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Fabled Customer Service

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1 Fabled Customer Service
How to Execute Fabled Customer Service Gary Elekes

2 Today’s Purpose To discuss and learn customer service principles you can employ daily. To use these principles and ideas to achieve your vision! Learn to enhance your brand!

3 To reach the company vision!
Objective To reach the company vision! To be our customer’s best choice for the HVACR products and service, our vendors partner’s best choice for distribution and our employees best choice for their career!

4 Mission Execute Vision!
Provide exceptional service (listening/support/counsel) and product value to “Amaze” our customers; Create or skillfully implement industry best practices – easy to do business with: Offer constant training and reward employee achievement; Encourage creativity, communication and excellence so that we continually build on strengths and correct weaknesses; Work together to achieve all Business Plans!

5 Your Core Values Integrity Honesty Enthusiasm Diversity Responsibility
Accountability Competency Hard Work Respect Optimism Consistency Change What do these each mean?

6 Plan Key Objectives/Goals: Sales Growth 10 % per year average
Enhance vendor partnership opportunities Enlarge services to customer base Develop employees – differentiate brand Grow your company brand in the market Review sales/expenses – become leaders Continue planning – emergency plans

7 How does a company build it’s brand by building on TRUST?
Brand = Trust How does a company build it’s brand by building on TRUST?

8 The Standard Organization The Best Organizations
President VP Managers Supervisor and Line Employees Serving the Customer The Best Organizations Customers Empowered Supervisors /Line-Field Employees Managers VP Servant Based Leadership - President Few leaders, and few organizations practice this, though many actually preach this.

9 The 4 Rules of Retail Everyone is in sales – no matter their role – every contact point affects your brand and how people perceive the company. Unique contact – When a customer contacts any person in an organization – it is unique to that person at that moment even though it may be the 20th time you did that task or transaction, remember the unique opportunity to impress with great service and improve the brand. If you can’t out-service the competition, you cannot outsell them. Anyone can lower price, put up a nice store and store merchandise, and warehouse a good product. Quality of Service separates one store from another. Any unhappy customer moment is nothing more than an opportunity in disguise to make your organization stand out and make a friend of a customer.

10 The “Eleven Commandments”
A customer is the most important person in any business! A customer is NOT dependant upon us- we are dependant upon them. A customer is not an interruption of our work but is the PURPOSE of it. A customer does us a favor when he/she calls we are not doing them a favor by serving them well. A customer is a part of our business not an outsider. A customer is not a statistic – they have feelings and emotions like us. A customer is not someone to argue with or match wits. A customer is a person who brings us their wants and it is our job to fill those wants. A customer is deserving of the most courteous and attentive treatment we can give. A customer makes it possible to pay payroll – no matter what our title. Customers make up the life blood of any business.

11 Principles for Fabled Customer Service:
Have a Vision, Core Values and Plan! Have employees with the proper attitude Know your customers expectations Front Line Empowerment – develop leaders at front line Understanding Personalities Become “Value-Added” Become “Great Listeners” – be in the present Set standards based on excellence, quality, and have the courage to change Make work like play – have fun while you work – it’s contagious. Figure out how to “Make Your Customers Day”

12 Principle 1 Transfer Your Vision to Execution
You – Leadership Skills? Creating & Managing Change? Behavior Patterns? Executing Operating Practices? Creating a “Brand” = Trust Creating a “Non-You” Culture Culture is: A Set of Beliefs (individual/collective) Combined with a Set of Behaviors

13 To Reach Your Vision! Create an Operating Plan Each Year
Focus – Prioritize! Deliver Operational Excellence Need Do’s Must Do’s Nice to Do’s

14 Customer Service Staff are Special
Principle 2 Customer Service Staff are Special The enjoy helping other people The have good human relational skills The make the system serve the customer They give the same attentiveness to any size customer They like to make things easier for the customers The do NOT hesitate to vary from procedures to give special services to customers The know the technical side of their role and the company to navigate The give the same service at 4PM Friday as they do 8AM Monday The use the customers language to make it easy to understand They are always polite, and courteous, friendly and in the present. They are organized and ready to work They have good telephone skills They spend time with customers even when there is a line They go out of their way to inform and explain things to customers They are positive in their approach/attitude They have self-control They represent and understand the concept of brand – on and off job They do what they say they will do They work well with others – team oriented They understand when to ask for help and if they do not know they find out

