Getting to Prime
With recent news of adjusted quarterly earnings from notable companies like Boeing, Amazon and Ford, it would appear that businesses are continuing to make profits in a rather uncertain and struggling American economy. It can be said that in spite of a deep and lasting recession and inflationary factors, driven business people and their corporations have found a way not only to be successful again but have reached a point where their success is sustainable, also known as “Getting to Prime”.
All companies that are experiencing success have mechanisms in place that force things to happen. For example, Avatel Technologies has a core purpose – to help customers find smarter telecom and networking solutions. And, as a team, we all work to make this goal a reality. But, just as important, we, as individuals, have expectations and mechanisms in place to reinforce our purpose; converting the purpose into action.
For example, within the service deparment, we are empowered with latitude to proactively problem solve. By granting us (customer service representatives) with choices to solve customer service related issues, we save both time and labor. When customers call in to Avatel, there is no need to speak to two different people and waste time on the phone to get something accomplished.
A service rep who merely repeats what he has been told is like a deer in headlights – unable to move out of the way of oncoming traffic (the frustrated customer), rather than moving adeptly alongside that traffic, guiding himself and his customer to the destination that they mutually seek (satisfaction). It seems then, that customer service agents who are restricted to certain scenarios when troubleshooting are far less cost-effective than reps who are taught to reflect and react. Problem-solving, when done incorrectly, is expensive for companies, both because it’s labor intensive and because it squanders customer loyalty.
At Avatel, rather then mandate the way we are to handle a service situtation, we are given a set of parameters within which we can operate to solve each customer’s problem. We listen carefully to the situation, determine the best way to get the customer what he needs, offer the customer choices on how the problem can be resolved and then follow-through with the customer’s preferred resolution.
As most successful and growing companies know, service is an intuitive interaction between a rep and a customer that has a different outcome every time. A company that encourages its reps to handle the situation they way the rep would want to have it handled if he were a customer is the company that wins repeat business—in spite of the problem that required the service in the first place. This is just one example of how Avatel is “Getting to Prime”.
Lonnie Ledford, Avatel Project Manager
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