Convergence of Sales and Service: Customization and Integration

The need to attract, acquire, leverage and retain customers is still of primary concern to most businesses. Revenue growth through customer acquisition and retention remains a major competitive requirement.

To improve customer retention, companies are developing and managing customer relationships via better sales/service integration and new technology. Managers must realize that customers in modern era have diversified tastes and demands. The sales and service message needs to be tailored to each customer.

Most customers view sales and service as separate functions. A sale occurs during sales cycle and service is an after-sales activity. However, the latest trend requires firms to sell to customers while serving them. You can see it at your local bank when the teller tries to sell you a new product while making a product. In other words, the bank is trying to become an integrated sale and service environment.

What does this trend mean e-business?

New organizational models need to be developed to further narrow the gap between sales and service. For instance telephone call centers must blur the lines between sales and service. Look at Home Depot which attracts prospective customers by giving them easy access to information about products and services before they buy. The success of Home Depot illustrates that customers want fast, accurate, consistent information.