15 Know Your Customer’s Expectations
Principle 3 Know Your Customer’s Expectations Conduct yearly surveys to determine the customers perceptions of you, the company, how you are operating and your brand. Know your customer’s names – a person’s favorite word Know what they buy from you, their history, and who they are in relation to your company. Know what they expect in the way of service levels Train your employees to understand the customers service needs

16 What Do Customer’s Actually Expect?
Principle 3 What Do Customer’s Actually Expect? They want to KNOW they are valued! That they make a difference to YOU! They want the “RIGHT” thing, the best answer for their particular situation. And your best advice about the situation. They want to be treated as if there requests are reasonable – that they are not putting you out to fulfill their requests. They want to know they are being treated fairly and equitably. Like your bigger customers. They want to be treated as individuals. They want friendliness and courtesy. They want things explained to them so they understand – even if it’s bad news – they want news so they are KEPT informed! They want “Recognition” – to feel important – and acknowledgement needs to come quickly. They want complaints “LISTENED” to and adjustments made when necessary. They want to be thanked for their business!

17 Front Line Empowerment
Principle 4 Front Line Empowerment Front line employees – face to face with customers make far more impact on the brand than supervisors or managers Understand your customers needs Create core values that support employee decision-making at front-line to satisfy the customer Train and support employees to execute Organize the system to support empowerment Learn to touch customers heart before you touch their wallet

18 Front Line Empowerment Impact Areas We Control
Principle 4 Front Line Empowerment Impact Areas We Control Appearance Facial Expressions Eye Contact Body Movements Personal Space Touch Job Knowledge Business Processes Culture of Organization We can manage and change these

19 Front Line Empowerment Impact Areas We Control – Social Bonding
Principle 4 Front Line Empowerment Impact Areas We Control – Social Bonding 1st Impressions of you/your brand Acknowledge – visual and verbal greeting - even if in line – say you will be there when you are finished – Make contact Smile at them – smiles create positive impressions At time of service – greet and give your name. Ask questions

20 Understanding Personalities – Social Styles
Principle 5 Understanding Personalities – Social Styles Control/Task Responsive Analytical Driver Tell Assertive Ask Assertive Amiable Expressive Emote Responsive

21 What Makes an Angry Customer – ANGRY?
Principle 5 What Makes an Angry Customer – ANGRY? Their expectations are not met. They notice any deficit. They don’t get what they expected or were promised. They don’t get attended to quickly – they have to wait. They are not acknowledged when they are waiting while other customers are being served first. They feel they are “Interrupting” you when you are doing some chore – no acknowledgement. This comes from your attitude. When they are treated in an off-handed way. When regular customers are not treated according to their “Status”. When a Customer Service Rep says I don’t know and makes no effort to find out. Letters and/or telephone calls are not returned promptly. When they are not kept informed about progress for their requests. Bad news is acceptable – no news shows complacency. When someone says “That’s Company Policy” as an answer to a question. When their concerns are treated as trivial – they feel discounted. When they are handled too quickly – being shuffled through, makes them feel unimportant. When a customer service rep shows impatience with a customer explanation. Lack of eye contact and poor body language. Looking bored, down, interrupts, rolls eyes, makes sarcastic responses and others (these are most common). When they are put on hold on telephone without intermittent reassurances their request is being handled. When delivery times are NOT met. When billings or invoices are wrong. When something is substituted without communication and permission.

22 Know thyself and thy Customer
Principle 5 Know thyself and thy Customer Dealing with Angry Customers Angry Customers are not angry at you they are angry at the problem Do not get angry yourself – know your personality profile Let them blow off their steam Remain calm and take deep breaths Keep your own issues and problems to yourself Do NOT take customers anger personally Ask questions to find out why they are angry Do NOT judge people Keep an open mind Look at all the options – invent options

23 Principle 5 Solving Problems
A Invent Options Expand the Pie of Solutions Typical Positional Negotiation B This requires culture of empowerment Servant leadership, and customer focus

24 Solving Problems – Discover Interests
Principle 5 Solving Problems – Discover Interests Typical Positional Negotiation A Invent Options Expand the Pie of Solutions Interests: Shared Opposed Differing B

25 Becoming “Value-Added”
Principle 6 Becoming “Value-Added” What is Adding Value? Determine Customer Needs, Wants and Desires – every business has a value map – discover it Learn to Ask Questions Learn Your Customers Business Models Become a Solutions based company – examples - e-commerce for ordering processes - Dealer profit training - Sales Personnel that are not just product sales people The Value – Added Chain Generic Product Expected Product Augmented Product Potential Product

