Industries to Watch: Sales and Customer Service

customer service
customer service

The functional areas of sales and customer service have always been linked. When you're shoe shopping, for example, the pushy salesperson who tells you how great you'd look in loafers that cost a month's rent -- or the opposite, one who ignores you completely -- is more likely to run you out of the store than to make a sale. The patient sales associate who doesn't follow you around, but makes himself available when you need three different sizes in five different styles, on the other hand, will probably have a better chance at winning you over.

The notion that good sales people must provide great customer service has only been solidified by the current state of the economy. Overall, whether they're purchasing used cars or advertising space, people expect a lot out of the products and services they buy. Both businesses and consumers have a new perspective on the value of a dollar and are more discerning with how they spend their money -- meaning sales reps must offer solutions to problems instead of superlative spiels on their products.