The 5th step in creating a Proactive Service® culture within your service team is to follow-up on opportunities. Following up on opportunities may seem like a self-evident step, but it is often not accomplished.
During our Proactive Service® workshops, we ask technicians if they have ever proposed an idea to a customer where the customer has never gotten back to them and where they do not know what the customer has decided to do. Almost everyone’s hand goes up. We then ask, “Why do you think that is the case?” Responses range from, “They decided not to do it” to “They got someone else to do it.” Occasionally someone will say something like, “Maybe they forgot about it” and if they don’t, then we suggest it. We then relate the story that I told in my last blog about the technician that passed on a lead from the field that was never followed up by the salesperson. In that situation, the recommended action was to prevent a failure and a few months later, the failure indeed occurred. Of course, the customer was angry and the technician was put in an uncomfortable position because of inaction on the part of the salesperson, but the problem would have been avoided altogether if the technician just took a moment to inquire with the customer whether they had given any more thought to the matter.
Usually there are one or two techs in the room who share with the rest of the class that they make it a point to follow up. When they volunteer this, I ask them “What does the customer say when you remind them of something important that they may have forgotten about?”. “They thank me” is the usual reply.
If we truly want to deliver a more valuable (and valued) level of service, we must do more than simply bring opportunities to the customer. We must inquire about them when the customer has not taken action to ensure that the customer does not lose sight of those important recommendations and save them grief and aggravation down the road.
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“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
– Thomas A. Edison