Extra Edition / Business Management

Effective ‘Customer Care' Call Handing Procedures

December 23, 2004
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Today our customers/clients expect their service provider to deliver good customer service. In most cases good customer service translates into responsiveness. Customers want their service company to communicate that they are a priority and don't want to hear excuses as to why their service provider can't respond promptly. The Forum Corporation conducted a study that showed that 65 percent of customers who leave, leave due to poor customer service.

Our customers/clients require responsiveness for the following reasons:

1. Can't tolerate large deviations in temperature, humidity, or filtration due to health or production-related reasons.

2. Can't afford any disruptions to major scheduled events.

3. Can't afford production equipment downtime.

4. Can't afford disruptions to tenant productivity.

The dispatcher can demonstrate responsiveness or good customer service by performing the following:

1. Acknowledging the customer's problem or request for service.

2. Showing they understand the customer's problem or request.

3. By acting on or responding to the problem or request in a timely manner.

4. By providing an interim solution and/or by following up with the customer to verify resolution of the problem or satisfaction with the company's response.

Customer Call Requirements

Upon receiving a customer call, the following procedure should be followed:

1. The dispatcher must first identify the precise nature of the problem. If the customer representative is not knowledgeable or was given an inadequate description by others of the problem, the dispatcher should try to have someone at the customer site who is technically knowledgeable about the nature of the problem contact the dispatcher back.

2. The dispatcher must obtain the work or job address, including the street address, city, and building number or name.

3. The dispatcher needs to identify if parking is available and where best to enter the facility to expedite the service call and save the customer money.

4. The dispatcher needs to find out who the technician needs to speak to about the purpose of the service call and get the phone number if available.

5. The dispatcher needs to identify exactly where the problem is located and should include the floor, or facility functional area, or room number to better expedite the service call.

6. Prior to the technician's arrival on-site, the dispatcher should call the customer to inform them of the expected arrival time in order to give the customer a chance to prepare for the technician's arrival and to ...

7. Think of other questions to ask ...

8. To identify additional items requiring service.

9. The technician must notify or check in with the customer upon arrival at the job and when leaving the job.

10. If the work requires a tool or equipment that the technician does not have, he must let his service manager know immediately.

11. Customer check out procedures:

12. When an installation is completed, and where appropriate, the technician must instruct the customer on proper operation of the equipment.

13. If it is a repair, the technician must reassure the customer that the problem is fixed by explaining the cause of the problem and what action was taken to repair the equipment.

14. If the repair or maintenance inspection work requires a return visit to complete, the technician must check with the dispatcher and inform the customer.

15. Before the technician leaves the customer site, he/she must call the dispatcher or the service manager immediately following each service call. This debriefing should not be done in front of the customer. The information that needs to be transferred is:

a. Is the job or service work complete? If not, put back on the dispatch board in the appropriate location.

b. Is there a need to have service or sales followed up? If so, the dispatcher must communicate the lead to sales, or to a service project estimator, or to the service manager.

c. Does the customer have any complaints? If so, all complaints should be recorded, forwarded to the appropriate stakeholder, and followed up to verify that they have been addressed.

d.Did the technician complete all paperwork and get the customer's signature?

Post Call Follow-Up Procedure

To show that your company has a "we care" attitude, the dispatcher should contact the customer after the call to verify the work was done properly, answer any questions, and to confirm there are no additional problems that require attention.

1. If customers are satisfied, you should try to obtain referrals.

2. If service work was done for a non-service agreement customer, you could offer a discount off the service invoice and apply it to a service agreement if they sign on within 30 days of work completion.

Reprinted with permission from the Building Services Institute (BSI) newsletter The HVAC Connection, Volume 1, Issue 2. Adapted from BSI's "General-Service Managers Training Program." For more information, contact Tony Italiano at 877-430-5200, e-mail tonyi@bsig.net, or visit www.bsig.net.

Publication date: 12/27/2004

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