Are your sales, service, and fulfillment teams collaborating? If not, it may cause miscommunication, confusion, and even unhappy customers.
Fortunately, these problems can be addressed by inserting a service team between your sales and fulfillment teams. When such is done, your service team can ensure that your sales team isn’t promising something that the fulfillment team can’t deliver, and your service team can also work directly with customers if a fulfillment issue does arise. Here are some ways all teams can work together to offer a better customer experience.
Set reasonable expectations for customers
Harry Gordon Selfridge, the entrepreneur that opened the Selfridge chain in London during the early 1900s, is credited with creating the motto “the customer is always right.” This motto has created a lot of problems for businesses over the years, particularly for fulfillment companies.
When companies abide by this philosophy, their sales teams make unrealistic promises to their customers. This creates a tremendous strain on the service and fulfillment teams, because fulfillment may not have the resources to meet these expectations and service is then burdened with trying to fix an unfixable (and costly) problem. They inevitably let the customers down, which tarnishes the brand’s image.
The sales team will be able to make more realistic promises to their customers when they collaborate with their counterparts in the service and fulfillment departments.
Plan turnaround times
Sales are very cyclical in many industries. Companies may suffer low revenues for months before a massive number of orders are placed. This can create a large backlog and make it difficult to fill orders on time.
This has made it impossible for companies like Sysco to fill orders at times. Kathan Bhatt, an HCM consultant for Oracle, states that Sysco had a lot of difficulty filling a number of last minute orders after salespeople promised to fill them in 24 hours.
Sales staff need to understand the quantity of orders that their fulfillment team can handle, so they know when to push less aggressively.
Seek more resources to meet growth projections
The entire company depends on the sales team to create accurate revenue projections. The sales team depends on both service and fulfillment to help further develop customer relationships and deliver the product based on their expectations. When these three departments are working together to drive new business, manage customer expectations, and deliver on those expectations, a business can truly flourish.