At Autosoft, we pride ourselves on customer service and have done so for over 25 years. So when a current customer’s service manager walked out without notice, the general manager was at a loss for what he was going to do. The parts manager just joined the team, the old advisor quit and the new advisor wasn’t due to start for another week. That left him with a brand new crew with no experience and a service department without the ability to wait on customers!!! Out went the phone call to the local business development manager… “can you help?”
This is where my question comes in… Does your staff have the training, knowledge and empowerment to understand how to answer this question? Do they know how critical it is to answer quickly and with enthusiasm?
A customer seeking help is going to be your best advocate or worst reference based upon the way your staff answers the question and with what kind of attitude. What value could you possibly place on this customer if you were able to help him out of the problem? Do you think he would share that experience, especially in today’s environment of social media? Do you think he would share if you couldn’t help him?
Fortunately, the answer from our local rep came swiftly and very professionally as a resounding “YES.” Even though we sell training and we obviously had this customer at a disadvantage, our answer was to extend a hand, get the customer back up and running and THEN offer additional training, if so desired, for additional people on his staff to be cross-trained. But the customer’s immediate needs came first.
Training is critical. The time to know how your staff will answer is BEFORE the question is asked.