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Customer satisfaction is essential for any salesperson, regardless of the industry they are selling into. Whether it be a small start up or a Fortune 500 company, you can expect to see better results if the person you are speaking with feels comfortable, respected, and heard. In pursuit of a sale or meeting a quota, people can often forget the power of politeness. Ultimately, respect boils down to the golden rule: respect others as you want them to respect you. While this may seem obvious, consider some of these rules to maximize customer satisfaction.

Customer Satisfaction Means Respecting Their Time

Customers have their own lives, their own deadlines, and their own responsibilities. They often live in different time zones, and may work different hours than you do. Make sure  when you’re calling on customers, you consider their schedules. Gatekeepers are partially there to help manage the time of the decision makers. Its one of the reasons that we recommend respecting them in this article. While they might not transfer you directly to them, they can shed valuable insight on their schedules.

Find out what times work best for them to talk. If a decision maker seems agitated, they might simply be busy. Calling in the mornings before their days get too busy, or the afternoons when they are more free, might be a good opening. Asking questions about their schedules can show that you respect their boundaries, and that you want to catch them at a good time. They will be grateful for it.

As important as finding the right time is, make sure to respect the appointments that you set with them. If you have a conference call set up for a time, and aren’t able to make it, inform them as soon as possible. Setting up appointments you can’t keep is disrespectful and looks bad on you and your company. When you tell a customer anything, you are making a promise to keep your word. When you are can’t keep your word, customers lose trust in you and customer satisfaction will plummet. Keep your word, keep your appointments, and your customers will thank you for it.

Customer Satisfaction Means Remembering Who They Are

One of the great things about CRMs is that they are chock full of useful ways to track data on your customers. We recommend Salesforce, as it is filled with fantastic ways to track notes about companies and customers. Building rapport is crucial to the sales process and maximizing customer satisfaction, but can be difficult when you’re talking to hundreds of people a week and can’t distinguish between conversations. Taking detailed notes about the trivial aspects of a call can help alleviate the limitations of your memory. Some salespeople like to be more personal than others – find a level of comfort that works for you. If you are being authentically friendly to customers, they will sense that and open up more.

Previously, we have spoken about how important the little yeses are to getting the big Yes of closing the deal. Asking questions to build rapport, and remembering those things, are a great way of earning these. Statements such as “you have a son who likes the White Sox, right?” can serve two functions in one statement. Not only are you showing that the person you are talking with isn’t a statistic, but opening them up to agreeableness.

Your customer is a human, not just another cog at a company. Make them feel special, and they will be satisfied every time you call in to speak with them.

Shut Up And Listen

One of the five pillars of Acquirent is “shut up and listen.” This is because we understand how crucial it is for customers to be heard. While knowing a customers pain points can close a deal on its own, people like to talk about what is bothering them. Giving them the space to talk and utilizing active listening will make them feel heard and respected. When customers are able to vent, and they know they have been heard, you can provide a solution and open them to further dialogue.

While it is best to keep personal conversations balanced so that rapport doesn’t become the primary focus of the call, let them talk about themselves. They might share some insight into their own lives that will allow you to reestablish rapport on later calls. If they say something memorable, write it down! Customers will give you the fuel to ignite their own sale, if you give them the space to do so.

Rapport is built on the foundation of respect. When you make customers feel respected, remembered, and heard, they will remember you when you call and be open to the product or service that you have to offer. Follow the golden rule, and the deals will follow you.