Friday, March 4, 2011

KeFactors Friday: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Customer John, a business owner, is trying to lower his premiums by changing from Plan A to Plan B, but he’s opted to stay with the same insurance company. Here’s how a call center professional can either delight him or drown him in regret about his decision to stay faithful.

By refusing to “get” the real point of the customer’s call. John calls up, somewhat stressed that his change of policy application won’t get in on time.

Ugly: “Sir, I get it that your mail was held up by a snowstorm, but we can’t move the deadline on account of that. We can’t do anything about acts of God.”

Bad: [defensive] “Want to talk to my supervisor?”

Good: “I’m sorry you had some trouble with that, sir. Let me go over your account and get this done today so you won’t have to worry about it any more. We appreciate you’re keeping your policy with us.”

By focusing so much on policy readings, you actually demonstrate to the customer that you’re inflexible and somewhat shady.

Ugly: “Before we take your new application, sir, did anyone tell you that if you change your mind later, you can’t go back to Plan A? No, sir, it’s being eliminated. Gone.”

Bad: [loud eye rolling] “My supervisor can explain why it’s set up like that.”

Good: “Before we finalize this new plan, sir, I need to point out that as of April 1, we’ll be eliminating Plan A, the plan you just left. If you later find you’re unhappy with Plan B, just give us a call back and we’ll arrange other options for you to consider. Some of the new plans are pretty popular and inexpensive.”

Resolving the customer’s business is a big relief — and a chance to sell more of what the customer doesn’t want, need, or would even consider!

Ugly: [perfunctory] “Is there anything else we can do for you?”

Bad: [uninspired drone] “Have I told you about our Plan B Extra Plus?”

Good: “Before we wrap up, sir, have we taken care of everything you needed to get done today? Have we answered your questions? Well, if you think of any later, please call us back. We’ve got some wonderful enhancements like the Plan B Extra Plus which is pretty popular with printing companies like yours. You may not have time to consider it today but the details are on our Web site, which also lists other printing companies in your region who’ve endorsed the Extra Plus. And once again, thank you for keeping your policy with us. Have a great day.”

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