A few years ago I had made an appointment with my doctor and I specifically asked for the last appointment of the day. After I checked in, a woman in faded pink scrubs beckoned me to follow her to the exam room. She forced a smile as she told me someone would be with me soon. I knew that “soon” usually meant 30 minutes, so I sat in a chair and began to read. I could hear the nurses talking in the hallway and doors opening and closing. It seemed as if I wasn’t the only one with a late afternoon appointment. Thirty minutes turned into 45 and I noticed that things had become awfully
Picture the scene: You have a spring in your step as you follow the secretary into the conference room for your 9:00 meeting. You know this is going to be a perfect way to end the week. Today you will walk out with a signed contract worth millions. You are confident that after a few minutes of conversation you will have them eating out of your hands and that they will not only sign the contract, but be grateful that your company is willing to provide them with such an amazing service. Your eyes scan the conference room
Customer Service and Operations are the two departments that are the life blood of your district. As a service based business, everything revolves around completing the service safely, on time and in a way that makes the customer feel satisfied. If a driver doesn’t show up for work, you have a crisis that needs to have immediate attention. If you have a CSR at lunch, one off sick and only one person to answer customer calls, you have a crisis. Behind every 5 minute hold time is a situation that could have been prevented if there was a crisis management plan in place. Do you have
When you are a new customer, you often times receive better service than if you have been a loyal, long-time customer. We are thrilled when a new sales opportunity comes our way, but we yawn when the same old face shows up at our establishment month after month. New customers are exciting! A customer that calls in each week is dull and uninteresting. Sometimes the customer service you experience changes the moment you drive the car off the lot. Or, there may be small changes over time. The company stops offering free coffee or now charges for something that was free a few months
I found myself chuckling when my sister confessed to me that after a long, hot day she filled her dog’s pool with cold water and laid in it with a cool drink! She said it was amazing. Unfortunately, she discovered a slow leak which meant she had to jump up and replenish water, every time she began to relax. After a while, the task of filling the pool created so much work that it took away from the original goal of cool enjoyment. The slow leak caused her to give up and throw the pool in the trash.
Often times, our sales efforts mirror that leaky pool. Great ad campaigns bring prospects
I recently took a stress test. Not the kind your doctor gives you, but a written test that identifies stress factors in one’s life. A few days later, I was handed an information packet as I was walking into the store that gave me a check list of stressors and stress busters. That was followed by receiving information on the body’s response to stress which included:
Increased heart rate; heart palpitations
Breathing rate increases
Fatigue and dizziness
If I didn’t consider the possibility that I could be stressed before this chain of events, now I felt the cosmos were telling
It’s the little things that make a difference in customer service. Customers want you to know:
1) We want to understand what you are saying so please speak up, slow down and enunciate your words.
2) The way you sound when you answer tells us how good or how bad the conversation will be.
3) We do not want you to call us sugar, dude or an abbreviation of our name.
4) Putting us on hold for long periods of time, putting us on hold more than once and transferring us back and forth will bring out the worst in us.
5) Do not begin your questions
Roll-off sales are the icing on the cake when it comes to your hauling company’s revenue. Whether you are in a franchised market or one where the competition is fierce, these roll-off dollars are somewhat of a surprise. You really can’t know how many people are talking right this very moment about remodeling their kitchen, tearing down an old building or helping mom and dad clean out their home. When those calls come in and begin with, “I need one of those big things”, smile. Cash is calling!
Think like a customer
This may be the first time your customer has ever called about
I must confess that I watch Super Nanny from time to time. I am sure my fascination with ineffective parenting is because my kids are now grown. Aside from some of the absurd family dynamics, I am really fascinated with the process of teaching a child to apologize. There is a pattern. First, there is a refusal to acknowledge what went wrong or apologize. That is followed by a less than sincere “sorry”. After painstaking practice, which seems to take weeks, the child finally learns that listening to what was wrong and a prompt apology leads to a happy family.
I have heard many adults say that
Last year, my husband and I decided to take in a foreign exchange student for the school year. Soon Ju Noh is a 17 year old from South Korea. We were sure there would be a long list of adjustments we would all need to make to not only get along, but to live together. A favorite past time for us is asking Judy, Soon Ju’s American name, how to say certain words in Korean. It became evident rather quickly that we couldn’t master even the basics of hello and good-bye. However, the important part of our interaction is that we are trying to find common ground so that we can enjoy a relationship