It is important to provide regular customer service training to your technicians. They are the face of your company. In most cases, your customers will see your technicians regularly and respect their opinions. If a positive relationship is maintained and the conversations properly filtered, the results will help your company grow.
Recently, I was helping a client with a major install and he related a conversation he’d had with the previous vendor. It was an example of a conversation that shouldn’t have happened. It was so bad, in fact, that it might have cost the previous vendor the account.
It seems that the technician for the previous vendor was constantly highlighting internal problems. For instance, he told the client that his company could not get the machine fixed because he had no assistance in troubleshooting the issue. He also stated that he could not order the parts that he needed because they were too expensive.
This client’s experience...
As a business owner or as a manager, you should want to create not just good service but amazing customer service. Yet, most businesses provide mediocre service. Why?
To create the kind of customer service that turns customers into raving fans requires focus and effort. It is worth the expenditure of both.
I encourage you to ask the hard questions. Ask questions that generate answers that are difficult to hear. It is these questions and these answers that can transform your company.
You see businesses that talk about their unbelievable customer satisfaction scores. Those scores could be the result of asking easy questions. But those scores don't help the company improve.
I will share the two questions to ask if you want to improve. But understand, if you ask these questions, you may not like the answers.
The first question is one that you ask customers that no longer do business...
In our previous articles, we discussed the reasons why Mean Copies between Calls (MCBC) is the most important metric, and we looked at some of the issues that impact that value. In this article, we want to start trying to find ways to address the issues in the service department.
Start at the Top
The commitment to address the issue and change your philosophy has to start at the most senior levels in the company. In most cases, the goals, metrics, and practices will be significantly different than your current ones. If the owner/president is not behind these changes, it may be impossible to get the changes made.
The senior management team needs to understand that there may be bumps in the road as you move forward, but if you stay the course, the end result will be more profit, happier customers, and easier sales.
Articulate the New Philosophy to the Team
Once this decision is made, it is important that everyone involved understands the plan and why it will help them. You must...
I remember talking to a dealer principal several years back and asked him for his e-mail address. He responded that he didn’t like computers, and told me to just send it to one of his admins.
I knew his business was in serious jeopardy, and in fact, it failed a few years later.
The point of that story is to emphasize that we are in an ever-changing business environment. And in many cases today, dealers and service departments are reluctant to get into the solutions business. Some have tried dipping their toes in and gotten burned; others just want to be old-school dealerships. But we must remember that we can’t afford to get trapped in the current way we do business, or we will soon be out of business.
Office equipment today is designed to be part of a network’s infrastructure. Devices are no longer output-only or scan/fax/print devices, but now can—and often do—serve as portals for access to applications. If your company is not currently...
In our industry, the most important area for the profitability and survival of the company stems from the recurring revenue in the service department. When considering the trends in our industry for the future, this topic deserves serious attention.—dealers that fail to secure the revenue stream properly are most at risk for failure.
What Does it Mean
When we are talking about securing the revenue stream, we are talking about creating a binding support agreement for the duration of the equipment lease. I know some dealers do not like to build the service into the lease, but failing to do so diminishes the value of the dealership and does not provide any future security for the company.
I am not suggesting pre-funding the service component of the lease, and most leasing companies no longer offer that as an option. When valuing your dealership, a pre-funded service contract is viewed as a liability rather than as an asset.
When you build your service contract...
I had the opportunity to attend two great events in October. The first was the Seat Based Billing Roadshow held Oct. 17 in Asheville, NC. The second event was the BTA Fall Colors meeting, also held in Asheville, NC on Oct. 18-19. One idea discussed at both meetings was the need for dealers to get “sticky.”
What Does it Mean to be Sticky?
For most of us, the concept of being sticky is not pleasant; we don’t want our hands, our face or our clothes to be sticky. In the context of business, being sticky is very important.
When we are discussing being sticky, we are talking about our ability to become essential to our clients. The stickier we are, the tighter and more enduring our relationship with them. We want our customers to be customers for life.
New customers are expensive and difficult to acquire. Too many times, we let our current customers slip out of our grasp; they leave for the promise of savings, or better service, or a variety of other...
Imagine you are traveling and decide to stop for lunch in a town you have never visited before. You are hungry for a burger and you have two choices: a local place and McDonald's. Which do you choose? Most people choose McDonald's. Why? Because they know what to expect, and they always get what they’re expecting.
How does McDonald's achieve this level of consistency? By having a well-documented process to produce any menu item. Each team member is trained to make everything the exact same way every other team member makes it.
What Is a Uniform Process?
A uniform process is a series of steps or actions taken to achieve a specific goal or result. For our discussion, we will talk about the series of steps taken to accomplish a specific task in your company. When technicians follow the process closely, you can expect a consistent result.
A process is like a recipe. You need to follow the recipe if you want to achieve uniform results.
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