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.

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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!