Customer service is especially critical during this new time of normal. Learn how Lippert Components is supporting its RV customers from home and building stronger relationships through teamwork, soft skills, and agility.
Lippert Components, a Salesforce customer, wrote this article.
At Lippert Components, there’s no such thing as a typical day when it comes to servicing our RV customers. Campers, manufacturers, and sales and service dealers have different needs, but all their requests are usually urgent. And although the global COVID-19 pandemic is presenting new challenges, we continue to support our customers — even though we can’t help them in person.
Our customer service team now delivers service from home. We’re focused on maintaining a sense of normalcy to reassure our customers we’re here to support them. Here’s what we’re doing, what we’re seeing, and some recommendations.
Take care of teammates and nurture soft skills
Whether in a call center or the field, our team is used to having in-person conversations during the workday. We use Chatter to engage employees and encourage interaction. Each day, we ask our employees a question, like: “What are you having for lunch today?” This type of activity helps to reduce stress for our team, which carries over to how they interact with customers. When our team is calm, we find our customers are relaxed in return.
Our team also taps into soft skills, like empathy, compassion, and problem-solving. Lippert focuses on hiring service professionals with strong soft skills and then conducts focused training during the winter months for further development. We use The Customer Service Revolution by John DiJulius as a guide, which provides strategies on how to build customer relationships and brand loyalty with soft skills. Check it out!
Talk to customers and learn from them
Lippert traditionally has used an inbound call center model. Now we’re using an outbound call center approach as well. We reach out to customers to talk about what’s happening to them now and discuss what they’re going to need, once this situation loosens up. In addition to helping us plan, this approach helps to reassure our customers that we’re here for them.
We use GetFeedback to find out how our customers are feeling. This customer’s comment sums up what we’re hearing:
“Thank you so much for staying open. If you guys closed, I’d have to close as well.”
We also continue to work on programs, like our brand ambassador one, where experienced campers share best practices. This is just one other way we show our customers that we continue to be there for them.
Practice patience and look on the positive side
With travel restrictions and park closures, year-round campers are left where they are in their RVs. Our mobile field service technicians can’t travel to perform repairs or preventive service on site. Suppliers can’t always get parts or delivery is delayed.
Though this is frustrating, we see an upside. Because campers aren’t moving their RVs, there is less wear and tear on components. Some repairs can wait, but for those that can’t be postponed, we can provide remote virtual service in certain cases. Here’s what one customer shared:
“Very helpful. Answered all my questions. With all the virus shut down, my parts were shipped. I can complete my project here at home and not travel.”
Be agile and proactive
It’s no secret our industry hasn’t adopted technology at the same pace as adjacent markets, like automotive, as an example. Because Lippert has the right technology and service practices in place, we’re able to continue supporting our customers as we plan ahead.
Many software companies are providing free software and support during this time. Take advantage of these offers and use this time to plan for what’s next. It’s never too late to get started!
During this new time of normal, our customer service team is continuing to provide service from home and strengthen customer relationships. Once everything loosens up, we will already be ready to move on to new service opportunities. You can, too!
Go on a customer service adventure from home
Now is a great time to build customer service skills on Trailhead and have fun at the same time. Take this trail to learn effective communication techniques and best practices for engaging with customers.
To get more tips on navigating change, read other articles in our Leading Through Change series. Find thought leadership, tips, and resources to help business leaders manage through crisis.