Technician & Driver – Customer Service Best Practices

Featuring Rich Cordisco

Technician working on a propane tank

Measuring Your Success = Customer Satisfaction

If you had to rank using a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being the lowest ranking and 10 being the highest, where would you rank the level of "Customer Service" today in the America? Would you believe that people who were surveyed rank their Customer Service level with companies that they buy from as a "3"? I am sure we all can relate to experiences we have had and have been victims of bad customer service. And most of us will not return to businesses that provide poor service. Unfortunately, an unhappy customer will tell at least 10 other people about their bad or poor experience they had with your company.

The Competition is Ready to Fill Your Space

In today's economy, customers value their time as much as their money. Worry-free and hassle-free service is expected and necessary to satisfy today's busy customer. Customers are coming to you with problems and needs. They are looking for an expert who not only is knowledgeable but who also cares. They are looking for a company or person that they can trust and provide peace of mind. Customers have many choices these days and there are many options in your marketplace. The competition is not only other Propane or Oil companies but also other HVAC and utility companies. They want the very best and expect their company to deliver and provide superior customer service with their requests.

The Warm Fuzzy Effect

So what needs to be done as a company to increase this Customer Service ranking level from a "3"? Build a company culture for all employees that believe customer service is vital to customer base growth, customer retention and financial success for the company. Every interface with a customer is a moment of truth that should create a "WOW FACTOR" that leaves the customer impressed by your service and ready to tell others about the experience they had with your company and that they made the right choice in choosing your company as their Energy supplier. Each customer interaction (inbound or outbound customer phone call, propane tank installation, fuel delivery, service or repair call) is an opportunity to; promote and build your company capabilities, generate sales opportunities, impress and meet customer needs, position and build your brand in the Market place.

Here are a few customer service "Best Practices" to consider for "Service Technicians and Drivers":

Leaving A Great First and Last Impression

  • Have a professional, neat, and clean appearance each working day.
  • Adhere to and have a proper company/business dress-code.
  • Wear a clean company uniform (company hat, safety shoes, and belt) each and every working day.
  • A clean Service Van or Delivery Truck on the inside and outside?

Building Customer Rapport, Relationship and Trust

  • Customer Greeting
    • Have a "Standard Company Greeting", put a smile on your voice, and use good voice inflection.
    • When entering the home – Identify yourself and company, provide a business card or show your company ID to the customer.
    • Shake the customer's hand and make good eye contact whether the customer is a female or male.
    • Explain to the customer the purpose of your visit or scheduled appointment.
    • Use the customer's name during your "Customer Greeting" and/or conversation during the service-delivery appointment.
    • Identify with them the current service-delivery address and phone number with them.
  • Ask the customer if there has been any change to their residence
    • Changes to their annual fuel usage, any other additional Propane appliances added or deleted, any new room additions, using other supplemental heat sources (i.e. wood fireplace, space heaters, corn burner, etc.).
  • Be on time for the customer appointment, tank installation/service repair or Propane fuel delivery.
    • Call the customer if you are running early or late for the appointment or Propane fuel delivery.
  • Any Field or Office disconnects? Do we "exceed expectations" - Under-promise and Over-deliver.

Understanding Customer Wants and Needs

  • Listen for the real customer problem or question.
  • Deflate any customer objections – calm them down and show empathy for their situation.
  • Set the stage on what you are going to do next for them to either fix the problem or find a solution.
  • Explain to the customer that you will complete a thorough site inspection / diagnose the service/repair problem first, and then provide a complete summary outlining what type of installation/repairs/parts that will be needed to complete the installation or to fix the problem.
    • Get the customer's approval and signature to go ahead and make the installation or repair.
  • Sound helpful, interested and non-rushed with the customer.
  • Respect the customer's property.
    • Always put booties on before entering the home.
    • Place a piece of carpet or towel under tool box.
    • Roll out a towel to place tools on.
    • Wear rubber gloves to keep your hands clean and neat.
    • Be careful and safe with Company vehicles while at the customer's house.
    • Leave the area you worked on cleaner than when you started.

Being Helpful – Professional and Knowledgeable

  • Clearly explain to the customer how we can help them today or in the future.
  • Review all the install/repair work that was done or fuel delivery that was made with the customer, answer any questions, provide any recommendations or ask if they were completely satisfied with the work that was performed and/or delivery that was made.
  • Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of Company products, services and/or special programs.
  • Have or attend yearly educational training sessions, manufacturer seminars, yearly certifications, and "Shadow Days" for employees.
  • Have a Company product Literature Sales Binder or Carrying Case which includes:
    • Current liquid and tank-set pricing sheets
    • Gas emergency procedures
    • Special tank-delivery fees
    • Off-route policies
    • After hour and holiday labor rates
    • Sample tank-sets and installation instructions
    • New customer data sheet
    • Credit applications
    • Company brochures and seasonal program specials or offer sheets
    • Daily-weekly delivery schedules and territory grids/maps
    • Before/after Propane installation picture portfolio
    • Tank and site inspection/diagrams
    • Customer site equipment check list
    • Code requirement manuals/booklets>
    • Special field equipment (tape measure and measuring wheel)
    • Company emergency stickers/magnets and Company giveaways (hats, pens, calendars).
  • Important Communication Tools – Two-way radios, Cell phones, GPS/Text systems and laptop computers, product/service videos.

Asking For The Order

  • Did you get a "Yes or No" from the customer – "We want your business on each and every call"
  • Soft close – "Can we go ahead and sign you up today."

Thanking The Customer For Their Business and/or For Calling The Company – On Every Call!

  • Ending each service appointment or special delivery on a positive note – by thanking the customer for their business and asking "Is there anything else I can do for you today?"
  • Review and get customer signatures with all required;
    • Company paperwork
    • Work-orders
    • Equipment tank lease agreement
    • Gas check appliance safety form
    • Propane Safety brochure or Propane Scratch and Sniff pamphlet
    • Explain gas-leak emergency procedures or other required paperwork
  • Hand out any other Company literature, special program materials, leave any Company emergency sticker/magnets on the Propane tank, gas appliance or with the customer.
  • Leave a "Customer Satisfaction Survey Card" asking them to rank you on your customer service and/or fuel delivery.
  • Have the office mail-out to the customer a special thank you card / special welcome package / coupon or Company gift.
  • Is there anything else that requires any follow-up or follow-through actions by YOU or other Company departments or employees?
  • "You Are Responsible" for following through on the actions promised to the customer – "Creating the Customer Service Wow Factor!"

Finding $ales Opportunities On Every Call - "Up-Selling Company Extra Value Services"

  • Will-Call to Automatic Delivery
  • Automatic Delivery to Budget Plan
  • Automatic + Budget + Service Plan
  • Seasonal Price Protection Plans
  • Other Company Program/Services Add-Ons:
    • Payment Options – 30 Days, Budget, Major Credit Card, Debit Card, EFT Bank-Draft, Personal Check, Money Order, Cash or Pay On-Line
    • Provide Aboveground and Underground Propane Tank Installations
    • Provide Complete Propane Gas Line Installation, Tank Service and Equipment Repair
    • Perform Complete Propane System Safety Gas Checks
    • Offer 24/7 Emergency Fuel Delivery Service
    • Offer 24/7 Card Fueling Station
    • Quality Fuel Delivery Service For – Residential, Commercial and Agricultural Applications

Branch Manager Rich Cordisco

Rich Cordisco

Read Rich's Bio
 

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