How Barker & Sons Does Customer Service Training (AND Books 90% of Their Calls!)

Customers today push hard...

They can look up everything on line, so they just HAMMER us on price. ‘Why can’t you just give it to me?they ask. But we look really dishonest if we give them a price and it’s not close to the reality. But…

They’re not REALLY looking for a price, what they’re looking for is ‘can I trust you?’ And when the CSRs use all the tools Nathan (their coach) gives them, they know how to relate value to the customer. And when they do, the customers BOOK.”

Brenda Barker owns Barker & Sons Plumbing & Rooter Service. We’ve been working with Brenda’s customer service representatives in our CSR Coaching Program for seven years. Over 20 of them have gone through the program and they book more than 90% of their calls.

This is Brenda’s story of how she has managed to:

  • Never worry about training her own CSRs ever again
  • Get More than 20 CSRs to Book 90% of Their Calls
  • Motivate Her Team to CARE More Than The Competition

“You need to get off the phones.”

Brenda’s first business coach told here she needed to “get off the phones.” She worried though. She worried about how she could get CSRs other than herself to care as much and be as successful as her.

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“You don’t have to worry,” her coach said. “Just call Power Selling Pros.” That’s how our relationship with Brenda began.

Since then, Brenda hasn’t had to worry about training her people or if they’re going to sound good. Their coach (Nathan Dickinson) takes care of it.

Brenda explains:

“It’s fun to do a review with them and see how they didn’t think they’d ever get past pushback [from customers]. But he (Nathan) just gave them a new thing to say… Nathan has changed all of their verbiage. You never say ‘we’re booked today.’ You say ‘here’s what I can do for you.’ You focus on solutions. You focus on what you CAN do.”

They’ve put between 20-25 CSRs through one-on-one coaching, and they’re all booking between 90-95% of their calls. One marketing agency called “BS” on Brenda, saying there’s no way her booking rates are that high, only t learn that it’s true – and that it’s possible.

Brenda’s CSRs have managed such high booking rates because of something their coach teaches them:

“The Power of Words”

One thing Brenda mentioned multiple times in our conversation was “The Power of Words.” With as hard as today’s customers push us, knowing the right words to say in any situation can set the best contracting companies apart from everyone else. She says:

“The biggest thing we’ve had to work on is empathy. Getting them to show more care and empathy. The power of first empathizing and telling them ‘you’ve called the right place.’ He (Nathan, their coach) has cleared all their filters and they’ve learned new ways to say things. And it allows us to deliver consistent five-star customer experiences…

I don’t ever have to worry about it.

Most of the time, I don’t have any fear of bringing on new CSRs, because first he (Nathan, their coach) spends a lot of time with their mindset and really removing filters. He removes a lot of filters before he can put in the good stuff. Even the smartest people – we have a CSR moving on to law school – feel pretty confident they know what customer service is. It’s always interesting to watch each one of them struggle a bit until they understand the true concepts. You see the mindset happening in real-time. It’s fun to see that. “

Capturing the 25% Most Businesses Miss Out On

While some people find it hard to believe that Brenda’s team is booking over 90% of their calls, Brenda herself expects nothing less. In fact, one company Brenda is close to said that their internal office is “good.” That they don’t need any training. When Brenda asked about their booking rates, they said they book around 70% with 6 CSRs. “You’re not worried about that 20-25% you’re missing out on?” Brenda asked. The other contractor said they’ve never thought of that…

Brenda’s belief in constant improvement and capturing every opportunity possible has motivated her team to be open-minded and personally invested in their customer experience.

Toward the end of our conversation with Brenda, we asked her the one element about coaching that has enabled her team to succeed more than any other. Her answer:

“Consistency.”

“It’s always staying in the training. You have to stay with it.

Some certain parts of the year, business can be seasonal. When it’s not as abundant, calls can get tough. So having a coach you can ask ‘hey, how would you handle this?’ is valuable. I trust Nathan to tell them what to do. It’s nice to be able to talk it over with a coach, so I like the consistency of the training. They go off in a room, they go over the calls he has planned, and they have the chance to say ‘hey, I was really challenged with this.'”

Brenda’s Parting Advice to The Industry

“The bottom line is it’s a people business. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling. Customers, you have to treat them well. The bar has been raised so high these days. There’s some fantastic companies in this area. You have to find your niche. I want the customers to have a great experience.

We have over 1,000 reviews, and most of them will mention my office staff. They will mention how they were treated. What they really talk about in their reviews is how they felt about who we are as a company. They mention names of people who helped them, they felt good about doing business with us. And, they have to have an extraordinary experience to come back to us. Customers have options. It’s competitive out here.”


If you’re like Brenda and want your customer service representatives trained to consistently amaze your customers, book over 90% of their calls, and take personal responsibility for your customer experience, schedule a free consultation with our team today: