There is something that a customer service representative fears more than an unfriendly voice on the other end of the line and that is an unfriendly voice asking why there was another rate increase. How can you change the attitude in your office from panic to pride? Change their focus. The quality of your service needs to be the star when it comes to having the rate for service challenged by a customer or your competition. Providing a clear strategy and direct answers will help your CSRs and sales representatives handle even the most difficult customers
I have the pleasure of coaching CSRs over the phone. The ultimate goal of our time together is to raise their Tooty scores. I usually begin by asking, “How do you use your script right now? Do you have it somewhere that allows you to refer to it at a glance or do you write on a script during the call?” The majority of CSRs will confess that they have the scripts in a folder or taped to the wall, but don’t actually use them.
Would your CSRs say scripts work best when-
A) Used as a coaster for a coffee mug
B) Used as a magnet to capture flies and dust bunnies
We all have numbers that we watch intently because at some point those numbers will affect our lives. You could be focused on the score of a football game, the balance of your bank account or the winning lottery numbers. But, if I asked you what your customer interaction numbers have been for the last 3 days, would you know? There are two very important reasons why you need to know these details; they determine staffing needs and ultimately whether you are providing the type of service your customer expects.
How to determine your Customer Interaction Numbers
In training, we try to encourage the CSRs to think like an investigator. That means that they are actively listening to what a customer says and considering those details to contain clues on what is really going on behind the scenes. Those clues indicate what questions should be asked next to really understand the situation. Without probing further a CSR is sure to handle the customer call ineffectively and you may end up with a written letter of cancellation in tomorrow’s mail.
In a recent secret shopper campaign, we called offices around the country and asked how much notice was
Often it’s the little things that make the biggest difference not only to our customers, but in our working relationships with others. It can be all too easy to give ourselves permission to take short cuts. Maybe your short cut has to do with making blind transfers, not doing proper documentation in notes or only doing your best if you think it is a secret shopper call. Every time you take a short cut it chips away at your integrity and has the potential to cause pain for someone else.
You may not have a script for
I recently spent 3 days in a customer service department that was gearing up for a huge new residential municipal contract. Management was smart to realize that there would be a big increase in calls from customers with questions about their service. They did a great job of hiring seasoned customer service people who understood the basics of customer service, but they didn’t think through the training process. They did not have the equipment or materials ready, and they didn’t consider the amount of hands-on coaching that would be needed to have everyone ready to handle this new contract.
At a recent training session I encouraged the CSRs and managers to take a 360 degree look at customer conversations. That meant looking at a situation from customer, operations, sales and management points of view to find solutions that make the customer happy, but also contribute to profitability. In franchised markets, while you have limited ways to generate new revenue, you have several ways to be more profitable. In competitive markets, don’t assume new business will make up for costly practices.
Credits for Missed Pick upsWhen your customer wants a credit for
Spring makes me look at things in a new way. Nature comes alive with color and people seem to smile more. We shed winter cloths and vow to lose excess winter weight. When we can see change taking place before our eyes, we are inspired to change.
Your office needs to spring forth with newness, too. Customer Service can’t afford to be in a rut. Here are some easy ways to refresh and recharge your team.
Pay it forward
Customer service representatives can often feel like they are in the complaint department as they handle service issues, price increases
Barry had been diligently chipping away at his list of suspended customer accounts. Management wanted him to keep his over 60-day numbers below 3% and month after month he hovered right at 2.9%. He was proud of that. He had figured out that if he collected on just 7 accounts a day he would meet his numbers. The last batch of robo calls generated a lot of calls from customers wanting to pay their bills so he was well ahead of his goal already and it was only noon. He decided to let his calls for the day go to voicemail because, quite honestly, he didn’t feel like
I have noticed that some medical practices and hospitals have invested a lot of time, money and effort in creating newspaper ads, billboard signs and commercials that show the happy faces of care givers who can’t wait for the patients to come in. I often wonder why the patient’s reality with medical customer service includes cranky receptionists, patronizing billing and insurance clerks, and those who can’t wait for their shift to be over. Maybe you and your staff need a reality check.
Do Your Ads and Reality Match? Ask yourself the following questions: