We already know that moving is completely stressful. It’s easy to become aggravated and frustrated during the process. A lot of times, with moving, other life factors can be involved as well. Such as death, divorce and many other life changing events that already have your emotions in an uproar.
Change isn’t easy and some people handle it differently than others. It is also pretty easy to take out your frustrations on others. We find that this happens a lot in our industry.
One of the things that we try to do here at Buehler Moving Companies is we try to understand that our customers have a lot on their mind. Things are changing for them. Life is changing and it’s not always about the move. Sometimes change can be positive for people and sometimes it can be a completely negative thing in their lives.
I had a customer call in the other day and she was completely frustrated simply because the electric company didn’t shut off her electricity on the day that she had planned. This may seem like a minor thing, but it made a bump in her plan and affected how she perceived everything else would go in the process.
This is the type of client that doesn’t need you to fix anything for her, but wants you to listen, understand and reiterate that your intricate part of her plan is on schedule. That there aren’t going to be anymore “bumps” in the road.
Why is this so important? The answer is simple… Comfort.
Once something goes wrong in a person’s ultimate plan, it’s pretty easy for them to be convinced that everything else is going to have domino effect into this great big giant mess. And a lot of people already feel that they are in a great big giant mess as it is. So when things start going wrong, it can cause emotions to rise even higher.
So some of the things that we try to do at Buehler Companies is to train our Customer Service staff to understand that just because we move everyday doesn’t mean that our customers do. And just because we are used to trucks rolling and items being loaded and unloaded, doesn’t mean that our customers find this to be a completely normal thing in everyday life.
Why is it so important to understand that first? Well, people are people and they are full of emotions. Sometimes children are involved. Sometimes it’s a hardship… we don’t know what’s going through the minds of our customers, so the first step is to simply understand that it’s not our place to know, but it is our place to understand that they are going through change.
Once we started implementing this training into our Customer Service department, it really opened a lot of eyes. We started talking about how we can be better people and how we can listen more and understand our customer’s needs more. Not just about their move, but also on an emotional level.
This is one of the things that we have done to raise the bar. We aren’t even worried if our competitors read this post and implement the same understanding into their own Customer Service team.
Why? Because it’s isn’t about us. It’s about you. It’s about the people in the world that just need someone to hear and understand them while they go through the whole moving process.
In a meeting we talked about how we can sometimes get really busy and we may have 50 phone calls to make on a given day to check on how your packing is going or how your loading is going, did the crew arrive on time, etc…
On a daily basis, we come into work and we know what needs to be done, but are we just going through the repetitive motions of our jobs and forgetting to understand what we really do?
After asking that question, some of the staff opened up and thought about it. We agreed together that we can do more. We can slow down and we can ensure that not only are we making those calls, but we are adding a new level of value and quality to what it is that we actually do.
That makes us really proud to be in the Buehler Companies Customer Service Department.
After that meeting, there was a whole new level of quality in the air in the office. It really does make all of the difference.
Some of the tips and hints we wrote down for each other really helped us to become a better team as a whole. Everyone had different ideas and thoughts and after bringing it all together, this is what we came up with:
Stop and listen – When you feel like you’ve heard enough, listen more.
Understanding – Understand the situation, understand the customer, and understand that they are going through something that you may not understand.
Ask the customer what you can do to help them – Sometimes it’s not always about what we think is right for a person. Sometimes, they have the answer and they don’t need our professional option.
Resolution – Sometimes asking the customer “What do you feel will be a good resolution?” because it’s not outlandish to think that they know what a good way to resolve their issue. Sometimes the customer may even have a better answer than the professionals do.
And most importantly – Are you, our customer, satisfied? Overall, in the whole scheme of things, are you happy? Can we do more to ensure that you are happy? Are you going to leave the phone conversation feeling better about things? Did WE do our job?
These things may not seem difficult, but they are of the utmost importance where our Customer Service Department is involved.
So after we discussed this and began to implement it into our Customer Service structure, we then moved onto other ways that we can be better in the department. We started doing weekly meetings to discuss topics such as quality, improvement, standards, phone etiquette and other things we felt were important to our customers.
One of the things that we focused on this week was how people perceive you. Do you talk to soft or too loud on the phone? Do people hear your voice and immediately feel like you are going to be helpful just by the sound of it?
Well, this was a really good thought because most of us didn’t know how we sounded on the phone. So Vicky broke out the tape recorder and started taping! After listening to many of our phone calls and analyzing our voices, it came as a shock to hear ourselves back. This really opened our eyes to how others may perceive us.
It was very valuable and one of the things that makes her such an outstanding Customer Service Manager for our team. This is actually an exercise that Buehler Companies would recommend to any company, not just movers.
Once we heard our own voices, a lot of us decided that we were not only going to improve in that area, but we were going to stop and take the time to ensure that our tone of voice, demeanor and how people perceive us would be considered with every call.
Who notices this?
Well for one, our customers noticed this right away. One of the things that we have noticed is an increase in returned Customer Satisfaction Survey’s with outstanding reviews to our department.
The other thing that we noticed was an increase of emails from our customers that expressed appreciation. This not only made us feel more proud of what we are doing, but it reiterated the fact that our customers truly appreciated the added effort to make them feel at ease.
Now that’s pretty awesome if you ask me!
I actually didn’t even think about writing this blog post until I received a call this morning from a customer who was upset because she thought the packers accidentally packed her paperwork that had the address where her Dog was supposed to stay during the move (Dog Kennel) and so I called our packing crew lead for the job and he knew immediately what I was talking about because it was really important to her. He advised me that he had placed the paperwork on the top of the fridge where it wouldn’t get accidentally packed since he needed the counter space for the dishes he was packing.
Of course he had meant to tell her about it, but he got stuck into getting her kitchen packed and was focused on completing the job.
Let’s face it, these things happen sometimes. Most things like this are resolved fairly quickly. I stopped before I called her and I thought about our meeting and I made sure that it was clearly in my mind prior to calling her back.
It may seem like something small to me, but it was a huge thing to her. So when I made the call with a smile on my face and I told her what happened, she breathed out a huge sigh of relief and she couldn’t have been more thankful to the lead packer who had thought of a place to put the paperwork where it wouldn’t get packed. So all in all, what seemed originally like a negative thing at first was turned around to be a positive thing in the end.
So that made me think a lot about how each and every phone call that we make is equally as important as each and every move that we do.
I am glad to be a part of a team that takes such an initiative to improve and become a higher quality service provider for our customers. This is really what stands us out from our competition in the end. It’s not just about being a moving company and moving items for people, it’s really about the service that we offer and that says a lot.
Thanks for reading, we appreciate all of you. Remember, not only are we the way the world is moving, but we are the way the world should be handling customer service.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions at all regarding this incident.