Going the extra mile

I recently surveyed our agents who are taking front line sales calls to find out why people call to sign up rather than signing up online.  This was totally unrelated to customer service or so I thought.  The assumption was that if we could answer that question, we could improve our website and the sign up experience.

Being a VoIP phone service provider, having Internet service is a prerequisite for using our service but that doesn’t stop people who don’t have Internet service from calling us.  I personally have taken many of these calls and like our front line staff, I typically say something to the effect of “Sorry, you need Internet.  Until you get Internet, I cannot help you.”  It’s so quick and easy to slam the door isn’t it?

Well with this survey I got a response from one agent, Dorian and realized I’ve been doing it all wrong.  Dorian’s response in these situations is to find out where the caller lives and look up their address on http://whitefence.com to see what Internet Service Providers are in their area.  He then instructs them to go sign up for Internet service and then call us back to sign up for phone service.

I look at what Dorian is doing here and realize that rather than slamming the door on the customer, he’s telling them about one minor obstacle they need to clear in order to use our service.  The customer then has a choice to accept and then call us back.  Do you see the difference here?  This goes back to my previous post about “The Power of let me see what I can do for you.”

My challenge to you today is to try to go the whole day without saying “No” or “I don’t know.”  Take ownership of those situations and work with the customer to find their answer.  Getting them half way to their solution is better than going no where with them.  Sure, they may never become your customer but I guarantee that even non-customers who have a pleasant experience with your company will tell others about this experience.  Try it out and let me know how it goes.

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