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How Great Customer Service Skills impac Fleet Managers: Part 5

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“Any person capable of angering you becomes your master.” – EPICTETUS

How Great Customer Service Skills impac Fleet Managers: Part 5

Emotional Intelligence and Great Customer Service

Welcome to Part Five of our Six-Part Series:

Every interaction a Fleet Manager has with a customer matters. Making time to Improve your customer service skills to effectively communicate and build your brand is essential to your success and the success of the company.

Part 5.1 EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

Emotional intelligence, refers to how you manage your emotions, and your ability to read and react to other people’s emotions, empathizing with those emotions and responding appropriately.

How does this apply to customer service? The interaction your customer has with an employee can determine how they feel about the company itself.

What are some positive emotions? Happy, Grateful, and Joyful. If the customer you are interacting with seems happy and wants to chat, you should switch to a more friendly, happy tone. Show them a bit of your personality, joke with them and then give them a chance to share the same. This type of conversation will have a positive impact on the customer. 

Have you heard a funny joke lately? Be sure to check out Part 4.3 of our series for a little humor.

What are some negative emotions? Frustration, Anger, and disappointment. If the customer you are interacting with seems upset, angry or frustrated, it’s critical for you to be patient and empathetic. When you express your desire and use your skills to resolve their concerns, talking calmly, and allowing them to vent their frustrations will have a positive effect.

Emotional intelligence is something that will be developed with time. A few basic elements to help you enhance your customer service skills include:

  • Empathy – you understand people’s emotions.
  • Social skills – you manage relationships and build networks.
  • Self-awareness – you recognize and understand your moods and emotions, and how they affect others.

Part 5.2 CUSTOMER SELF-SERVICE OPTIONS

While over half of your current customers want to problem solve on their own, your company can provide top notch self-service tools like a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on it’s website. FAQ pages include standard answers to your customers’ most commonly asked questions about your product or service, business hours, prices, and more. When you provide self-service tools your customers as well as employees will save time. Therefore, your company’s customer service will improve.

TIP: Organize questions by category and include a search bar.
How Great Customer Service Skills impac Fleet Managers: Part 5

Part 5.3 INVEST IN CUSTOMER SERVICE TRAINING

If you expect your staff to provide great customer service you need to take time to train them. Continue to train new and seasoned employees about valuable people skills. The benefits of great customer service include customer loyalty, customer satisfaction and more quality referrals – leading to growing the bottom line, happy customers and employees.

“Conclusion”

This concludes part five of our six part series on “How Great Customer Service Skills Impac Fleet impac Fleet Managers”. If you enjoyed our article please share and subscribe to get email updates from this discussion as well as future articles. Please check out our blog page for real time fleet tracking, fleet fuel card, and fleet management solutions, along with other industry related articles.

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How Great Customer Service Skills impac Fleet Managers: Part 1

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“89% of companies now expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience” – GARTNER RESEARCH

Good customer service can have a big impact on your bottom line.

There are plenty of fleet management and fleet fuel card companies, but only a few that offer top notch customer service.
You often hear it said that it’s cheaper to keep an existing customer than it is to find a new one. And it’s true: The U.S. Small Business Administration reports that 68% of customers leave because they are upset with the treatment they’ve received. Over the next six weeks we are going to cover 18 of the top customer service skills in a 6 part blog series.

Part 1.1 AUTHENTIC CUSTOMER SERVICE – SKILLS

Skills required for operational and technical actions are called hard skills or skill sets. Typically, you learn hard skills in the classroom with training material or on the job experience. By contrast, soft skills are the traits that make you a good employee, such as etiquette, listening, communication and getting along with other people.

Soft skills have to do with the personal side of customer service and may affect a customers emotional side of the brain. Research shows the right side of the brain is home to emotions, intuition, creativity, art and music, whereas the left side of the brain affects language, reasoning, analysis, logic and math.

Customers can be affected by how you greet and listen to them, including the warmth and sincerity in your voice over the phone or in person. Soft skills can have positive, negative or indifferent reactions and at the end of the day, customers will definitely remember how you made them feel. The difference between a good customer service employee and a remarkable customer service employee is the ability to get raving reviews about the help and service the customer received from your company.

Part 1.2 EMPATHY

What exactly is empathy?

According to Study.com empathy is the ability to understand and connect with someone’s feelings. In customer service, empathy is the ability to affirm a customer’s feelings and indicate that you can understand their pain or frustration, even if you cannot fix it.

Our account manager here at impacfleet.com told me a story about the frustration a professional fleet driver had when their fleet fuel card was not working properly after several failed attempts to activate the fuel pump. I definitely feel the frustration thinking about the situation.

As the fleet driver holds up the line at the gas station, he is thinking about how he still needs to make the final delivery for the day and how pressed for time he is. Again, after several more failed attempts he decides to call our customer service department and in doing so he immediately receives a friendly greeting.

As the driver explains the problem with the fleet credit card our customer service representative immediately shows empathy, sensitivity and understanding and continues to listen, taking an active interest in his concerns while building rapport with the driver. Now that the fleet driver is feeling more at ease the process to gather the necessary data can begin and the problem can be quickly resolved, professionally and without incident.

“Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until you show him how much you care.” -Damon Richards

Part 1.3 GETTING TO KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS

Here at impacfleet.com we really take the time to get to know our customers and learn all the details of their account and nine times out of ten we know who is calling as soon as we hear their voice on the other end of the line.

