Think about your client for a second. She is expecting one team member to show up to correct a problem. To her surprise however, two people exit the vehicle (because it’s a Ride-Along.) [RELATED: The Anatomy of a Bad Ride-Along.]
This can create unneeded anxiety and fear.
“Why two? They didn’t they say there would be two. What is going on? Can I trust them?”
So, here are some tips on setting the expectations up front while also building value in the Ride-Along.
#1 – Preparing Your Client for the Ride-Along
Most of us, DON’T LIKE SURPRISES!
- Train the CSR on how to book the Ride-Along: Make sure that your CSR’s know when you will be riding along so that they can prepare your client. Provide scripting that helps the CSR prepare the client, and builds value in “why” we are doing the ride-along.
Example: “Betty, it is important to us that we are providing service that exceeds your expectations. We are constantly seeking . . .
. . . ways that we can improve our client’s customer service experience. So, today we will have a member of our Leadership team, Chris, riding along with our Technician Brad. Chris’ goal is to find ways that we can improve. The best way to do that is to ride-along with our team members, evaluate the level of service being provided, and to seek ways that we can improve for you.
Chris will be there as an observer only, and will provide our team back in the office with feedback on what we are doing well, and the areas we can improve.”
As a consumer this sounds like the type of company that my wife, Stefanie, and I would want to work with. That is value added service in our book.
#2 – Preparing your Team Member for the Call
- Create the Right Environment: Be positive. Let your team member know that your desire is to help him/her. That this is you, making an investment in his/her future. That with growth comes growth. Growth in client satisfaction, results, income, and advancement opportunities.
- Be Specific: Go over the outline of PRESS Play while driving to the call. Let your Team Member know that you are looking for specific ways to help him/her grow; i.e., Identifying Communication styles, building trust, show vs. tell, and tie back of solutions to specific needs. RELATED: The PRESS PLAY Training Series for HVAC Techs, Plumbers, and Electricians.
- The Introduction: let the team member know how you will introduce yourself at the door. Remove the fear of the unknown, and create clarity.
Example: “Betty, my name is Chris. I am here to evaluate what we are doing right, as well as to evaluate ways that we can improve. I will specifically be looking for ways that we can do a better job at providing you a World Class Customer Service experience.”
Show the client your Evaluation form. Let them know that “We are always seeking to improve.”
#3 – Success During and After the Call
- Don’t be the hero. If you see that your team member is struggling a bit, don’t be the hero. Observe, take notes. You need to see what he/she is doing. You need to allow it to happen as if you were not there. This way you can provide REAL feedback based on a real call scenario. If he/she is really struggling and help is requested, be a support system to get him/her back on track.
- Instant Feedback: It is important that we don’t keep the team member waiting. If we don’t give immediate feedback after the call, his/her mind will immediately begin to focus on thoughts like, “I wonder what I did wrong”, “Man, I bet he/she is going to rip the call apart”, and “I’m probably going to get fired”, etc. It could literally ruin his/her entire day.
- Feedback the Right Way: Catch them doing things right, first. Start out by getting them excited about what they did well. Celebrate the success.
When providing feedback for improvements, tie back to growth in client satisfaction, results, income, and advancement opportunities. Be specific. Don’t give a 30 thousand foot view of what we can work on. Ask them questions and get them involved. “What questions could you have asked based on his/her communication style?” “What could you have done to better develop the issues?” Then give a max of 2-3 specific areas of focus. Finish positive and with a timeline for follow up.
Lastly, and this is important,
#4 – Inspect what you Expect!
Schedule a follow up ride-along for sometime within the next 3-5 days. Let him/her know exactly what you will be looking for, and the specific areas covered. If you don’t inspect it, they won’t respect it.
When we are doing Ride-Along Evaluations the right way….our Team Members will be begging us for another. Seeking to improve.
We would love to hear from you on this topic. So, what are you doing that is working? Please click comment and give us your feedback.
Also, like what you are seeing, download this tool for your Team Leaders and Share it with your friends.