I frequently consult with a wide range of field reps in different industries, from EMTs to plumbers. While most reps are hardworking, independent and conscientious, they are still human. Like everyone else, they too get tired, overwhelmed and wary of dealing with angry customers. Regardless of their industry, however, most field reps’ concerns are similar – how do they do their job technically while creating lasting positive impressions that go beyond doing a good job? It’s difficult to do both well and remain professional and courteous at all times, especially when a customer visit doesn’t go as planned and difficulties arise.
What I’ve surveyed in successful and happy field reps is that they see their job as bigger than simply solving a one-time problem and more about creating loyal customers who gladly request our services again and again and tell their friends about us. Field reps who have this attitude of care are more engaged and motivated to deliver extraordinary service. Plus it makes them feel good in the process.
Following are some tips that all field reps can implement to help them excel on the front lines of customer service:
Strategies that Turn it Around:
- Be prepared! Before entering a customer’s site or facility, have the appropriate tools, materials, and paperwork ready.
- Have a clean vehicle. Your customers will notice and will equate a cluttered vehicle with a cluttered mind and work ethic.
- Walk with confidence, and a little pace, to your destination.
- Put away all other distractions like a phone or tablet as you’re walking in. Make this visit the highest priority at the moment. (You never know who’s watching.)
- Dress professionally – shirt tucked in, teeth free of food, hair combed.
- Smile and greet the customer warmly. Even if it’s the end of the day, the customer wants and expects to be treated as if he is important.
- Stay present with the customer. Focus on his issue not the three before or the two to come.
- Take your time with each customer. Don’t rush as if you are eager to leave.
- You’re a guest in someone’s home or office, so act like a guest. Take care of other people’s belongings. Return things if you borrow them. And don’t forget “Please” and “Thank You.”
Remember: Serving on the front lines of any enterprise can be an overwhelming experience. And for many field reps who are often the face of their organization, they must be well-prepared to represent with confidence, courtesy and professionalism—at all times and with all types of customers.
What do YOUR field reps do to make working on the front lines more rewarding? Please share in the comments section below.