We need to redefine "service" | radioinfo

We need to redefine "service"

I recently had dinner with a friend of mine who owns ROI, a buying service that places millions of dollars in radio and TV advertising every year.  He is a regular reader of the BBI newsletters, and he asked that I send a message from him to all my readers.  This discussion centered around SERVICE, or, more specifically, the lack thereof. 
Les told me that he had recently spent two weeks trying to place thousands of dollars worth of radio advertising. The problem was, he was greeted on the other end of the phone by voice mail. He left messages, but received NO RETURN CALLS. When he did manage to reach a real, live person, he was told that they could not give out the cell number of the Account Executive he was trying to reach. Les was frustrated, and these stations missed dollars!  We are in the service business. Whether it is a holiday or we are on vacation, our clients need to be taken care of.  We complain that business is down.  Are we sure WE are not contributing to the downturn?  Are we taking very good care of our clients?  Are we accessible?
               Check list for your organization

  1. When someone calls, whom do they reach?  A machine? If so, how often is the machine checked?      If a live person answers the phone (Hallelujah!) does he or she do so by the third ring?  
  2. Do you have a policy of returning all calls within 1 hour?
  3. How often are your sales people checking their voice mail? Can their voice mail be forwarded to their cell phones?  
  4. How often are sales people required to check email?
  5. Are "out of office" messages programmed into email if a sales person is out of the office for any extended time? Does it contain the contact information for someone who can assist the clients?  
  6. Do you have a "buddy" system to take care of clients when a staff member is on vacation?
  7. Before an AE leaves on vacation, do you have a policy of notifying all of his active clients of his away dates, including the contact name and information of someone who can help him during the AE's absence?  
  8. Do your business cards contain cell phone information for sales people?
  9. Do your clients have a list of all staff members who may be of service to them should their AE be unavailable: General Manager, Sales Manager, Traffic Manager, Business Manager, Production Manager?  
  10. Does this list contain off-hours contact information?  

When was the last time you received excellent service?  I bet you remember it clearly because it is such a rare occurrence in today's world.  We cannot afford to miss business.  We cannot afford to mistreat clients.  Being responsive to our clients' needs is the first step in retaining business.  And being responsive means being timely in answering and returning calls and email. We are not in an 8 to 5 business.
I told Les that night that, if he ever wanted to place business in markets where I consult stations, he is welcome to call me, anytime, day or night, seven days a week. I'll see he's taken care of.  And, by the way, he knows how to reach me, 24/7. 
Surprise your clients.  Go the extra mile. There are NO traffic jams on that extra mile. But there are lots of dollars!

Customer Service Photo: shutterstock

About The Author 

Pat Bryson is the founder of Bryson Broadcasting International, a consulting firm that works with radio stations around the world to increase revenue by raising the skill level of their sales staffs. Her client list spans from the United States to Canada, Europe and Central Asia.

Pat has spent her entire career creating a culture of over-achievement for her stations. She began her career in radio sales, becoming one of the highest billing sales people in her market. Her career advanced to General Sales Manager, and then to Market Manager. Since starting BBI 7 years ago, she has helped hundreds of radio stations to find, train and grow great quality sales people and managers.

Pat was the recipient of two prestigious educational fellowships from the Educational Foundation of the National Association of Broadcasters: a fellowship to the Executive Development Program and a fellowship to the Broadcast Leadership Training Program.

She publishes the Bryson Broadcasting International Newsletter twice monthly and is a contributor to Valerie Geller's latest book, Beyond Powerful Radio: A Communicator's Guide To The Internet Age.

You may contact Pat at Pat@patbryson.com or visit her website at http://www.patbryson.com.

This article was republished with permission from Pat Bryson's Newsletter



Log InYou must be logged in to post comments.
radioinfo ABN: 87 004 005 109  P O Box 6430 North Ryde NSW 2113 Australia.  T: 0413 790 666  |  All content © 2012. All Rights Reserved.