Your level of customer service is based on your ability to communicate well.
Whether you are selling or providing a service, your communication skills dictate your success. As an auditor, my ability to communicate effectively is the most important part of my job.
I start by parking where they can clearly see my car with our company logo on it. I approach each customer with a clear and open state of mind. Before I get out of my car I take a deep breath and smile. This can put me in a better mood even on the worst of days. I use eye contact when greeted at the door. Would you trust someone in your house if they couldn’t look you in the eye? I also make sure to get their name while shaking their hands.
To be an effective communicator, you must first be a great listener. Ask questions, read the situation. Listen. Out in the field I meet folks that are very receptive and want to learn as much from me as possible. Others want nothing to with the entire process, and I’m just the avenue to getting them specific rebates (mainly people that want windows). Act accordingly with patience.
There are different ways to treat different kinds of people. You will find customers who want to learn from you, which is why we are there in the first place. It can be difficult to complete your audit in time as they want to walk with you and talk the whole time. At the beginning of every audit, I like to give the client a rundown of what will happen. E.g. “First, I will complete your audit, and then invite you to join me throughout the home for examples of how you can improve your energy efficiency.”
Some customers may be having a bad day or are just angry people. Some feel the need to argue anything, as they seem to already know everything and aren’t open to suggestions. It’s an art to get them to accept new ideas. I often hear myself say things like, “You could also think of it this way,” or “You probably already know this, but…”
Auditors tend to deal with elderly quite often. I always treat them with great respect; they respond well to sir/ma’am, and really appreciate it. I’ve met some of the most wonderful elderly people, and I’ve been rewarded with a few homemade treats!
Every day I am a teacher of energy efficiency, and every day I am a student of customer service and communication. Remember you are only at a home for a short time. Always be kind and courteous, and be the best communicator you can.
Energy Rater and Auditor