Client: Travel and Insurance Firm
Solution: People Skills for Service Excellence, Trainer Certification
This client became a household name because of their legendary service and success in a focused niche. For decades they had the market largely to themselves, but in recent years competitors began aggressively pursuing the firms’ customers, limiting growth. To make matters worse, their customer satisfaction scores were slipping. Where they had once been strong, they were now average at best. To reverse these trends they created a strategic playbook that focused the organization on two growth goals: restoring the legendary service they were known for, and capitalizing on customers’ loyalty by selling one new product per household. This strategy was heavily dependent on the skills of the firm’s customer service representatives: not only did CSRs need to service customers’ needs in a positive way, they also needed to position new products that resulted in a referral. That required selling skills that CSRs didn’t have and most didn’t want.
Addressing these two challenges is the goal of our People Skills for Service Excellence workshop; it was the starting point for our solution with this client. We ran a pilot in one call center with a test group of resistant CSRs: the client needed to know that Ridge’s service-to-sales approach would work with those hardest to win over. In the month following the training, customer quality scores were 14% higher than a control group, and leads increased by 10.5 per person. The most vocally sales-resistant person went from 2 leads a month to 36 after the training. Numerically and anecdotally, the training was a win.
Based on that success we trained six in-house trainers to deliver People Skills for Service Excellence throughout the client’s call center and branch network. We are also training CSRs’ managers how to model and coach reps on the People Skills for Service Excellence skills, further reinforcing it as part of the culture. A year later, quality scores are up by 32%, and CSRs have generated 22% more sales leads. In addition, while average call handle time increased by 19 seconds in the untrained population, it dropped by 48 seconds among People Skills for Service Excellence graduates.