Every telecom employee who comes into contact with customers is in sales regardless of their title and must be sensitive to what customers want, says Phoenix-based Measure-X.
“It doesn’t matter what a telephone company employee’s job is,” says David Saxby, president of Measure-X, a company that specializes in helping telecoms improve their customer service and sales. “If they interact with customers in any fashion, they are an extension of the sales department. They are selling their professional credibility, the company’s products and services and the company’s image. They need to know there are five things customers truly want.”
Saxby outlines those five customer needs as follows:
To Have the Employee Listen More Than They Talk. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes – would you rather talk to someone who goes on and on or to someone who is interested in what you have to say? Saxby asks. “Customers are not impressed with an employee’s jabbering,” Saxby says. “They’re in contact with your telecom because they have a need or a problem. Asking customers intelligent questions and then actively listening to their responses is the best way to build trust and get at the heart of what the customer really needs.”
To Have Things Explained in A Way the Customer Can Understand. Listen to the customer and speak at their level of expertise, Saxby says. “In today’s high-tech world, many products on the market are quite complex,” Saxby explains. “Customers don’t want to be insulted by listening to jargon and acronyms that are meaningless to most people. They also don’t want to deal with a condescending employee who sounds exasperated because the customer is not catching on.”
To Deal With Nice People. Treat customers to a breath of fresh air and greet them with a friendly voice and a smile on your face, even if you are on the telephone, Saxby suggests. “Remember that your customers are most likely bumping into negativity everywhere they go – traffic jams, long lines in stores, frustration at work, stress at home,” Saxby says. “When they come into contact with your telecom, they want to talk to a nice person. They want to believe you are someone who genuinely cares about their concerns. They want you to sound warm and friendly.”
To Have Their Time Valued, Not Wasted. Customers juggle their schedules to reach out to your telecom, and they feel devalued and unappreciated if they believe their time is being wasted, Saxby says. “Classic time wasters include placing customers on hold, transferring their calls to other departments and not getting their requests right the first time,” Saxby says. “It’s also a waste of time when customers deal with employees who are not knowledgeable and who are not empowered to make decisions. Managers should evaluate how customer calls are handled and then identify and eliminate situations that waste a customer’s time.”
To Be Offered Solutions. Customers want to believe your telecom has the resources and willingness to deliver what they need, Saxby says. “This will often mean that you will need to go the extra mile to explore a variety of solutions for them,” Saxby notes. “You may need to help them build a relationship with a co-worker who has more expertise than you in a given situation. Don’t cut your customers short with responses such as ‘I don’t know’ or ‘we don’t do that in this department.’ Commit yourself to being a possibility thinker for your customers.”
Measure-X is a measurement, training and recognition company that specializes in customer service and sales skills. For more information on Measure-X, call 888-644-5499 or visit its Web site at http://www.measure-x.com.