Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 29

While service professionals may intend
to strengthen relationships by agreeing
to customer demands, there is more
often a boomerang effect. When
something is given away, the product
or service is naturally devalued in the
eyes of both the giver and the receiver.
The relationship weakens as customers
expect more concessions in the future,
and, as soon as a rep is unable to meet
a demand, trust erodes.
Adding
Differentiated Value
With Soft Skills
Most service professionals are proficient
at the technical aspects of their job.
However, many are less proficient, or
at least reluctant, when interacting with
customers. It's easy to overestimate
the customer's understanding and
appreciation of all a service professional
accomplished on any given call. While
the solution may have ultimately been
replacing a switch, that doesn't account
for the diagnostics the rep performed to
arrive at that solution or any other service

Suggesting upgrades to new
products or service contracts.
Recommending training.
Strengthening the customer
relationship as a trusted advisor.
Ensuring customers have the
appropriate equipment and
service levels for their needs.
Identifying problems and
recommending solutions beyond
the reason for the call.

that might not appear on the invoice. The
service professional must make sure their
value is seen, and that requires engaging
and involving the customer.
The most brilliant doctors in the
world rely on the insights provided by
their patients. Regardless of doctors'
technical and medical proficiency,
their ability to efficiently diagnose and
prescribe is directly linked to their
ability to work with the patient. That
requires skillful and purposeful probing,
listening and responding. Patients can
feel rushed, panicked or unsure, and
our customers are the same. Service
professionals must take a proactive role
in skillfully and purposefully guiding the
dialogue to accurately diagnose and
prescribe a solution.

Enter COVID-19
According to one study from the
Technology Services Industry Association
(TSIA), 78% of service organizations polled
completely stopped sending technicians
to customer sites during the height of the
coronavirus pandemic. With eight out of
10 companies restricting or eliminating
on-site dispatches, service professionals
are more frequently diagnosing and
prescribing remotely.
Video technology is a powerful tool,
but without that capability - and even
with it - the service professional is
completely dependent on their ability
to evoke, elicit and glean the insights
necessary to resolve issues. The
ability to prescribe and install solutions
remotely reduces the need for travel
and the potential for exposure. And
though the COVID-19 crisis will ease at
some point, the obvious economic and
logistical benefits to remote technical
support will continue to add value in
the new normal. Skillful communication
will be your competitive edge.
Of course, sending service professionals
to sites will be inevitable at times. That
said, with restrictions surrounding
travel and access to customer sites,
representatives must be able to work
more efficiently to understand the issue,
solve problems, communicate updates,
gather valuable insight and even make
additional recommendations.

Further, as products and services evolve
to keep up with the drastically changing
environment, the value a trusted advisor
can bring by proactively updating
anxious customers is greater. People
don't know what they don't know, and
service professionals can become
invaluable informants. To inform a
customer requires involving a customer.
For example, according to a TSIA survey
with service professionals in March,
only 6% of those polled had reached
out to their customers to discuss or
renegotiate service level agreements in
spite of disruptions to the organization
and its processes.

People don't know what
they don't know, and
service professionals
can become invaluable
informants.

Though that percentage has increased
somewhat since March, TSIA pointed out
that, "While moving in the right direction,
this lack of engagement remains a major
gap for field service organizations."
They go on to recommend proactive
communications with customers: "These
are not normal times. Normal contracts
and communications are insufficient."
For all of the necessary technical and
product training that organizations
must invest in for their service teams,
it's easy to overlook and underestimate
the need for soft skills. However, leaving
this goldmine untapped could be to the
detriment of the service professional,
the customer and the organization.
Tapping it will require organizations
to acknowledge and invest in the
cultivating service professionals that are
able to communicate, involve, and work
with their customers.
Caroline Murphy is the president of
Acclivus R3 Solutions, a performance
development organization specializing
in inspiring and enabling sales, service
and support teams in over 80 countries
for over 40 years. Email Caroline.

T R A I N I N G I N DUSTR Y MAGAZ INE - BUILDING A GREAT TRAI NI NG ORGANI ZAT I ON I WWW. T RAININGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE

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Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020

Building a Great Training Organization
Table of Contents
The Strategic L&D Plan
Developing a Great Training Organization Like a Healthy Brain
Change-ready L&D: Ingredients for Success
What Great Training Organizations Do
Building a Learning Strategy thath Drives Business Results
L&D Bottleneck: Why Your Training Material Isn't Being Utilized
10 Best Practices for Leading a Great Training Organization
The Untapped Goldmine of the Service Professional as the Trusted Advisor
Do We Really Need Learning Platforms? Understand the Learning Landscape and Spend Your Budget Wisely
Improving Instructor Development and Performance with Observations
How to Leverage Business Acumen to Create a Future-ready Organization
Accounting for Learning Investments and Organizational Impact
Lessons Learned: A Shared Services Implementation
The Brave New World of L&D: Stepping Up in the Age of Disruption
Winning the Battle for Learner Engagement
Sales Enablement Comes of Age
Company News
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - Intro
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 1
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 2
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 3
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 4
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - Building a Great Training Organization
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - Table of Contents
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 7
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 8
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 9
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 10
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - The Strategic L&D Plan
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 12
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - Developing a Great Training Organization Like a Healthy Brain
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 14
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - Change-ready L&D: Ingredients for Success
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 16
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - What Great Training Organizations Do
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - Building a Learning Strategy thath Drives Business Results
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 19
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 20
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 21
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - L&D Bottleneck: Why Your Training Material Isn't Being Utilized
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 23
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 10 Best Practices for Leading a Great Training Organization
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 25
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 26
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 27
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - The Untapped Goldmine of the Service Professional as the Trusted Advisor
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 29
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - Do We Really Need Learning Platforms? Understand the Learning Landscape and Spend Your Budget Wisely
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 31
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 32
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 33
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 34
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - Improving Instructor Development and Performance with Observations
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 36
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 37
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - How to Leverage Business Acumen to Create a Future-ready Organization
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 39
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 40
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 41
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - Accounting for Learning Investments and Organizational Impact
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 43
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 44
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 45
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - Lessons Learned: A Shared Services Implementation
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 47
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 48
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - The Brave New World of L&D: Stepping Up in the Age of Disruption
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 50
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - Winning the Battle for Learner Engagement
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - Sales Enablement Comes of Age
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - Company News
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2020 - 54
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