Why CSR Frank Is So Good

Last week I needed customer service/tech support from a business. Boy is Frank good. No wonder his employer has been around since 1909. They hire quality people who care.

Before jumping into why Frank is so good, I want to share the treatment I received from about 50 printers I called last week. I was following up after a Webinar I gave and was amazed at the greeting encounters I had with these printers.

I could just feel the culture flowing through the phone lines when they answered. Many did a great job making me feel unique and special right out of the gate without judging if I was a cold caller. Others asked a few qualifying questions to see if I was worthy of a transfer. Others did not let me get past go no matter what I said. They were jaded and disrespectful toward me.

Also, once I connected with the person I saw the same pattern as from the gate keeper. The reaction was either one of warmth, respect and openness, or one of judging, drilling me and shoring me up quickly.

Anyone that does cold calling for a living knows this story well. Companies need to be careful not to judge before giving anyone calling the business. Some of those people calling just may be a prospect, or may be able to help your business grow!

Now back to the Frank story. I have retractable ladder in my garage and the spring assembly let go. At the bottom of this 20 year old ladder there was a caution sign with 11 tips on installing and maintaining it, complete with diagrams and pictures. All on a well designed 5×6˝ red sticker. Someone at American Stairway took the time to think like a customer.

Michael Casey is the founder of Survey Advantage and strategic partner with several printer associations and franchises. By leveraging information from a printer’s estimation and production software, Mike’s business has helped hundreds of printers automate their customer feedback and lead generation process. He may be reached via e-mail or (401) 560-0311 ext. 103. Read printer case studies on the Survey Advantage Website.
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  • http://David David

    I sympathize with your treatment while calling companies, but it would be irresponsible of me to speak with each of, or even most of, the people that call me during a day. Much time would be wasted.

    Worse are those that just want to set up a time to “tell me more about their company” or “learn more about your company’s goals” and other vagaries. If you are selling, you should tell me clearly what your value proposition is, or we won’t talk.

    It has been years since I had a potential customer call without identifying themselves as such. If you were to call back some of the companies that rejected you and identify yourself as a potential customer my guess is that the reception and “culture” you detect would be quite different.

    Like our customers, we are all busy trying to do more with less. A healthy respect for the people we are calling on is absolutely required if we are to get an opportunity to present ourselves and our solutions to them. If we waste their time, we are doomed.

  • http://johnpolvino john polvino

    Ok–so on one hand you are calling and soliciting and then reinforcing it with a story of being the “buyer”. I’m not certain I see the connection here. But, never mind that. Let’s talk on cold calling.

    None of us like making or receiving cold calls. I make them today, and I get them hourly it seems. Rule 1 on cold calls–stop and i mean STOP using subterfuge to get though. Name, company and if asked why you are calling. Do it every day and pretty soon the “gatekeeper” will help you along. If you met me–say so. If I was at your webinar–say so. Otherwise, follow rule #1 and take your chances like all the rest of poor slobs who do this for a living.

    Maybe, you could try sending a letter out–a real one with a real stamp. Yes it’s costly–way more than email and way harder too. I appreciate all that. But one really well written letter will certainly make your cold calls less cold.

    Good points CSRs and the value they have in any company. I still am not sure how it relates to handling the ever present “cold caller”. We should be treated and treat others with respect and courtesy for sure. But there is a line…