EDUCATION & TRAINING > CUSTOMER SERVICE
As you know, this is a difficult time for our industry and our customers. Oil prices have increased dramatically and many Oilheat customers are having difficulty paying their bills. This has led to an increased number of telephone calls with customers who are frustrated, upset and looking for answers.
The following hints and telephone script have been designed to assist you as you train your employees to help your customers understand the situation and lower their energy bills. This script may serve as a starting point for your development of a training script for your employees.
Maintain a current telephone list for all energy assistance programs in your area – LIHEAP, CEAP, etc.
Be familiar with all programs your company offers for fuel pricing (cap, fix, budget, senior citizen and other discount programs) and equipment financing.
Avoid using terms or “industry jargon” that your customer may not be familiar with, such as “k-factor,” “degree days” and “BTU’s” etc.
Offer several suggestions to help the customer cope with higher fuel prices – start with the least expensive options first (washing clothes in cold water, lowering the thermostat, etc.) and then move on to more expensive ones (investing in a clock thermostat, adding insulation, investing in a new heating system)
Avoid making promises such as “this will reduce your bill by X amount of dollars/percent” when trying to find a solution for your customer, instead tell the customer “this could possibly reduce your bill by X amount of dollars/percent”.
If you can’t answer a question, don’t make up an answer. Ask the caller if it’s okay to put them on hold for a moment while you check with a supervisor, or, ask if it’s okay if you find the answer and call them back later on. BUT, be sure to call during the promised time period.
Remain calm at all times, even if you think the caller is abusive. Remember, the caller is not upset with you, they are upset with the current situation.