Meet Your SocialCRM Support Agent: Abagail Brunner (Part 1)
Meet Your SocialCRM Support Agent: Abagail Brunner
(Part 1 of a 2-part series)
Welcome to a new blog feature we’re calling “Meet Your SocialCRM Support Agent.” Because our support agents play such a key role in helping our customers implement successful digital marketing programs, we’re providing an inside look at the SocialCRM service from the agent’s perspective.
Every day, the support agents are on the front line with customers, learning about their challenges and helping them establish a successful marketing program that gives them a competitive advantage in their market. This feature, in interview format, will give our support agents an opportunity to share their expertise, insights and best practices. We hope you’ll take away some ideas to boost your own marketing success.
And now, we’re delighted to introduce you to Abagail Brunner.
Marcus: How long have you been a SocialCRM support agent?
Abagail: I’ve been with Mitchell1 for two years, and a SocialCRM support agent for a year and a half.
Marcus: What do you like most about your interaction with our shop customers – and why?
Abagail: The best part is getting to know the customers on a personal level. It gives me an opportunity to show them that they can rely on me and trust me to help them with their shop’s marketing.
Marcus: What feature of the SocialCRM service do you believe our shops feel is the most valuable?
Abagail: Most recently, I would probably have to say the customer reviews. In addition to all the marketing benefits of having customer reviews out on the Internet, reviews also let shops get feedback that the customer maybe wouldn’t say to their face. They learn things they would otherwise have no way of knowing about, which allows them to make improvements and provide better service based on actual comments from their customers.
I’ve found that often it’s the little things that matter most. You know, like understanding that your customers appreciate being greeted when they come in the shop, even if you’re in the middle of serving someone else. Recently, a shop owner told me he got a negative review from a disgruntled customer who was upset because he was made to wait while other customers who arrived after him were served. It turns out that the other customers were there for an oil change, something the shop can handle quickly because they have five technicians performing that service. The shop only has one tech dedicated to the inspection service, so the inspection customer had to wait longer but didn’t know he was waiting for a completely different service. He was understandably upset, but didn’t say anything at the time. Instead he wrote a pretty negative review.
There are a couple of takeaways from this story. First, the misunderstanding may have been prevented by simply acknowledging the customer and setting expectations on the wait time for the inspection vs. the oil change. Second, the customer review provided valuable information that allowed the shop to shift a second technician to the inspection service, speeding things up and creating a better experience for those customers. Sometimes it’s about growing the business not by the dollar but by knowledge.
Marcus: What advice would you offer a shop owner to get the most out of the SocialCRM service?
Abagail: The best advice I can give is to take full advantage of the services and expertise offered by their support agent. We know how busy they are in the shop, but we’re here to help. When shops set aside time to have a brief conversation about their business with us, it really helps us help them. Once the SocialCRM program is up and running, they can delegate some of the tasks to their staff, like scheduling appointments, reading emails and checking customer reviews. But it’s very important for them to keep in touch with us so we can offer suggestions for targeted promotions and other ways to increase business.
Another thing shops can do is talk more with their customers about how the shop is going to follow up with them. Ask for their email address and explain the benefits they will get in return: special discounts, service reminders, a link to review the shop, and a personalized website where they can track their vehicle’s service and maintenance history to keep their cars in tip top shape.
Recently I’ve been discussing with my shops that when their customers know what to expect, they’ll be much more likely to look for the emails, read them, and respond by making an appointment or writing a review. This kind of customer engagement is definitely good for business.