Dont Let the Service Department Ruin Your Service Reputation
Avoid the mistake that many companies make and train your service department with customer service skills. Bad service in the service department can undo all of the hard work and money you have put in to build your service reputation.
Companies spend thousands, if not millions of dollars on advertising and training to promote their extraordinary service and yet if the service department isn't on board all of this time and money is wasted.
About a month ago I took my lawn mower in for servicing at a local power tool and lawn mower company. The man in the service department told me the mower would be ready in 7-10 days and that they would call when the mower was ready. After 12 days, I hadn't heard from them so I called to find out about the status. I was told that it was going to be serviced that afternoon. The next day I showed up to pick the mower up and found out that it wasn't done, but would be done later that day. When we called the next day, the mower wasn't done but would be done that afternoon. To make a long story short, this happened again and again for the next week until we finally got the mower - ten days late.
This particular company spends a lot of money on radio and television but because of this bad experience I will never take my mower there again for servicing nor will I ever buy a new mower from them. In addition, I will tell my neighbors and friends about this bad service and cost them even more customers. All of this money and time on advertising and training is being thwarted by the poor service in their service department. When you forget to train the service department the results can be costly. There are three main points to remember.
When you do customer service training, any employee who interacts directly with the customer needs customer service training! Even the technicians need training if they see the customer. Sometimes the service department is the first experience your customers have with your company. A good service experience can lead to larger sales later and a bad experience leads to bad word of mouth - the average disappointed customer tells ten people about their experience.
Make sure your service department is honest with the customer. Don't tell a customer that service will take one week if it will take two. Always be truthful with the customer. Always! If you make a mistake, be honest and apologize. Customers can forgive mistakes but they won't forgive being lied to. For most customers, this type of behavior is unacceptable and they will move on to a new organization.
Lastly, make sure your technicians do a good job and do not cut corners. Shoddy work will lead to more "word of mouth" bad press and cost you a customer forever. You may save a little time and money this way, but you will ruin any chance for a future sale if the service work is poor.
When setting up your customer service plan, do not forget the service department. Make sure they are involved in training; honest with the customer and that they are excellent at their work. If you follow these three points, your service department will be an asset for your company rather than a potential liability.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Charlie Bentson King is a writer and producer of training videos for TrainingABC. TrainingABC is a distributor of customer service videos such as Give 'em the Pickle.