from your peers and our panel of editors!