Building A Customer Service Team Of Experts

At my house, I call the plumber often and let me tell you how the process usually goes down.  I’ll have abigstock-The-words-Hello-I-Am-An-Expert-36518137 plumbing repair to make.  I typically go to Home Depot and spend $5-10 on the part that I need and knowing I probably don’t have the tools necessary to complete the job without breaking something, I take a calculated risk.  I figure the worst case scenario is that I break something, have to shut off the water for a bit, and pay the plumber $100 to bail me out.  Of course, nine times out of ten I end up breaking something and having to call the plumber.  Note that I never do this with major repairs and to give me some credit, I have successfully replaced a sink, installed a garbage disposal and even installed a dishwasher.

Typically when the plumber shows up to rescue me, he shows me tools I didn’t know existed and proceeds to clean up my mess in no time at all.  I stand back in awe as I’ve been in the presence of a true expert.  He is perfectly trained to do that job and solve real problems.

One of our service standards at Phone.com is “Choice.”  Here’s how I define choice when I review it with our customer service staff:

Phone.com offers limitless flexibility and telecom options to customers.  Customer service representatives are experts in finding the best solution for the customer taking into account their phone service and budgetary needs.  If we do not have a solution to meet the customer’s needs, WE will be the first to admit it and offer suggestions even if it means sending them to a competitor.

Choice is BIG in the mind of the customer.  That is why we understand the customer’s needs and clearly communicate expectations up front so that a bond of trust is built.

I was pondering this the other day…while running of course, and came to a very powerful realization.  Our role as customer service representatives is to be EXPERTS in our product, pricing and service.  We can take just about any problem the customer presents to us and like my expert plumber, blow their minds with a perfect solution.

Think about this concept.  Managers, how can you train your team better so they truly are experts and are time after time, providing awesome service to your customers?  I am also reminded of the many experts that are on my team.  Take a moment to appreciate the experts around you today.

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Jeremy Watkin is the Director of Customer Experience at FCR, the premiere provider of outsourced call center and business process solutions. He has more than 17 years of experience as a customer service and experience professional. He is co-founder of the Customer Service Life blog and a regular contributor. Jeremy has been recognized many times for his thought leadership. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn for more awesome customer service and experience insights.

One comment

  • Jenny Dempsey

    You really do think up some great stuff while runnin’!

    Choice is HUGE and sadly, I don’t think it’s encouraged at a lot of places, which is why we hear “NO, we can’t do that” more often than not when we ask for help at a store. Empowering our team to know that they DO have the option to customize and modify plans, etc. for a customer is key. Training a team to be experts really begins there!

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