Connect with the customer. That is why Jorn Bood thinks 'sales' is the greatest sport there is. "I love being in the frontline. Each day, my department is in touch with customers, all day long. Over the phone, mail or chat or door-to-door. Since Vodafone and Ziggo work together, we have a wider and more interesting offer. More and more customers discover those new possibilities and are combining products of both brands."
New faces, knowledge and skills
Merging the sales departments of Vodafone and Ziggo went smoother than expected. Jorn: "Obviously it took some getting used to in the beginning. All of a sudden, you see a whole bunch of new faces in the department. In addition, everyone had to learn new things and expand their skills – colleagues who were used to selling mobile devices, suddenly had to learn about broadcasting packages or Wi-Fi. And the other way round. But everyone saw it as an opportunity. The experts taught each other the tricks of the trade."
Best salesmen become coaches
Coaching each other is a recurrent theme at the sales department. "Our employees are divided into teams. The team with the best results trains the team that still needs to grow. In this way we share knowledge and newcomers quickly get up to speed as to quality of sales of customer-focus. And obviously, that is good for our sales figures. That stands to reason."
No rushing, but satisfying
Customer satisfaction counts as one of the key values in assessing employees, according to Jorn. "We want our customers to be satisfied with our service. That is why I don't judge my people solely on the duration of their sales talk. It is absolutely not our intention to interrupt customers or rush through the motions, for the sake of saving time. I'd rather have them talk on the phone a bit longer and thus satisfy the customer. That is also much more rewarding for my colleagues."
Keep angry customers on board
The biggest challenge the department has, is 'retention'. A difficult word for keeping dissatisfied customers that intend to terminate on board. "In the past that part felt like a rearguard action. Those colleagues had to work flat out to soothe angry callers and try to retain the customer. Fortunately, we have been able to adopt a much more positive approach. We have grown from retention to sales. Especially since we can offer customers products from Vodafone as well as Ziggo, retention talks increasingly have the desired result. Obviously, a customer calling with the intention to terminate, is dissatisfied. Sometimes even angry. These are not what you call easy conversations. We adopt an understanding attitude, think along with the customer and often make him a special offer combining both brands."
"Recently, we had a very dissatisfied customer calling us. He had specific requirements for his mobile subscription which we couldn't meet within our existing products," Jorn explains. "He felt he was being sent from pillar to post. Eventually, he was put through to a colleague at 'Retention'. This colleague went all out to fulfil the customer's needs and he even managed to do so within a few minutes, of course with the help of our service department. The guy was so delighted with this tailor-made solution, that he sent the colleague in question a box of chocolates and a Surinam beverage. Those are special moments, for us, but most of all for the customer."