The customer care representative is often the first person that a harried client connects with. They are the 911 operators of the company, taking all of the vital information, assessing the problem, and directing the client to the appropriate department for help. For some manufacturers, however, customer service is much more than a complaint department. In many cases, the customer care representative takes on another role—that of company educator.
Salesmen give the pitch, informing customers on the machine’s capabilities, along with all the “bells and whistles”. If the deal isn’t inked in the initial call, a potential client’s next connection may be with a customer care representative who takes the opportunity to answer questions while offering important information that most customers need in order to make a decision.
Many of the calls into a company call center are from new customers who are just unpacking the machine or running it for the first time. Often, these customers turn to the customer care center when they think that there’s a defect or missing piece. In actuality, the problem can be unfamiliarity with the equipment. The call becomes a teaching opportunity for the customer care worker. The lesson includes a brief description of how the machine works (mechanically) and leads to an explanation of how the current problem arose. The result of an effective call becomes problem resolution and education.
Problems found during regular inspections and cleaning that are a part of preventive maintenance can also prompt a call. The customer care department has an opportunity to educate customers about proper maintenance procedures as well as provide a resolution for the current problem. The procedural discussion may cover maintenance for the machine and the frequency of the schedule.
In a Crisis
Emergency issues are usually passed to the engineering or a more appropriate department, however, the customer care representative may follow-up with suggested measures to prevent future issues. Clarifying the machine’s intended capacity and/or the capabilities of the equipment may be relevant as well.
Customer care representatives are trained to adapt each experience individually. Don’t be surprised if the next call you make to the manufacturer about your equipment makes you feel the need to take notes. It’s just another part of the customer care rep’s job.