Accelerate profits with exceptional customer service

| by Mark Smith
Accelerate profits with exceptional customer service

We are now knee deep in the Windows 7 migration — soon to be followed by the upgrade to EMV card readers. To say there is confusion in the ATM market is a vast understatement.

This could well be a year when upgrades to existing equipment will help IADs and manufacturers improve their bottom line with parts, software and field service. How you differentiate yourself from your competitors will determine how successful you are during this time.

Trust that your phones will ring and your customers will have little knowledge of what they must do to comply with any upgrades, compliance requirements, regulations or mandates. I would strongly recommend that you work with your customer service team to help them be highly effective. They will be your front line in all of this excitement and will need to know how to answer confusing questions about available products.

Because there will be urgency among ATM operators, I’d like to recommend the following:

  1. Make sure you have enough customer service representatives on your team. This is not the time to allow long waits by customers on hold. Consider adding personnel to make sure that no customer is inconvenienced.
  2. Retrain your CSRs regularly through webinars and visits from business partners; your front line staff needs to know the latest developments. Allow them time to learn on the job so that they are true experts.
  3. Develop a general script to help CSRs. At a minimum, give them a chart of products supported, along with part numbers, pricing and general information of importance to the customer. Your CSRs should be able to identify the ATM type and then follow an accurate guide of required components for a field upgrade.
  4. Keep your CSRs up to date. Requirements and updates for ATMs can change rapidly and manufacturers and vendors do an excellent job of alerting us. Customer representatives need to have the latest information and know how best to handle any situation. Don’t leave them guessing.
  5. Minimize the use of automated answering systems and voice mail. I am old school in this matter; I want a real person on the other end who can quickly determine what I need and then make it happen. A little automation is to be expected, but once scustomer select the person or department to speak with, they should have a live agent on the other end within two to three rings of the phone. Should the customer’s call go to voicemail, that individual should not have to wait more than a few hours for a return phone call. They need answers fast and they are ready to place orders now. Make it easy for them to do this.
  6. Deliver accurately. Proper training will guarantee that the correct parts and software ship to the customer. The service team should have everything they need in hand as they attend to the upgrade in the field. Nothing is more frustrating than discovering that you were sent the wrong components. Since field teams will be doing a lot of of upgrades through the year, time is of the essence and accuracy is paramount.

These are small and easy steps that will have a huge and ongoing impact.

Customer service and support will certainly affect your bottom line this year. Prepare well in advance and be sure you take this opportunity to build long-lasting relationships with your customers.

Great customer service means durable customer loyalty. You want them to identify you as the best in the business … the effectiveness of your customer service representatives will determine your reputation.

Topics: Distributors / ISO / IAD, Service / Parts

Mark Smith
As VP of the Kahuna Financial Solutions division of Kahuna ATM Solutions, Mark is responsible for development of the division's product and services lineup. He manages the Kahuna VAR channel and provides direct sales support to financial institutions. wwwView Mark Smith's profile on LinkedIn

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