Kickstarting Your Company’s Customer Service

By Brandy Loudermilk Kickstarting Your Company’s Customer Service
plumber using customer service skills to help customer

You may be in the plumbing, electrical, roofing or air conditioning business, but that is not the core of your business. The core of your business is customer service. You are a customer service company that just happens to provide home services.

Many businesses pride themselves on their customer service. If you were to ask the technicians or CSRs, they would say, “We go above and beyond to provide world-class service!” However, many clients won’t say the same if asked about their service experience.

So, what is the disconnect? Why is there such a difference of opinion between the two parties going through the experience?

Let’s explore the gap between perception and reality by unpacking some truths about customer service. Here at Service Excellence, we help you identify the strengths and weaknesses in your process that impact your team’s ability to provide amazing service to your clients. For more information, check out our next PRESS PLAY for CSRs training course.

service technician using customer service to make notes about AC unit

How Important Is Customer Service To Your Company’s Success?

According to a study by Destination CRM, reducing client turnover by as little as 5% annually can lead to an increase in profitability of 25%-125%. Since reducing client turnover can dramatically increase profitability, here are some tips to increase client loyalty:

  • Follow through on promises.
  • Correct mistakes the first time a client expresses a concern.
  • Have a system of checks and balances to make sure clients are being taken care of ethically and honestly.

Most importantly, anytime you find that your company has made a mistake, make it right!

Can You Survive With Mediocre Customer Service?

To be fair, no company sets out with the goal of providing mediocre service. However, how often does your company fail to provide top-of-the-line service? How can you break this cycle?

Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

  • Make sure your CSRs understand the service you provide and how to explain it to clients. A great way to achieve this is having a CSR ride along with a technician.
  • Managers should do ride-alongs with technicians to make sure they are following processes and procedures.
  • Spot-check the dispatch board to make sure clients are being updated throughout the service process.

What about other communication challenges?

Environmental Impacts That Affect The CSR Mindset

Your CSRs are people who have enough on their plate – their jobs come with a lot of responsibility. Couple the everyday stressors of the job with a barrage of communication issues, and it’s no wonder your CSRs feel stressed! Here’s a list of things that affect your CSR’s mindset:

  • Company culture
  • Changes in rules and procedures
  • Change in demand
  • Customer demands
  • Internal conflict
  • Team dynamic

Each of these stressors has the ability to make your CSRs less empathetic, caring and proactive. It is a learned adaptation. Take a moment and reflect on how your CSRs communicate with each other, technicians, managers and merchants.

Common Communication Challenges

After considering how your staff communicates with each other, do any of the following conflicts or habits occur regularly?

  • Blame shifting
  • “Us vs. Them” (Technicians vs Dispatcher, Technicians vs installers, CSR vs Dispatcher. etc.)
  • Yelling
  • He said, she said
  • Gossip
  • “Not my job”

The way CSRs communicate with co-workers is probably not too far off from the way they’re communicating with your clients. Their communication style within the company is a direct reflection of the company culture.

The communication style that is modeled by the manager or owner will build the foundation for communication in your company.

Are You Blame Shifting?

We understand that there are unreasonable clients out there. However, how often is the client being unreasonable versus team members shifting the blame?

Blame shifting can be defined as, “When a service industry provider blames the client for a poor experience.” Blame shifting presents itself when the client is labeled “cheap,” “unreasonable” or “ridiculous.”

These are just a few of the hundreds of examples heard over the years. The truth is, many of these situations are avoidable if you build value and strong communication skills in your company.

Failure to Follow Through

Another way that we settle for mediocre service is not following through on our promises. From “forgetting” to wear floor savers when entering a home to not completing a thorough inspection or following up with a client, breaking promises has power.

The problem is when these promises are broken, the trust is broken as well. Without trust, you will struggle to win client loyalty.

Does Your Team Need Help With Communication Challenges?

Your team can improve their communication style and still adapt to the changes that are inevitable in our industry. Are you communicating with a heart of service?

If you look at how your office communicates, it’s probably a direct reflection of how you communicate. Are there a lot of raised voices, blame-shifting or excuses? Those are symptoms of a communication culture in need of reform.

With training from Service Excellence, you can explore and learn about how to help your CSRs become better communicators as we strive to IGNITE THE POWER WITHIN! 

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Proactive Business Plans

A proactive business is a successful business. That's why our team takes the time to make sure every client has a proactive, not reactive, business plan. Our strategies make your business run more smoothly and profitable.

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Our training services help businesses identify and achieve their key performance indicators (KPIs). Whether it's increased revenue or higher satisfaction rates, our methods allow you to see immediate and continued results.

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Our team of experts works hard to make sure your business gets personalized training. We'll work with your team one-on-one or in group settings to set and achieve your business goals. We develop training based on your goals!

Prioritizing People

We believe that people are the most valuable asset. We strive to provide outstanding benefits, life balance, leadership, and support to our team. We believe in helping people reach their greatest level of growth, contribution and satisfaction.

Success Stories

I've increased my sales from $250,000 a year to over $400,00! This really works.

-Scott Putman, Putman Plumbing

Success Stories

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Success Stories

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