David is the Service Manager with a medium-sized IT Services company. He is responsible for 35 Service Engineers, taking care of hundreds of customers nationwide. The company employs two Business Development Managers who are responsible for generating new business. Once an account is won, there is a transition period before the accounts become the responsibility of David, from a service and revenue perspective.
Service Engineers are primarily responsible for keeping the accounts technically sound, up to date and running smoothly. They are also incentivised to spot opportunities for major expansions or overhauls and to pass the opportunities back to David for processing.
By and large, the system works fine. However, not every Engineer is fully aware of the impact they have on accounts and problems do arise. These problems can take the form of friction between Engineers and individual members of staff, right through to complaints coming from senior management when issues are not dealt with correctly. The problems are not technical, they are usually as a result of misunderstandings, false promises, a perceived lack of urgency, inappropriate language or behaviour, even the odd complaint about body odour.
Some months ago, things came to a head when a valued customer escalated a complaint above David’s head to the company’s Managing Director. The account was salvaged but lessons were learned, and David was ordered to take action to ensure that something like this would not happen again.
The need was obvious, Customer Service training was required for each and every member of the Service team and while they were at it, they included other customer-facing staff such as accounts receivable and stores personnel who interacted with customers on a daily basis about invoicing, credits, payments and supplies of consumables.
Proactive Pipeline was engaged to deliver the training. The total number of staff to be trained was 42, so we created two teams of 21 each. This made the classroom sizes manageable and created cover for customers while each team was unavailable for the period of one half-day. Management were also encouraged to participate so that they could follow through with specific actions and measures to ensure that the training was effective over the longer term.