How to make friends and influence people

by: The Insider
  • 11/04/2012
  • 0
How to make friends and influence people
We've got a new training plan for all the agents who speak to customers who are behind on their mortgage.

It is run by an outsourced company headed up by some frizzy haired man called Barry Bethnall (probably).

He is very, very enthusiastic and spits when he speaks. The same guy came and trained all the agents about 3 years ago. The emphasis then was being polite but dominatingly firm. Squeezing as much money from customers as possible. Making full use of pauses, POWER phrases such as statements about the amount of debt they had, using words like assure, owe and proposal.

This time the emphasis has changed. Now we are being advised it’s all about being firm but gently polite. Courtesy, empathy and understanding are the watchwords. There is a greater emphasis on setting realistic payment plans that customers can afford. Identifying the customers who genuinely have issues which prevent them from bringing their account up to date. Which is nice.

This subtle change of tack is fairly welcome, at least to me. There are Quality Control assessors who listen in to every call and score people if they forget to say their name, if they start spouting swear words at customers or begin to dribble.

An agent’s incentive scheme for their bonus is now more around how well they score in these ‘audits’.

We were a little surprised at these changes until we were advised that a rival company had their incentive scheme scrapped by the FSA because it was all about the amount of money they collected from customers. They had also been fined because of the way their agents had been speaking to customers. Aaaaah now it makes sense we thought.

Enforced politeness. Who says the FSA are completely useless.

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