What your mom never taught you about customer care…
It’s an old saying that a salesperson may sell the first fork lift… but it’s the service engineer who sells the second… third… and fourth. Indeed, the individual who cares for the machine is often the one who’s left to care for the customer – usually with no formal training in the legal and interpersonal aspects of this vital role.
But, help is at hand: from the fork lift truck industry’s own technical training centre, F-TEC.
According to Managing Director Karl Baum, “Like many other sectors, our industry invests heavily in ensuring service staff achieve the appropriate practical skills. However, few employers arm their front-line service staff with the legal knowledge and interpersonal skills necessary to retain business, generate future sales and protect that employers’ interests.
“At F-TEC, we have developed a course that specifically addresses this issue: Customer Service Training for Service Engineers. It takes service engineers to the next level, turning them into ambassadors.
“On the legal front it was once a case of ‘buyer beware’, but a series of Acts introduced to protect consumers has changed all that. There are many legal avenues a customer can pursue if, for example, they believe a product is not fit for purpose. The F-TEC course covers eight different pieces of legislation to ensure service engineers are fully aware of the legal implications arising from their conversations with customers.
“Alongside that we teach the ‘soft skills’ which transform day-to-day contacts with customers. We talk about ‘customer touchpoints’ which occur every time a customer meets your company. These influence his or her perception of all you are and do. Your frontline employees – especially service engineers – are responsible for the majority of ‘touchpoints’. By investing in their communication skills you are investing directly in the customer experience.
“The course teaches techniques for making customers feel appreciated. In a competitive marketplace simply doing a good job is not good enough. Customers want to be valued, respected and feel that your company truly cares. This needs to be clearly expressed – by your engineers.
“The course addresses the core problem: how can you help your customers measure the quality, value-for-money or even the benefit of a service or inspection? The answer is that it’s all down to your engineer and how s/he communicates the features and benefits of the work carried out that makes the difference.”
He concludes: “Positive engagements with your customers adds real value to their experience… opening the door to future business…”
The next Customer Service Training for Service Engineers course takes place on 12th and 13th December 2017.