During a recent trip to Ottawa Ontario, I stopped for gas at a local gas station, only to have my car swarmed by four people; two who immediately began to clean the windsheild; one who cleaned the back window; and one who asked how they might be able to help me today. Customer service is not dead!
Despite this rare demonstration of how a “full service” gas bar should operate, I am still amazed by the amount of business many organizations loose as a direct result of improper training and engagement of front line staff. Here was a situation I dealt with earlier in the week.
I required a quote from an organization to provide services for my company. There was no existing relationship, however I was willing to move forward and engage the company quickly. Here was the telephone conversation I had with the customer service rep who answered my call:
Customer service: “Do you have an account with us?”
Customer service: “Well, we need an account setup in order to provide you with a quote.”
Me: “Okay, I can email you all of the particulars to allow you to setup the account, is that what you need to provide me with a quote?”
Customer service: “I don’t setup accounts sir and I can’t provide you with a quote until you have an account set up.”
Me: Umm. So you can’t provide me a quote?”
Customer service: “No sir, I can’t help you without an account.”
Me: “Okay, thanks.” (hangup).
Now, could I have asked some different more specific questions in order to help this individual understand what I was asking? Yes. But if this is the way I am treated at the front door, who wants to go inside?
If you are struggling to bring in new business or expand existing business, try shopping your own business and listen to how your front line people deal with customers and prospects. You just might find the root of your problems without ever having to increase your marketing budget.
© Shawn Casemore 2012. All rights reserved.
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