Unleashing ExcellenceWritten By: Ron Slee
Article Date: 08-01-2006
Copyright(C) 2008 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.
Help your employees be all they can be.
In the Parts and Service world, customer service is our business. But it's complicated by the work we do. Doing the same things every day can be a challenge in so far as keeping it fresh and exciting. And it's further complicated in that customer service excellence involves everyone in the company not just those in parts and service. Too often we fool ourselves into thinking we do everything we can for the customer when it's clear we do things for ourselves first.
Consider these things about your service environment.
We ask parts and service personnel to deliver service to customers in an environment that is not necessarily supportive of good service delivery.
- Who comes first a counter customer or a phone customer?
- Who comes first the customer for whom we have a completion date or the salesman wanting to change the schedule?
- What comes first answering the phone or letting it go to voice mail?
- Why do customers hold on the line rather than leave a message?
- Who parks in the customer parking area in front of the building?
- How many walk by a piece of paper in the parking lot rather than pick it up?
Customers call or walk in with specific things in mind. Are your procedures and systems providing support to your service personnel? Not likely.
Check out the systems in the entertainment industry and the automotive industry; there are many solutions to similar problems. Check it out; it's well worth your time.
In September 1998, I wrote a column for Construction Equipment Distribution entitled "Who Are Your Heroes?" I still think it's a good idea.
Every employee every day makes a contribution to customer service. How do you recognize them?
Each time your employee does something over and above the call of duty, take note of it, write it up, take a picture of the employee, and put it into a book. Make copies of this book and place them in locations that have high customer visibility - the parts counter, the reception area, the service office, etc.
This will give the customer something to read while they wait. With the pictures, they'll be able to recognize someone they know and read what happened.
It will also encourage your employees to talk about your company outside of work. Don't underestimate the value of this. One of the largest challenges we will face during the next five to 10 years will be attracting and retaining talent in sufficient numbers to be able to operate.
Unleash the excellence of your workforce. Everyone wants to do a good job; someone has to tell them what that means. It's called leadership and it's your job.
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