If you worked at a Carrier and received more orders than was humanly possible to complete in a day, had no control over the system or path of those orders, and an Agent called and yelled at you to move the order forward more quickly, how would you react?
The answer is obvious, yet how many Agents repeat this pattern day in and day out? Pushing hard to overcome “the system” can take its toll, especially if it’s something you do on a daily basis.
So what can Agents do to achieve better results with Carriers?
Focus on the human dynamic, not just your order.
Any time an employee’s responsibilities are not equal to their authority it creates apathy. This is a common occurrence within most Carriers. The result is a lack of caring about their job and your orders. If you want to be put first, get to know your team. Demonstrate by your questions and conversation that you care about their plight. Work on the relationship. Ask if there is there anything you can do to make life easier for them. If this is impossible to accomplish over the phone, fly to see them.
We all know that an “expedite” is a guarantee of nothing. Your order has to be provisioned but whether it’s done first or placed at the bottom of the pile can be an individual decision. Win their hearts through compassion. In the long run it will serve you better both financially and practically.
Recognize before you complain that most middle level managers only have the power to say no, not to say yes. Ask them FIRST if they wanted to say yes, could they. You will often discover that they cannot help you, even if they wanted to. Conversely, when they CAN say yes, they often will.
Study your Carriers’ processes before you submit your orders. Learn who does what, their timelines and the ratio between number of employees and orders. Investigate who reports to whom, their responsibilities and the limits of each role.
Admit and communicate that you understand that they have all the control.
Not only is this true, but it allows them to recognize that they do have an ounce of authority and for just a moment, they feel good.
Do not ask your Carrier team to push the intervals they have to work within just because you set unrealistic expectations with your customer.
Talking with a C level person at the Carrier should be saved for a crisis situation. Frequent complaining grows old fast. Stop rushing when submitting orders. Deliver them correctly to the Carriers the first time. Even though there can be wasted days in the Carrier’s order process, when the team cares, the system works more effectively and the Agent gets paid sooner.