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sales training: service and repair


Locking in customer loyalty through service and repair


This month, in his regular column for IER, Paul Laville, Managing Director, T21 Training looks at service and repair, and offers some ideas on how you can improve the performance of this side of your business.


I


f you’re a retailer who provides service and repair then you must be onto a


winner because not only does that enable you to offer your customers complete reassurance throughout their journey with you, it also opens up another avenue for selling. Both of these, when properly leveraged, can increase the potential of customers lending you their loyalty, thereby growing their lifetime value to your business. In an age where customers are switching allegiance between retailers at whim, the very idea of customer loyalty has become elusive, almost a Holy Grail, so if you provide service and repairs, a full 360 degree customer journey and experience from pre-sales to after-sales, then you’ll be the one drinking from that cup whilst others are failing to see the Leap of Faith. If it isn’t really working for you, if customers


aren’t buying into your ‘service’ then ask yourself whether or not they really know what it means. If your customers are merely shrugging their shoulders and responding with a nonchalant ‘so what?’ when your sales people try to sell it, then maybe it’s time to overhaul your repair shop and take a look at the value it actually provides.


the first thing to ask


yourself is what does your service offering ‘look like’ to your customers?


The first thing to ask yourself is what does your


service offering ‘look like’ to your customers? What value does it offer them and what are the clear benefits? Then, it’s a question of ‘are those benefits genuine and relevant’? Do they even matter? Be brutal; put yourself in your customers’ shoes and ask yourself why would you buy into your service and repair offering. If the benefits you’ve identified actually don’t matter and they’re not relevant at all, then change them: find out what your customers really want and put what you learn into the mix. If they are relevant


show your customers why


buying from a retailer that offers repairs and service can make a difference to them


rapidly, and what works for some people one year may have changed the following year. People are fickle and the competition is fierce. Of course, servicing and repair doesn’t need


knowing that


an authorised, well- recommended service and repair facility is within easy reach can be a critical factor in your customer’s decision to buy


and of value but it’s just not getting through to customers, then take a look at your sales and marketing messages to see whether or not those benefits are communicated clearly, visibly and attractively at the right touchpoints for your business - eg online, on the shop floor, in your point of sale material and so on. Knowing that an authorised, well-


recommended service and repair facility is within easy reach can be a critical factor in your customer’s decision to buy, so rather rely on cliches about ‘peace of mind’ and being ‘authorised by the manufacturer’, spell it out at every opportunity, show your customers why buying from a retailer that offers repairs and service can make a difference to them. In other words, sell it. As strongly as you


would any other benefit your products offer. It’s worth doing the self-analysis from time to


time anyway, because no matter how beneficial you think your service and repair shop is, if your customers don’t continue to understand what they’re getting from it, you might as well turn it into a coffee bar. Also, everything is changing,


38 | www.innovativeelectricalretailing.co.uk


to rely on breakdowns. Ongoing maintenance through regular visits can minimise the pain caused by sudden outages and keep you in touch with your customers. Your service engineers can be trained to sell, to ask questions while they’re conversing in customers’ homes, determine problems, pain-points and offer solutions. It doesn’t have to be a hard sell – which probably wouldn’t be welcomed anyway, either by the engineer or the customer – it’s just a matter of using the rapport that often builds during those situations and spotting opportunities to make your customer’s experience with something better.


ongoing maintenance


through regular visits can minimise the pain caused by sudden outages and keep you in touch with your customers


At the very least your engineers can ask


your customers for feedback, which can be important for not only ensuring that your service and repair offering remains up to date and relevant, but also for prompting those elusive five-star reviews that help new customers trust you enough to pay a visit. It’s all part of ‘aftercare’, which is arguably the most important part of your customer’s experience with your business, and of course it can be a revenue stream in itself. So it’s worthwhile putting in the time and effort to get it right.


December 2019/January 2020


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