Training Field Service Techs for Consistent Customer Service On The Road
Simply making a sale isn’t enough. Your construction equipment dealership cannot grow and thrive without superior long-term customer relationships. To some extent everyone in your dealership is responsible for customer service, but your field service techs shoulder much of that responsibility. They’re the ones who have the most contact with customers after the sale.
What your field service techs do and say can make all the difference in how customers view your dealership and their experience with you. Will customers remain loyal, providing you with ongoing business and referrals? Or will they head down the road to your competitor? A field tech’s ability to build customer satisfaction is just as important as his or her ability to repair construction equipment.
These eight customer service techniques should become second nature to your techs:
Be on time. If a customer is scheduled for service at 9am, that’s what they are expecting and counting on. Your field technician needs to arrive no later than 9am, earlier if possible. If they get delayed, someone needs to let the customer know and keep them updated as to a revised time.
Apologize. The mere fact that the machine needs repair is worth an apology for the interruption in your customer’s work schedule. And sometimes things go wrong – the part is on back-order or some other problem crops up. Your customer is inconvenienced, so your field tech should apologize for that regardless of who caused the problem. Offering a sincere “I’m so sorry the part isn’t here yet, we can get it to you tomorrow” is a simple act of taking responsibility on behalf of your dealership. It can make even an angry customer come around.
Empathize. Beyond an apology, empathizing with a customer shows you understand what is important to them. Downtime causes delay and costs money. Acknowledging that by saying, “I know you need to get this loader back on the job, so we’ve put a rush on that parts order” tells them you care. That builds loyalty.
Be professional. Every detail of your field service reflects directly on your dealership. That includes the cleanliness of your service truck, how your tech is dressed, his or her demeanor and language. Your customer expects superior technical expertise, but when your field service is superior in every way, it underscores your commitment to quality.
Keep your customer updated. Nothing is more irritating – or unnecessary – than the frustration of being out of the loop. Your customer has every right to know exactly what’s happening. Tell them when you arrive, give them a progress update on repairs, and let them know when you’ve finished. If you did have to order parts, let them know the status of that, too.
Say thanks. This is even simpler than apologizing, yet it’s surprisingly unexpected. When your field tech says, “thanks so much for doing business with us,” your customer knows they mean more to you than just another sale.
Ask for feedback on your service. This has double value. Everyone loves to be asked their opinion, and by asking customers to rate their service experience you’re demonstrating a commitment to continuous improvement. Knowing you’ll be asking for feedback also keeps techs on their toes. You can use comment cards or follow up phone calls, but the easiest and most effective way to obtain feedback is by including a short survey as part of the follow-up email you send to thank service customers for their business. You do send a follow-up thank you, don’t you?
Training. Field service techs represent your dealership every time they head out the door. Do yours know how to make the best impression, every time? They don’t just wake up one morning fully skilled in the art of customer service. Creating a formal training program will ensure all your people perform well and consistently, and it will strengthen customer relationships.