You Just Can’t Skip Customer Service Training!
Would you recommend a business to a friend if the workers were rude to you or didn’t care about your needs? It isn’t likely that you would. According to ZenDesk, 52% of customers stopped buying from a company after a bad customer service interaction. In addition, 39% of those people continue to avoid those same companies two or more years after the negative interaction. This means that not only do you lose the customer, you lose them long-term as well as any friends or family that customer might have referred to you.
Your HVAC technicians out in the field are the front line to customers. Their customer service methods can make or break your business. According to Entrepreneur, rude or “poorly trained” workers can cost your business in both current customers and referrals.
Excellent customer service can make your business stand out from others in your area. There are some specific things that HVAC companies can do to better train their techs to offer customer service that gets word-of-mouth going.
Customer Service Training
Knowing that you need good customer service is one thing, but knowing how to conduct the training is another. When it comes to training your HVAC techs in customer service, you have two options. You can hire a professional to come in and train them or you can do it in-house.
There are some key elements you’ll want to focus on when training technicians in good customer service skills:
- Make Service Personal – One of the top things customers say is that when they are happy with an experience they will tell others. Make service personal by knowing the customers’ needs, asking questions and keeping careful records on customers for future reference.
- Pay Attention to the Customer – Take the time to really listen to the customer’s requests. This will help you get it right the first time.
- Listen, Confirm, Act – If a customer is unhappy with a product or service, implement a three-step process to find a solution. Listen, Confirm, Act. Listen to what the customer’s concerns are. Confirm that you’ve heard the customer correctly. Example, “I hear that you’re upset because you wanted the furnace installed in the garage and not the closet. What we can do is move the furnace to this location immediately at no extra charge.” If the customer confirms that you are correct, act immediately to rectify the situation.
- Keep Your Word – One of the biggest gripes customers have when any service technician comes to their home is that they don’t arrive when they say they will. Do your best to arrive within the window of time estimated for the customer. If you are unable to meet that commitment, communicate with the customer why and express your sincere apologies.
- Be Humble – It’s an age old adage for salespeople everywhere…the customer is always right. Don’t argue with customers and be apologetic when they are unhappy. There are times when a simple “I’m sorry” can make everything in that customer’s world right again.
- Communicate After the Sale – Train your customer service department to follow up with clients even after work has been completed. According to SalesForce Desk, the top reason for customer attrition is dissatisfaction with customer service. Taking the time to talk to your customers after the sale will ensure they had a pleasant experience. This will make them more likely to stick with your company in the future.
If you’re looking for a cost-effective customer service training solution, check out the Small Business Administration’s free online course on customer service. The 30-minute course is self-paced and offers a solid introduction to topics such as what exactly good customer service is, and how to implement and improve on customer service.
Creating an Environment that Reinforces Excellent Customer Service
Once you’ve trained your front line to give excellent customer service, you’ll want to reinforce that training. Poll your customers to see how satisfied they are with the customer service they’ve received on their most recent service and then reward employees who are going above and beyond the call of duty or getting particularly positive reviews.
Offer refreshers on the training by giving examples of scenarios and the best way to handle that situation with a customer. Have employees role play a situation where a customer is irate and give them ideas for better ways to handle such a problem. Ten minutes a week to remind employees to put the customer first and to offer tools to help them with their service skills will result in happier customers and more referrals down the line.
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