To make the system work well, there are a few conditions that go beyond hiring order takers and order administrators.
- Customer service employees all need. Seeing to it that customer service as well as all administrative employees really understand the process of selling and producing decorated apparel and other categories the company deals in doesn’t happen by itself. Without training, mistakes come with the territory. That’s why ifs incumbent on management to proactively take the time to teach, show, and explain what the company does and how it does it. The training process should be planned in advance. Taking the time or more precisely, making the time — will pay big dividends in saving time and money, reducing or minimizing dumb mistakes, and educating your employees to fully understand that everyone is in sales.
- Customer service employees need Incentives. In most companies, customer service personnel are paid either hourly wages or a salary, and without regard for sales performance. Without some small carrots, the best that management can expect is that its employees will do a good job, which is usually characterized as relatively few mistakes, generally accurate work, and pleasant, efficient order processing. These things are, of course, highly desirable, but what management doesn’t get without incentives is an employee who is proactive in returning calls, diligent on making following up sales calls, and motivated to do suggestive selling.
- Customer service personnel need clearly stated goals and clearly defined expectations from management about what constitutes acceptable. The third caveat, dovetailing with those calling for effective training and smart incentives, is setting goals for your staff. These are goals that motivate customer service and sales employees to earn more money by working smarter and more efficiently. These goals state minimum sales volume performance and/or the sales volume to be hand led administratively. These figures should be carefully projected to be both realistic and attainable, and individualized if appropriate to your system. Setting goals that are all but impossible to achieve breeds contempt and frustration, attitudes that actually hinder good performance.