When I began my career as an marketer, I was more than lucky to be mentored by a few of the best insurance marketers I have ever met. They knew their products, were quick with their sales pitch, but most of all, they were the VIPs in our office. These people were always looked upon with high regard by both their peers, their bosses, and their clients alike.
Even though there were dozens of other reps in the office, almost every customer wanted to speak to them specifically. Instead of being annoyed by dozens of back-to-back phone calls, these reps were the complete opposite - they loved it! See, these VIPs figured it out.... they knew bits and pieces about all their customers’ lives, listened to their concerns, and went above and beyond to deliver magnificent service whether the person on the other line was a customer or prospect.
As a result, they didn’t have to cold call or run in circles trying to make their quotas. Prospects flocked to them. They were the type of people who everyone wanted to do business with. And it all can be attributed to their VIP customer service skills. Often times we forget that even though we may be speaking to a potential client, customer service starts at the beginning of every single business relationship, not after the point of sale.
I am extremely grateful that my first introduction into the field was with influencers like these. They taught me that excellent customer service is the biggest marketing secret a business professional has at their disposal... here’s why:
- You Earn Trust: When clients trust you, they’ll look beyond small price increases and other factors that are out of your control. And, they want to place all of their business with you. They know you’ll give them the straight facts and do all that is in your power to make sure they’re well taken care of.
It takes a lot to earn the complete trust of your customers. You have to take a genuine interest in their situations, be honest with them, and create a bond. As someone who has made hundreds of new business deals in my career, I can be the first to say that you don't need to be a pushy sales person to get a sale. Often times the best clients I've had are the ones that just flowed with a natural conversation, with a transparent nature to share what we do and see if it's a match for the people I work with.
- You Establish Yourself as an Expert: When you’re the VIP of service, you’re bound to get noticed. New clients often tell me that they didn’t appreciate how long their old vendors took to get back with them. No one wants to have their questions and concerns pushed aside. By responding to clients with urgency, you convey confidence, interest and knowledge, and therefore easily differentiate yourself as an expert.
- You Earn Referrals: The marketers who trained me received tons of referrals. Clients would line up to get a quote from them. That’s because they did exactly what they promised... they delivered quotes quickly, addressed their clients' needs and concerns, took time to get to know them, and always called them back promptly. In other words, they treated their clients like VIP when in actuality by doing so made them the VIPs.
I was lucky to be influenced by a team with exceptional ability. I have witnessed firsthand that VIP service is the best form of marketing.
Tell us what you think! What do you do in your agency to bring VIP service to those clients you work with?