Communication Skills in Any Service Industry Are Still Necessary for Success

Communicating well with the public is important for any business, but it is especially significant for service businesses. Instant text, voice and image communication technologies make it faster and easier to communicate with our customers than ever before. But the content and quality of communication still rely on good verbal and written communication skills. We can use the method of communication our customer prefers, but what we communicate to them remains much more important than how it was sent. It continues to be important for us to hone our verbal and written communication skills and make sure new hires also possess those skills. There are three general types of information that service industry professionals need to communicate to their customers.

Documentation:

Most documentation is required by law, industry standards or company policy and must be communicated to each customer. It usually describes the service performed and the limits of any guarantee or warranty. In addition there is usually some information the service company requires for the customer’s service record or file. Service reports are normally designed so the technician can communicate most of the required information by simply checking off appropriate boxes, but there must be space for the technician to relate specific information about his/her actions. Those comment sections require good written communication skills. As a trainer of new technicians I always warned them of the importance of what they write on those legal documents. They are not only communicating with the customer but also with their supervisor, a regulatory agency, or even a lawyer, judge or jury if there is ever litigation involving the service. Because customers seldom read the service report completely before signing it, it is important for technicians to verbally communicate the information to them to make sure they understand it. This adds value to the service and requires good verbal communication skills. Although documentation is necessary it has the drawback of being primarily one-way communication with little participation from the customer.

Education:

Communicating this type of information involves some customer participation because it is normally provided in response to a question from them. Educational communication should be professional and clearly understood. It requires that the technician have a thorough knowledge of service performance and techniques. Experience, training and third party reference materials help make this type of communication possible but it still requires good verbal communication skills. Educating customers about their particular problem and the solution provided for them will add much value and credibility to each service.

Expression:

This type of communication is often underused or completely overlooked because it is not required by law and is not technical or educational in nature. However, it just may be the most important and fruitful line of communication we can establish with our customers. It expresses our concern, empathy, appreciation and attentiveness. It adds a personal touch to the relationship with our customer. An attentive technician listening and responding to customer concerns; an administrative assistant dealing with customers in a pleasant, efficient and caring manner; a salesperson following up with each new customer after the sale to make sure the problem is being addressed to their satisfaction; or the owner or supervisor sending customers a thank you or holiday card with a brief personal message. These are all examples of expressive communication. We can express ourselves verbally, in writing or even implied by our body language or tone of voice, but we must be sincere. It is this type of communication that turns a customer into a friend and we all know how much harder it is to fire a friend than it is to fire a contractor.

How Can Financial Services Industries Benefit From Appointment Setting?

Financial service industries recognize the impressive profit increases when they utilize b2b appointment setting for their sales campaigns.

Financial industries such as banks and insurance companies are aware of the remarkable increase in their profits when they make use of b2b appointment setting for their sales campaigns. When the sales representatives spend most of their time selling (instead of prospecting) that’s when productivity soars high.

It is quite a simple concept, actually; if your business organization utilizes the services of a telemarketing company, then you allow them to set the appointment for you and all you have to do is to close the sale.

The difference between presenting and selling in person versus b2b appointment setting becomes the major key to success for any sales team. The latter minimizes the company’s wasted time, effort and company’s resources running after mismatched leads at the most inopportune time. Professional sales appointment setters allow your own top sales personnel in doing what they always do best, and that is to demonstrate, negotiate with the prospects, and ultimately close the deals with most of the top producers more than replicating or increasing their production.

These telephone experts conduct appointment setting by performing cold calls and establish qualified appointments for your sales team with the accounts you really want. Utilizing a targeted list, these professionals are the ones who schedule meetings for your sales representatives with those who acquired a real interest in your offerings and the power to buy from you.

If your financial service organization depends all the way in your inside sales team to set appointments, you may not realize it, but you may be losing some serious financial resources. Statistics show that most typical lead generation and appointment setting service companies would make use of the phone four times more frequently and set as much as 3 times the number of sales meetings as compared to an in house sales staff.

The accomplishment or success of any business firm most especially on financial business institutions such as banks and insurance companies relies significantly on the steady flow of increased sales. B2b lead generation and appointment setting services that perform business to business telemarketing would fill your sales pipeline with new quality leads, generate new revenue, raise morale and especially enhance productivity. And did I say, reduce wasted time? Obviously-the last one seems to be the most obvious benefit of outsourced telemarketing services.

Okay, after all that being said, you can try conducting a test if it really works for your company. Employ the b2b telemarketing programs of a lead generation and appointment setting service provider for at least one month and then you could compare the output they produce with those of your own “homegrown” staff. Then, monitor and take note of the number of new sales actually delivered. After that you can decide what’s best for your organization. You know what will convince you to be a believer? The return on investment which puts the money in the company’s books and in the end, it can determine if indeed employing b2b telemarketing services from an appointment setting company can improve the general efficiency of your sales process.

