If you want to increase profits, don’t put the entire onus on your sales team. You likely have an entire other group of employees who can make the customer experience better and boost sales.
Helping your sales and field service departments build a tight partnership will improve customer relationships and sales, a recent study by the Aberdeen Group found.
In fact, nearly 60% of best-in-class companies give field service technicians incentives to identify selling opportunities. That’s helped them increase revenue 7% and first-time fixes 6%, the study found.
“Oftentimes, the field technician is considered to be a partner working with the customer and not for the organization,” the study’s author Aly Pinder, Jr. said.
Why it’s a good idea
How’s that? Most field technicians work side-by-side as customers use or troubleshoot issues with products or services. They build a natural bond with customers. They see first-hand what’s working well for customers and what could work better. Yet, many organizations don’t use those opportunities to build better experiences and sales. Just 28% of “laggard organizations” offer incentives to techs for identifying sales opportunities, the Aberdeen Group found.
“Taking the ‘task at hand’ work-order blinders off field service can have a great impact on a number of operational and financial metrics,” Pinder said.
Of course, the “task at hand” has to be the first priority in any tech visit. Without resolving the issue or maintaining the product or service, customers will not be satisfied with the experience — and even less interested in any kind of additional purchase.
Steps to take
From there, service pros who meet with customers can help build sales by:
- Identifying needs. Listen and watch for customers “wish list.” When they say, “I wish …,” figure out the solution you have fulfill that need. Watch for any additional struggles they have using the product or navigating a service.
- Gaining permission. Ask customers if they’d like to know about another product or service. Because service calls are almost always initiated by customers, it’s in poor form to turn them into any kind of sales situation without asking for permission. For instance, “I’ve noticed that your current plan doesn’t cover everyone in this office. Would it be OK if I told you about a different plan that might cover your needs?”
- Referring them to Sales. Not every technician is cut out to be a salesperson. Perhaps you’ll want to equip them to give baseline information and refer the customer’s need or interest to their salesperson immediately. To be effective, build and maintain a communication plan so those leads are acted on quickly.