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Customer Satisfaction Integral Part of Sales

It's a well-known (and quite obvious) fact that no business can exist without customers. In any business, whether it be retail or website design, it is very important to work closely with your customers to make sure what you have provided or created for them is what they wanted. Because it is so critical that you form a close working relationship with your client, customer service is of the utmost importance. To ensure successful sales and customer satisfaction, your clients need to feel valued and wanted.

The following are some suggestions to help satisfy all your customers:

· Interact face-to-face whenever possible. Some salespeople get telephone- and email-dependent and may even avoid actual human contact altogether. It is important to meet your clients face-to-face during the course of any sales project so a personalized element exists. Rapport is more quickly and smoothly created, usually, when you meet your clients in person.

· Be friendly and approachable. This may seem painfully obvious, but in the rat race of the business world, sometimes common courtesies and manners are forgotten. Make your clients feel as though they're your friend and you actually care about them. Let them know you're here to help them. Regardless of how frustrating your interaction with a client may be, you must never let on how annoyed you are. Respond to your client's wishes as best you can and be courteous and polite while doing so.

· Respond to phone calls and messages promptly. We all know how annoying it can be to leave a message for someone and wait for their return call…and wait…and wait… Realistically, you may not be able to get back to everyone in the space of a few hours, but at least call/email and let the client know you received their message and will get back to them as soon as possible. Even if you don't have an answer for them or you cannot solve the problem they have immediately, let them know you're aware of it and working on it.

· Use a personal touch and pay careful attention to detail. You'd be amazed at how much acknowledging a client's birthday matters, even in the business relationship
. If they just got back from a trip, inquire about it. If your client just experienced a sad event, express your condolences. A few kind words go a very long way.

· Have a well-defined customer service policy. When you first start out, you may be so anxious to actually have customers that you won't put in the effort to have a customer service policy, but you need one. If a customer has a problem, what should they do about it? If the first option in your policy doesn't work, then what happens? If your customer is not satisfied, what does she do? Passing a client from person to person to deal with a problem is the worst thing you can do. Make sure you and your clients both know what to do at each stage of their inquiry. Have a customer service policy and use it.

· Anticipate your customer's needs. Understanding your client to this level takes a lot of skill and hard work and will do wonders for your working relationship. If you anticipate your client's needs, go out of your way to help them out with these needs. They will be impressed and so will your boss!

· Honor your promises; keep your word. There is nothing worse than a salesperson who can't be trusted. When you promise something, deliver it. It's that simple. If you say something will be done on a certain date or that a product will be delivered by a certain date, every day that it's late is more credence you lose with your client and future clients that you've not even met yet. No salesperson wants a reputation of not delivering, and bad news can travel fast!

Some people believe successful selling is an art; others think it is a science. Regardless of which school of thought you subscribe to, customer satisfaction is absolutely imperative in any business. Again, without the customer, there is no business. Without the business, there are no salespeople. And without the need for salespeople, well, you get the picture.

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