This article is the fourth in our series on best practices for recommending how to recruit, train and retain route service representatives or RSR’s. We have previously discussed how to identify the best RSR to hire, the ideal first week for a new RSR and onboarding for RSRs: Weeks Two- 10 that culminates with RSR certification.
It is important to have a structured end of day process for all RSRs – not just new hires. This process should be brief and last only 10 to 30 minutes. The end of day process is a daily debriefing to coach and develop each RSR. It is simple enough to recommend coaching and developing, however, in order to maximize performance there must be measurable metrics for RSRs to aim for and ultimately achieve.
Regardless of the metrics used to guide your team the most important component to improving performance is measurement- ideally on a weekly basis for our industry. Each business has their own unique standards that tie into their vision. If your company is not currently measuring, begin a process that establishes a benchmark to compare the progress of your team. Below are a few recommended service metrics that will assist in evaluating an RSR’s performance.
The ultimate measure of customer satisfaction is the ability to maintain a solid contract renewal program. Customer satisfaction can be measured internally or by utilizing a third party resource. Regardless, a process for measuring contract renewals should be considered in the overall evaluation of your customer satisfaction ratings. Customer satisfaction can seem difficult to quantify but the simplest, most reliable measurement is the calculation of a routes percentage of delinquent customer agreements that are exposed or expiring in a rolling 18-month period. For more information on Customer Satisfaction Indexes and how we recommend to best measure customer satisfaction, click here.
Positive Net Revenue
There should be established standards for net dollars of new items versus quit items that are analyzed daily. Each RSRs goal should be to finish their daily route in a net positive revenue position. It is important to build plans to overcome a negative day with an overall positive week.
Track the percentage of “controllable” credits being issued on the routes and/or through Accounts Receivable.
Net Merchandise Cost
For example, if a customer spends $100 to rent items and $30 is spent to buy the new rental items the gross merchandise input cost is 30%. If $20 in additional revenue were collected for product loss and damage, the result would be an unfavorable 10% net merchandise cost.
Finally, establish a measuring tool to show how the route is growing year over year and month over month. It is important to not only look at that particular day or week but also to measure the big picture and compare current growth rates to the same week or month time period in prior year.
Whether you use the above metrics or others, the most important message is to measure, benchmark and compare weekly performance to prior performance in order to coach and train effectively.
A daily debriefing should be a 10 to 30 minute meeting – depending on the individual RSR’s needs. This daily debriefing should be a coaching session for development of the RSR where that day’s performance is reviewed, the challenges and accomplishments of the current service day are summarized and expectations are set for the following service day. During a daily debriefing the following day’s invoices should be reviewed using today’s learnings. The goal of a strategic daily debriefing is to move our RSRs from reactive to proactive when it comes to anticipating the customers’ needs.
It is important to keep in mind that a daily debriefing is not an audit. 80% or more of a daily check-in should be dedicated to coaching, training and development. 20% or less should be dedicated to exception management such as checking-in cash and other daily non-performance related checklists. A coach’s time should be spent mostly on developing the RSR. Spending 80% of the time on development emphasizes the trust in your team to manage their route business. Daily debriefings with the manager are intended to be a reflective and positive time in a RSR’s day and should be empowering. During this time, the manager should question the RSR’s and assist them (do not plan for them) in the development of their strategy to enhance their metric performance and problem solve for the future.
When is it Time to let an RSR Go?
We will conclude our five-part RSR series in our next e-newsletter. The most difficult choice a manager may have to make is when it is time to let someone go. It is important to attempt to transition an RSR into the strongest employee they can be through coaching and training. If that effort fails, we will discuss the signs and timing as well as the recommended process in making the choice to release or re-direct the RSR in our final RSR article.
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