Rope and Sling Specialists Ltd has held the first in a series of in-house training courses aimed at further enhancing customer service through product knowledge.
Eleven employees took part in the one-day course, which took place earlier this month (February) and was led by managing director Steve Hutin and depot manager Alan Varney.
Content included practical demonstrations and references to the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA), Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER).
The course was aimed at members of staff who deal with first point of contact enquiries and was designed to give employees sufficient product knowledge to apply lifting equipment to loads and applications as existing and prospective customers present them.
Naturally, the level of expertise varies from one telephone caller to another and different scenarios were put to participants. Hutin stressed the importance of taking a dynamic approach to sales calls and pointed out the absence of a script, which he believes would be counterproductive.
Hutin said: “Product training has a direct positive impact on customer service, which is the cornerstone of our business. Equipped with a thorough understanding of our product range, staff can advance enquiries efficiently, keeping the customer on the phone only as long as required and then follow-up with swift delivery of the right product, first time.”
Bridgend, Wales-headquartered Rope and Sling provides a myriad of lifting and rigging options, offering a comprehensive below-the-hook portfolio to customers, but Hutin said it is a product mix that provides inherent challenges, particularly to new members of staff.
He said: “There is a lot of room for interpretation as we supply a massive range of products. However, with the right staff training we can pass on knowledge to customers, helping them to select the right product for their job. Occasionally they will know what they need—they may be very familiar with their load and lifting technology—but we want our staff to be equipped to advance consultations towards applying the right equipment for the job as early as first point of contact on each and every occasion.”
Following the success of the course, Hutin has confirmed plans to stage future training sessions, repeating basic-level content and exploring more in-depth product knowledge with a view to taking in-house expertise to lift-planning level from the top to the bottom of the company.