It’s the personal touch that builds customer loyalty

Monday, March 1, 2004

Have you ever been waited on by a friendly waitress who seemed genuinely interested in your satisfaction, so much so that she made you feel you were her only customer? Chances are you do what I do and tip well while being more inclined to frequent that restaurant again. Comfort and feeling like your service person actually cares what you think goes a long way toward building customer loyalty – and same principle applies to technicians in the security industry.

Technicians are the industry’s front-line troops, interacting with your customers on a daily or weekly basis. And when these hard-working people incorporate a personalized approach to service, they become more powerful spokespeople for your business.

Posing the simple question, “How is everything working out?” is just the first step. Technicians need to listen to the answer. Then take notes on the response and share that information with the sales department. When technicians treat sales people like the ally instead of the enemy, better internal and external relations are sure to follow.

When this idea was presented to Wayne Alarm in Lynn, Mass., resistance and doubt were the initial gut reactions. But with practice and trust in the methods, Wayne technicians found themselves being more successful on the job site. And most importantly, the end user was thrilled with the new intercompany cooperation.

Some of the techniques Wayne technicians incorporated were as follows:

- Avoid undercutting previous quotes.

- Follow any rules set forth by management.

- Give the customer your full attention and always ask permission to proceed to the next step.

- Ask the sales representative who sold the job if you can assist in working with the customer to seek additional referrals.

- Have a good attitude, utilize all your hard-learned skills to solve the customer’s problem and share on-site knowledge with your sales team.

- Whether a referral is forthcoming or not, always thank the client.

- Be confident and do effective follow-up with phone calls and e-mail.

Maintaining and cultivating customers is ultimately the responsibility of every employee. Technicians are poised to be in contact with base and potential customers every day. In addition to high-tech skills, technicians can be fabulous sales people when they are not afraid to ask for the order.

Building a bridge between technicians and sales people will improve this sometimes combative relationship within the company. Peace on the home front will lead to more on-the-job cooperation.

Customers enjoy working with companies that appear to be on the same in-house page. These simple techniques will help you on that path.

Ken Krisby is the president of Success Solutions and has 30 years of experience in sales, training and professional development. He can be reached via email at