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Inform and empower your clients with a “call-ahead”!

I’ve been picking on our front line technician’s on-site efficiency a lot lately.  Everything from making fewer trips out to the truck to maintaining an organized van to no more lost tools and safety equipment!

Then a while back I changed over to the on-the-job Moments of Truth (MOT) our tech’s create. (For example, I LOVE this “Immediate Action” strategy!) And last week we focused on the “How and Why of Personal Thank You Notes”! But now let’s pick on you and/or your office staff!

So how can your office (or you) increase production efficiency AND make great MOT’s over the phone! For example…

When your technicians are on their way to a client your office should always call ahead, give the estimated arrival time AND the name(s) of the tech(s).

call-your-customers-to-tell-them-that-the-technician-is-on-his-wayYes, I know. Right now your your techs are personally calling their next job to tell the customer they are on the way. But let me play “Devil’s Advocate” here! A) Calling while driving is a safety hazard, B) your techs can’t hear while their machinery is running and C) calling their next customer at any other time than “A” or “B” is going to affect your employee’s production efficiency! Plus I wanted my office staff to always know how our tech’s day was going!

Here’s the deal. By your office controlling this “call-ahead” phone call you have eliminated a potentially unprofessional contact by your harried tech. (Who should be concentrating on their driving anyway!)  Another benefit? This gave my office staff just one more excuse to chat with the client and build a relationship. Your goal is for the customer to always feel informed and in control.

However, don’t forget that this information process should begin long before your “They Are On Their Way” phone call.  For example…

1. Do you e-mail your customer a “How to Get Ready for Your Carpet Cleaning” check list?  (You’ll never find a better excuse to request their e-mail address!)

2. Do you have a separate landing page on your web site explaining how to “prep their location” for your cleaning or restoration services?

NOTE: Always pre-show your client photos of your team in action. (Both with a photo album and on your website.) Remember that helping a prospect “pre-visualize” the cleaning process will sway them toward your company.

Steve

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2 Responses to Inform and empower your clients with a “call-ahead”!

  1. Matthew Strader December 2, 2010 at 10:25 AM #

    Just a pointer and maybe some verbiage changing. Where you said “a potential unprofessional phone call from a tech” is where my concern is. If your techs are unprofessional maybe then shouldn’t be working for xyz cleaning company. Other than that I agree.

    Matthew Strader

  2. Steve Toburen December 2, 2010 at 10:43 AM #

    I understand your point, Matt. However, remember that tech’s are hired for their face-to-face customer service skills. (And their physical prowess in cranking out clean carpets!) So their phone skills may not be up to your standards which is fine.

    Plus don’t forget technicians would likely be calling while driving in busy traffic and/or while already running late all of which could produce a stressed phone call. Therefore our suggestion to if possible let the office do what the office does best- call from a calm, professional environment.

    Thanks for holding my feet to the fire. I should have been more clear!

    Steve

    PS My mantra in my busy multi-truck company was to take as much pressure as possible off of my front line people. As one of my mentors said many years ago, “If you are not serving the customer then you better be serving someone who is.” ANYTHING I could switch off of the shoulders of my techs to the office was a done deal as I wanted my techs to focus on only two things- maximum production AND making Cheerleaders!

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