26 Becoming a Great Listener
Principle 7 Becoming a Great Listener How to become a “GREAT” Listener – Be in present Listening well takes energy and is work Listening requires you to be in the “PRESENT MOMENT”. Effective listening is: Understanding the interests behind the position Remembering (Take notes) Responding Listening Anatomy – we listen at 25% efficiency 7% Words/38% Tone/55% Body Language Great Listening Technique: a. Maintain eye contact b. Nod/lean forward to demonstrate interest c. Take notes d. Pause before you speak (no interrupting) e. Summarize – show that you understand

27 What Defines Great Listeners from Poor Listeners
Principle 7 What Defines Great Listeners from Poor Listeners Untrained Listeners Well Trained Listeners Tune out too soon Wait to hear what the customer really says! Are distracted by bad grammar or speaking skills – attention is to form. Pay attention to content not form. Focus on message. Getting ready to talk or state when should be focused on content. Listen – get nuances and content – to understand interests/position. Tend to listen for facts to refute, or pounce on errors. Mature in listening – listen for main idea(s). Try to take in everything – and reply to everything. Concentrate on main issues – avoid sidetrack remarks. Knows how to sort. Fake attention - poorly Aware of “Fake” tendency and control tone/body language and eye contact. Divide attention and create distractions Do one thing at a time – understand listening is full time attention. Give-up too soon – listening becomes hard they tune out They listen carefully and can sort Distracted by emotional words. Do not control their own emotions. They feel their anger – but control it. Emotions do not govern their behavior. Are unaware of talking-listening speed mismatch. Keep energy on listening technique. Rare they practice Practice skill of listening

28 Set Standards of Excellence – Courage to Change
Principle 8 Set Standards of Excellence – Courage to Change Create a Concise Direction Core Values Defined Define Business Operating Philosophies Establish Role Descriptions a. Metrics b. Employee Letter - Each Year of Performance Expectations Training to Compliment Performance Plan Resources & Tools to Execute Role Trimester Review Procedure Aligned Compensation 360 Degree Feedback

29 Make Work More Like Play
Principle 9 Make Work More Like Play When work is more like play – everyone wins – fun creates interest Your customers will notice the change – and they’ll like it because it’s fun for them too. When work is like play – the creativity of ideas improves – everyone wins New customers will be impressed with a culture that is refreshing Get your leaders involved – they can have fun, get them to participate

30 Find a Way to Make A Customers Day
Principle 10 Find a Way to Make A Customers Day Exceptional service is cumulative – it adds up Ask about their kids, family Take time to learn something new about them today Solve a problem you weren’t expected to solve Each time you make someone’s day, you build more loyalty and a deeper relationship A great attitude, along with exceeding expectations, will make you completely different in the marketplace

31 Fabled Customer Service?
Fabled Customer Service is: What people say about you when you are not there and it is GOOD! The people saying it, have no stake in what they are saying..they gain nothing by saying it. They communicate to others thereby creating your brand for you.

32 Fabled Customer Service?
Action Steps: What are You Going to Do? ___________________

33 Ideas for Distribution Service Enhancement
Communicate the plan to your employees and what is expected. Communicate your values and hold yourself and the employees accountable. Give all employees a proper leadership and work environment to prosper and grow. Put the tools and training in employees hands and then empower them to execute. Create an awards and recognition program and make it a BIG Deal. When out - never eat lunch or dinner alone – be with a customer you can make feel good. Create special individual dinners with key customers and wives. Sales People need to learn how to HELP their customers SUCCEED! Add Value. Stratify your customer base – create award levels for aspirations – reinforce importance. Begin a E-Newsletter to your customers and employees – focused on service skills Publish your core values and customer service expectations to your customers and ask them to hold you accountable. Publicly thank your customers whenever possible. Send “Personal Thank You Cards” religiously for all manner of things. Always notify customers of delays, substitutions, and any change to business processes as a matter of course – just like your employees. Communicate, and then over-communicate. Create an e-commerce ordering process that is automated. Pay your customers $100 each time the phone rings past 3 times. Publish this! Owner/senior manager call each top twenty customer every month! Hold employee lunch and learns – teach employees about life. Hold quarterly customer round tables – to discuss issues. Return calls same hour if possible – never past same day. When you leave a message – assume it did NOT get communicated – follow-up until you KNOW it is resolved properly. Never leave a customer wondering what’s next – leave an action plan with steps and instructions. Especially a new customer. Use discovery agreements – to document action steps and any obligations. Use a yearly survey that is anonymous – to create feedback on your operations. Ask customers about their expectations. Hold regular customer service training sessions – discuss the issues. Discuss the methods to improve skills.

34 Q & A

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