Managing Your Service Department: Provide Your Techs with Customer History

How do you feel when the health care worker, grocery clerk, car mechanic or trades company representative asks you how your child is doing after a recent milestone or perhaps how he or she is doing in his first year in college? I don’t know about you but it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. My perception is that this person really cares about me personally. How long has it been since someone really and truly cared about what was going on in your life? In today’s hectic, fast-paced world it doesn’t happen very often.
Hopefully you currently have a customer base program that allows you to enter notes any time someone from your company has been in communication with the customer. If not, find one and start using it. Grandy & Associates uses ACT although there are several programs available that will do an equally good job. All 16,000 customers are in our customer base and every conversation is recorded. In addition to that, copies of every email that has been sent to or received from the customer is archived. You would be amazed at the customer’s reaction when we contact them weeks or months later and our first comment on the phone, or in person, is: “How’s your dad doing since his operation?” or “How was your trip to Hawaii?” There is an instant strengthening of relationships based on that warm fuzzy feeling that someone really cares.
Posting this kind of personal information within your customer base program allows it to be viewed by anyone needing to review it. You can also post helpful comments about the customer such as: “Mrs. Jones was interested in a maintenance agreement when we were last at her house. Be sure to ask her if she has given it any more thought.” or “Be sure to collect on the job as he or she tends to be really slow paying their bill.” Even practical things can be shared like “Have the tech call before he goes to the house as Mr. Jones has a large man-eating dog that needs to be locked up before we arrive.”
Printing out this kind of customer history and providing it to the technician or sales person prior to their contact with the customer can often be the difference between making the sale or not. The worst thing that can happen is that you have a great personal conversation with the customer and strengthen the relationship.
We always want to equip our employees with information that will help ensure their success. Providing customer history can be an important piece in the overall puzzle.

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