Franchising, Industrial Base, Service Industry and Thoughts

Many folks are concerned that we are losing our economic and industrial base in the United States and one only has to tune into Lou Dobbs once a week to consider the implications and unfortunate trends. Not long ago someone emailed our Online Think Tank on a Topic concerning the Franchising Industry and our Industrial Manufacturing Base in the United States and asked a dubious question indeed:

I am worried. We have no sustaining industrial base in this country.

My reply to this astute observation and common comment was: Yes, I am concerned, we have over regulated our manufacturing right out of the country, starting with raw materials on up to completed products. What does this nation make? Hamburgers and Pizzas, so I would hate for over regulation to kill those industries too; wouldn’t you – thank god we still have those. On this franchising topic we must consider the value of the Franchising Sector in job creation and circulating money and keeping the flow in our own nation. The individual then asked:

Can we survive as a service economy through franchising?

Probably not entirely, some discuss a knowledge based economy, but that is somewhat a misnomer, because the same nations which have taken our manufacturing are stealing and ripping us off blind on our intellectual capital, innovations and inventions.

Franchising is viable, but not if we force the business models of all types of industries into a single box of regulation, I hold with Greenspan’s comments when he stated: “the problem with making a new regulation, is that the temptation to create follow-up regulations is just too great” and that creates job security in bureaucracy. Nothing should be less secure than a job in the Blob in my humble opinion. Still the questions kept coming:

Where will Americans work?

Our current dilemma is self-induced, and is the result of the law of unintended consequences of making humans weak, fat, dumb and happy. With unemployment so low everyone who really wants a job can have one. We need more robots right now, but when along comes a downturn, we will certainly wish we had not killed the Golden Goose that has made us so prosperous.

Will we lose more and more of our middle class who will fall into the ranks of the poor?

There are issues to keep track of and it is a serious business of course. If we are to equalize the whole world, then Americans will come down as everyone else comes up, but we can if the middle class is lost and China falters, who holds up the game? The answer is to bring up the rest of the world without destroying all we are and all we have built in this greatest nation ever created in the history of humankind.

Will the World continue to invest in our stock market and our government bonds?

Well, if you look at the Chinese market correction, ouch. Our markets are stable today, but we need a market correction too, which is overdue and perhaps needs to be hovering around 12,800 on the Dow. Indeed, we also have a baby boomer demographic change to deal with, meanwhile China’s industrial revolution and labor issues cometh, along with angered populous over everything from wages to environmental poisoning from pollution. Lots to think about, but what is a Think Tank for anyway?

A Brief Look At The Pool Services Industry

In the midst of the Great Recession, the Wall Street Journal took an in-depth look at the costs associated with owning a pool. The article titled “Taking a Bath on Your Pool” punched in the numbers and made the following conclusions by citing industry experts and financial and real estate professionals:

– Initial costs of a pool are between $25,000 and $50,000 (size, type, location)
– Recurring costs, maintenance for example, range from $500 and $800 per year
– Other costs, such as the electric bill and insurance, can start from $100 per month

Following the economic downturn in 2007 and 2008, disposable income among households in the United States declined drastically. This meant that consumer spending on an array of goods and services, including home maintenance and renovation projects, dropped significantly due in part to job losses, a credit crunch and a paucity of competitive pricing.

One of the services that was and is still considered a luxury is pool services. For the past five years, homeowners that have been fortunate enough to own a pool began to clean it themselves, diminished the amount of times they cleaned the pool and even refrained from maintaining their pool entirely to save money.

Between the years 2007 and 2012, the industry experienced a near four percent decline and posted annual revenues of $3 billion. At the present time, it maintains more than 51,000 businesses across the country and employs approximately 63,000 employees.

A report published early last year by IBISWorld suggested that the industry is experiencing growth as more people head back to the workforce – and thus lack the time to perform their household chores – and earn back the money that was potentially lost during the recession.

“A decline in unemployment is not only expected to boost disposable income levels but also reduce the amount of time consumers have available to maintain swimming pools and spas, further boosting demand for the services provided by this industry,” stated Kathleen Ripley, IBISWorld industry analyst, in a statement.

In addition, the report projects that businesses’ clientele base could flourish since the construction sector is modestly growing and consumers seek to install pools and spas in their homes.

Unfortunately, as more consumers learn to be fiscally prudent, owner-operated and small businesses face heightened competition, but not from their fellow competitors. Instead, they face the risk of losing customers from do-it-yourself pool maintenance equipment that has become quite successful in the marketplace in the past few years.

Nevertheless, owning a pool is a tremendous luxury to have because it creates new memories, is perfect for families and adds value to the home – many homebuyers in the south expect the home to have a pool. In the end, swimming pools provide excellent benefits for exercise for both the adults and children, is great to host summertime pool parties and enjoying a late-night swim is one of the top advantages of owning your own pool.

It might not be the best time to take a dip in the northern region of the U.S. right now – in the south it’s always a great time for a swim – but it’s a fantastic aspect to have in those sweltering late spring and summer months where the temperatures can hit the triple digits.