My 19-year-old daughter was recently involved in a fender-bender accident. A woman (let’s call her “Mabel”) made a left-hand turn in front of my daughter’s car, and they collided. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Next up we hit the insurance companies (no pun intended).
When we obtained Mabel’s insurance company information, we noticed that her insurer was the same company we have used for our motorist assist services for many years. Ironically, my wife and I had just been talking a few days prior to the accident about the possibility of transferring our car insurance to Mabel’s company. I couldn’t have scripted a better opportunity to evaluate the insurer’s service and then maybe make the switch.
As the claim processing proceeded, our current insurance company had our collision coverage all in order within 5 days. It was easy, pleasant and very low-effort. Thirty days later, Mable’s insurance company still had not resolved the issue on their end. All we wanted them to do was to pay our $500 deductible – completely reasonable since the accident was their insured’s fault, but making it happen was an entirely different matter.
When we finally managed to talk with Mabel’s insurance company, they were rude and uncaring. Perhaps the claims adjuster from Mable’s insurance company thought he was talking to “just another claimant” and certainly not a potential customer. Well, he guessed wrong. Big mistake.
Every conversation you have with a customer or potential customer is an opportunity to increase your company’s value. It’s important for anyone working on the “inside” who communicates with anyone on the “outside” to always remember he or she is talking to a potential customer. Forgetting this can be a big mistake – a mistake I hear almost every day from one company or another.
I find it very disturbing to think about how many conversations people have that really hurt their company’s value without those people even realizing it. One of the first things you learn in radio is to always act as if the microphone is live. Logically, one of the first things anyone in the customer care or on the service side of your business should learn is that every interaction with a customer presents an opportunity to increase the value of your company and not just to answer a question or sell a product.
The next question companies ask us is how they can compel their employees to understand that the microphone is always live. The customer is always listening, and each conversation matters. Organizations can help their employees realize the microphone is always live through awareness, management and coaching.
Pretium Solutions helps companies solve this dilemma every day. When a company invites us in to look at the operation, to help them create greater value, the first thing we do is to listen and ask a lot of questions. Through this listening and question-asking process we identify gaps in the sales, service and coaching levels. We can identify interactions that create less value than they should. We find some interactions that create no value or actually drain value from the organization. Once these procedures and behaviors have been identified, we then put together a very specific plan of action to solve these issues. The plan of action will often include changing some workflow procedures and modifying behaviors.
At Pretium, we work with an organization’s three dimensions. These dimensions are first, the Strategic Dimension – where the company is headed. What is your strategy to excel in the marketplace? Second, your Operational Dimension – how the work gets done. The third dimension is the most dynamic – this is the Human Dimension. The Human Dimension is how individuals behave inside your organization to create the greatest level of value from the strategic and operational sides. Once we evaluate these three dimensions and determine where value is being created and where value is being lost, we develop and execute on a customized program specifically designed to improve your performance.
Jack Dempsey heads Pretium Solutions’ Customer Experience & Sales Area focusing on Customer Loyalty, Brand Loyalty and Customer Retention Strategies. He directs Pretium’s revolutionary customer loyalty program, the Golden Touchpoint™. Pretium Solutions is the premier provider of cutting-edge, sustainable and globally recognized customer service, call center and sales training, consulting… View full profile
This article originally appeared on Pretium Solutions » Latest Thinking – Blog and has been republished with permission.