Tips for helping customers without sending out a truck
By Janet Pinkerton
When a customer calls a C-tailer with a problem, the goal is to try to resolve it over the phone in order to avoid a service truck roll, which costs money.
Custom Retailer recently interviewed five C-tailers about how to improve success rates for resolving service calls over the phone while keeping customers happy.
Each retailer had its own way of handling customer problems, but there are some relative constants. The service call typically is first directed to the sales associate who sold the system or equipment. If sales isn't able to resolve the problem, the call may be directed to service department technicians, custom department managers, installers or programmers.
Of course, some customers immediately demand a technician be sent to their home. Others can't or don't want to work with a C-tailer on resolving the problem over the phone.
But many are indeed willing. Here are some tips for improving your chances of resolving service calls over the phone.
Prepare the Customer for Problems
It helps to be proactive and honest with your customer before you install the system. Vance Pflanz of Pflanz Electronics in Sioux City, Iowa, says that while his company's goal is to make its systems easy to use for customers, "we probably tell people right up front when we sell a system that 'you are going to have to work with it a while.'"
As a result, Pflanz says, "we don't have a lot of upset customers anymore. It seems like it's getting easier." He posits this is because his company is doing a better job upfront, although he adds that "a lot of people are getting used to technology—you know everything doesn't always work
Sometimes preparation is a matter of simple logistics. When introducing clients to a new A/V system controlled by a programmable remote, Audio Resource in New Orleans encourages clients to keep the individual component remotes.