“Good, Old Fashioned Customer Service.”

Do you recall the “good old days” when the corner diner welcomed all their customers by name, doctors actually made house calls and everyone greeted you with a friendly hello? Blending old fashioned expectations with the modern customer is as simple as that. Friendly greetings, genuine interest in your customer’s well being and a true appreciation for their time and money spent with your company can go a long way.

Stay focused and present, listen to what your customers are talking about and most importantly take time to learn about their business and the services you provide. Any barista worth his stock knows his everyday customers’ preferences – from their special flavor to how much froth they prefer.

For those of you that really want to stick out from the crowd, always add a little emotional element to every interaction – a calm voice, friendly smile and of course fast, efficient and knowledgeable service.

“Old School Values Still Rule.”

Old school communication skills is good practice and good business and don’t worry about showing your appreciation. Have you ever heard anyone complain about feeling over-appreciated? And always address your customers by name, this makes them feel valued and acknowledged. If you have a hard time remembering names try using repetition. When your customer calls in or you’re introduced for the first time be sure to use their name and again during your meeting or conversation and again when you finish up your call. If you have forgotten someone’s name, instead of not using their name at all, ask him or her to remind you, and then repeat the repetition process again.

“Old School Meets Technology.”

Impac Fleet Customer ServiceIf you cannot meet in person, use technology to improve the customer experience and create that personal touch. Meeting face-to-face using platforms like Skype, Facetime, ZOOM and GoToMeeting is a great way to add that old school touch without the time and expense of travel.

You can also record live sessions with your colleagues or customers and create engaging and informative training content or review your conversation later instead of taking notes.

If you plan on using the recording for training, make sure you get permission from everyone involved in the recording. For regular face-to-face meetings simply let everyone in attendance know that you will be recording the meeting and always offer to make it available to anyone that would like a copy.

“Conclusion”

This concludes part one of our six part series on “How Great Customer Service Skills Impact Fleet Managers. If you enjoyed our article please share and subscribe to get email updates from this discussion as well as future articles. Please check out our blog page for real time fleet tracking solutions and other industry related articles.

Impac's Customer Service: Risk Management

Impac’s Customer Service: Risk Management

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Mitigating risk is a responsibility most employees in a management position will be tasked with handling. Running an automotive fleet company comes with its own risks. Preventative countermeasures protect a company. By enforcing risk management practices, a company can reduce or stop fraudulent behavior.

Impac's Customer Service: Risk Management

Risks Associated with the Automotive Fleet Industry

Unauthorized purchases remain the biggest threat to businesses within the automotive fleet industry. Without limits, employees are more likely to partake in fraudulent behavior, like making unnecessary purchases in the convenient store on snacks or other items. Employees might also use the fleet card to fill up their personal vehicles. These risks can be minimized through fuel card limits and restrictions.

Methods of Risk Management in the Automotive Fleet Industry

The first step to proper management within the industry is determining the limits needed for a company’s fuel cards. Impac offers account management services. This service allows Impac representatives to review current limits in place and provide personalized recommendations for a company. The first thing a representative will help decide is whether the card should be attached to a vehicle or employee. From there, restrictions like date or time limits, spending maximums and limits on types of purchases can be implemented to reduce risk.

Impac's Customer Service: Risk Management

A 24-hour review of all fleet cards also helps manage risk. Each day, Impac searches a company’s fleet cards and reports any fraudulent behavior to management. Impac also tracks every call, email and case as another form of risk management. With any claim, Impac’s personal support representatives can refer to previous conversations to quickly provide information and solutions.  

Contact us for more information on how your automotive fleet company can practice risk management.

Service - Impac - March22

Impac’s Customer Service: How to Run an Efficient Customer Service Department

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Customer service is the simplest form of risk management. However, running an efficient customer service department becomes difficult without the right tools and vision. Done right, a customer service department benefits the company by keeping customers satisfied, collecting valuable data and encouraging repeat business.

Why an Efficient Customer Service Department Matters

According to data collected by BusinessWire, 54% of U.S. adults said quality customer service would encourage customers to spend more. In saturated markets, customers are looking for more than a quality product or service. Providing a memorable and positive experience helps exceed expectations and win over competition.

Determine the Purpose

First, a company should create structure by determining the role of the the department. Once the role is identified, management can implement structure. By knowing the purpose of a company’s service department, management can implement strategies that set the company up for success.

Get the Right Tools

Access to technology makes it easier for departments to respond to customers. There are a variety of ways for customers to seek help. Impac customers can reach support by filling out the contact form on the website or calling the support line. Other methods of communication for assistance include email, online chat systems and social media. Management should choose methods to best fit the structure of the company’s service department. Once the tools are implemented, management should designate employees to monitor those systems for increased efficiency and shorter response times. 

Analyze and Adapt

Another way to increase efficiency is to analyze feedback. Impac helps its customers by offering account and risk management. Representatives monitor transactions on a company’s fuel cards and notifies management about unauthorized purchases. Impac’s customer service representatives are equipped to train and inform automotive fleet companies about fuel card implementation. As Impac representatives update fleets in real-time, companies can handle issues in a timely manner. 

In the next article of our series, “Impac’s Customer Service: Tracking Relationships”, you can discover how Impac tracks and maintains relationships with customer service.