Educating the Customer – While Making Them Happy: 6 Quick Tips
It’s pretty fashionable these days for products to have a story behind them – baristas at fancy coffee shops tell customers that the brew they’re drinking is shade grown on a farm in Bolivia owned by a widowed farmer with seven daughters, or waiters in restaurants might smugly point out to diners that the steak they ordered came from a cow that was grass-fed, massaged daily, given beer and sung to sleep.
That may sound like a bit of exaggeration (not the thing about the cows, though), but it’s actually true that people like to know about the product they’re consuming and now expect this information from businesses – sometimes maniacally so. (“Portlandia” even made a sketch about people taking it a little too far.) Customers feel empowered by knowledge – it makes them feel like they are right about what they spend their money on.
Dispatchers for a fleet business hold the keys to the castle in many ways – they’re often the first voice a customer hears – and helping to educate the customer on the company’s offerings creates repeat business and good referrals: According to Andreas Eisingerich and Simon Bell of Sloan Review, “Efforts to enhance customers’ service knowledge and provide them with the skills and abilities to use critical information can help companies differentiate their service offerings and provide a strong foundation on which to build trusting relationships with customers.”
So how do you make sure your customer understands what your company can deliver to them – and more importantly, what it can’t – while also making them happy? Check out these 6 tips.
1 – Know your stuff. You can’t communicate to customers effectively without understanding your company’s products and services inside and out, including pricing and what they get for what they pay. If you’re fairly new or if the company has recently added new products or services, make yourself a cheat sheet to use when answering questions over the phone.
2 – Don’t be afraid to upsell. Your customers might not be aware of everything the business offers or realize there are add-ons that can benefit them. The worst they can say is no, but even if only one out of every 10 customers goes for an upsell, that’s that much more money you helped the business bring in – and the boss will take notice.
3 – Make sure the website is updated. A lot of people use the Internet to do research before buying, so you should ensure your website accurately reflects the business’s offerings, including prices, hours and services. Otherwise, you might end up with unhappy potential customers who saw one thing online and heard another from you over the phone – and as a dispatcher, you’re the one who will have to deal with any fallout. Head this off by making sure publicly available info is always up to date. It’s probably not technically your responsibility, but a bit of fact-checking can save you headaches down the road.
4 – Always listen carefully. We live in a fast-paced world these days, and sometimes it can seem easier and faster to try to guess what the customer wants before he or she is done explaining it to you. But don’t – you risk annoying the customer by interrupting, and you also might miss some important details of the job order. The more you know, the better you will be able to help the customer.
5 – Ensure that they understand what they are getting – and what they’re not getting. You can help manage customer expectations by clearly spelling out what comes with the job order they placed, and let them know if an additional service costs extra.
6 – Tell them about your tools. Customers will feel better about handing your company their business if you tell them exactly how you are able to guarantee their satisfaction. You don’t need to give them the recipe to your secret sauce, but you should let them know if the company uses any cool tech tools that help create happy customers – for example, if you have a way to be more productive, have visibility into where all field techs are and can give real-time accurate updates on a tech’s arrival time, and keep all important customer details in one instantly accessible place, don’t be shy. Let them know your company cares enough about their satisfaction to invest in ways to ensure it. (And if you don’t have this offering, what are you waiting for?)
Now if you’ll excuse us, there’s some sustainably produced, artisanal, Mexican-cacao-bean dark chocolate calling our names.
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And while you’re getting your antioxidants in, download our eBook on how Fleetmatics WORK can help your customers keep smiles on their faces.