Over the past few years, we’ve had the opportunity to meet with a variety of small businesses in fields such as customer support, sales, and finance. One topic that always comes up is customer support: How does the company show that they value their customers? The answer always differs, as processes and protocol at each company vary, but the underlying tone is always the same – “We feel our customer support team is strong; however, we are always looking to make improvements.” Let’s look at an example of how one company increased their bottom line just by improving customer support.
We recently worked with a local engineering company that has been very successful for the past 30 years in Reading, PA. While meeting with the President and Sales Director, we discussed how this company tackled a major customer support pain: finding someone for their entry-level position of driver/technician. Although it was an entry-level position, this tech was really the face of the company for many clients. Therefore, this person not only needed to be sound in technical skills, but also needed to have exceptional customer service and communication skills.
Curious to find out more about how this company found a winning solution, we asked the President of this company how they tackled the problem, and we loved the answer we got.
Thirty years ago, at this company, individuals would get interviewed, hired, assigned to their role, and then put out on “the floor” – the standard recipe for most companies at that time. About five years ago, their leadership added a new component to this process – everyone was trained as a customer support individual first, and then trained at their own role whether it be finance, design, sales, or even (you guessed it) a driver/technician. When the company made this change, revenue increased, and they are now looking to expand the training material to give even more training in customer support for all employees.
Many small businesses are encountering similar problems. They need an employee who can perform the functions of their role, but also speak eloquently to a customer or prospect, and that skill doesn’t always come naturally. If you don’t have formal training materials for customer support, consider developing them with your HR team or an outside consultant. Customer support platforms are also good tools to help employees bridge the gap between their knowledge base and assisting customers. Many of these platforms can assist the employee in sharing their expertise while communicating digitally. These methods allow a talented employee to grow into a more dynamic, customer-engaging position that gives them more confidence, shows their knowledge base, and allows them to grow with their current company. Helping employees grow in customer support will keep your customers happy and result in repeat business and recurring revenue.
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