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I’ll let you in on a secret.

Here at Ballistix, we all love fixing customer service teams. It’s easy to do. The transition to an optimal environment is low-cost and relatively risk-free. And the pay-off is huge.

The pay-off typically arrives in two tranches.

First, you get an incremental increase in business as a consequence of customers discovering that, all of a sudden, it’s easier to transact with you.

And, second, you get the ability to scale-up your sales team’s volume of meaningful selling interactions because now – of course – salespeople are no longer involved in customer service tasks.

Here’s an interview with Keith Cornelius – the leader of the customer service team over at Blast-One International in Columbus, Ohio. Keith describes the journey he’s been on to reengineer his team and to increase both the velocity and the quality of customer service activities.

(Can’t view YouTube? Use this link.)

You’ll learn why he did it, how he did it and what the consequences have been, now that he’s done it.

Keith talks about the physical changes he had to make to his customer service environment.  You’ll hear all about the banning (and burning) of notebooks. The importance of short, daily, stand-up work-in-progress meetings. And about the technology that’s required to make customer service sing – and how best to use it.

And Keith will tell you about the human side of the transition.  The apprehension of team members at the commencement of the journey.  About team members’ transition from doubting Thomases to believers. And, importantly, about the significance of watching (nay, obsessing over) one critical number!

You might be tempted to skip over this case study because it’s not directly focused on generating sales but, before you do, realize this: if your salespeople are currently involved in quoting, processing orders or solving customer’s transactional problems, your constraint isn’t sales, it’s customer service.

I mean, you might want more sales (don’t we all) but you simply ain’t gonna get them until you can create a clear demarcation between sales and customer service.  And that means that your customer service team needs the capability and the capacity to:

  1. Process all inbound transactions (existing customers, repurchasing)
  2. Generate all quotations and proposals
  3. Handle all transactional issues (supply and shipping issues, product performance problems, etc)

And, until your salespeople can clearly see that your customer service team can handle these three activity types faster and better than they can, any attempts to increase sales will drive up costs and drive down customer service quality (which, need I say, is not exactly what you’re gunning for).

So, over to Keith!

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Home Forums No more notebooks: how Blast-One International boosted customer service quality

This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Justin Roff-Marsh 3 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #25798 Reply

    Dan Moggach

    Hello, liked the Blast One video. It was mentioned about the internal sales team dealing with new prospects and major sales opportunities from existing customers. In our business a significant proportion of sales opportunities would count as major opportunities so how would you recommend differentiating which ones should be dealt with by customer service and which by inside sales?

    Also a lot of our clients are building contractors who purchase on a project by project basis rather than just buying regularly – how does this work with your inside sales/customer service recommendations?

    #25799 Reply

    Dan Moggach

    In addition, you mention above about customer service dealing with all quotes – does this include proposals for new clients/major opportunities which will then have to be handed over to the inside sales team to follow up?

    #25801 Reply

    Hi Dan

    Most of our clients have the customer service team ‘triage’ all inbound enquiries and escalate the ones they genuinely can’t handle to either inside or field sales.

    Major opportunities would typically be escalated direct to field sales (where a sales coordinator and field-based BDM would work together to prosecute major opportunities.)

    Here’s the typical logic that’s used to determine what gets routed where:

  • Transactional requirment (simple order, simple RFQ or issue): Customer Service
    Simple sales requirement (prospect needs help with requirement discovery): Inside Sales
    Complex sales requirement (major opportunity that requires significant field representation): Business Development
  • Most of our clients have customer service take responsibility for all quotes. However, where complex projects are concerned, much of the quote (all but the top and tail) would be done by engineering (e.g. requirement discovery, solution design and estimating).

    Hope this clarifies

    Justin

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