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Crafting Your Customer Service Model
Guest articles > Crafting Your Customer Service Model
by: Daniel Milstein
Early in my career, I forged a relationship with a couple I had met, Gail and Joe Owens. Joe was the owner of Golden Rule Mortgage, a Florida-based mortgage company, who enabled me to restart my origination career through a jointly owned Golden Rule branch.
The Owens were a significant influence in my own quest to master the art of customer service. Working for them I was able to hit my stride as a top-performing salesman, but looking back I was a 'sales machine' who concentrated on the ABC of lending. I was not necessarily conversant in the nuances of customer service. I frequently visited Gail and Joe at their Tampa headquarters and was impressed with how they related to their customers. I listened to Gail speak to customers on a personal level, offering her insights and assistance on their family and other concerns. We spoke about the need to put the borrower's welfare above the loan originator's financial incentive. I was impressed with how she went out of her way to be more than a salesperson to her clients. By observing the Owens and a few other sales professionals I admired, I gained a better appreciation of the meaning of exceptional customer service.
During the last several years, we have developed and refined Gold Star's own customer service model, by researching, listening to clients and brainstorming with our salespeople. Of course, we take care of the basics: providing the best possible loan and rate, ongoing communications and fast turnaround. However, our goal is to go 'above and beyond' to meet the special circumstances that a salesperson frequently encounters. For example, in order to ensure prompt customer follow-up, we eliminated the normal voice-mail system by giving our sales force an 800 number that is also connected to their cell phones. After the phone rings four times, it connects to the cell, thus minimizing response time. We also developed the Gold Star Concierge program to further set us apart from other firms. As part of this special service, we provide customers with a prepaid 60-minute 800-number that enables them to call our concierge representative to receive assistance in a variety of ways: making travel arrangements, securing entertainment reservations, personal shopping and corporate research. This benefit has become extremely popular; customers don't expect personal attention like that from most companies. We continually encourage our salespeople to go beyond the norm when servicing their customers. Obviously, this same approach can be applied to any type of sales.
As a salesperson, you have to develop your own customer service model for customers to feel confident you have their best interest in mind. Through careful craft of our customer service initiatives, our customers have come to understand and appreciate personal attention at our firm.
Daniel Milstein is the bestselling author of ABC of Sales. For more information, visit: http://amzn.to/ABCARTICLES.
Contributor: Daniel Milstein
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