Most managers and business owners know that in today’s competitive marketplace, a key strategy to differentiate your company – is through your team’s Customer service.
Unfortunately, when it comes to customer service training, there are plenty of pitfalls that can undermine the best intentions. To differentiate your team’s service, ask these seven critical questions.
- Is this a flavor of the month?
You can almost hear employees’ eyes rolling when the boss quotes a new business book or TEDx presentation the team is supposed to adopt to wow customers. It’s great to learn from books, seminars, etc. However, I encourage managers to introduce subtle changes without fanfare. Skip the buzzwords that eventually become passé. Employees more readily adopt subtle shifts than wholesale changes.
- Will Management be there?
Worse than bosses espousing too many shiny new customer service fads, is when leaders themselves don’t participate in training. There’s a word for managers who expect their staff to attend training, while managers remain in their offices. It’s called hypocrisy. It sends a mixed message that undermines employee buy-in.
- Will this motivate your team?
Sometimes I’m referred to as a motivational speaker. Frankly, I can’t motivate anyone to do anything they don’t want to do. Pep-rally type messages get employees temporarily pumped-up, but it wears-off. That’s why when I work with teams, we brainstorm why… why certain approaches are better: for customers, for your organization, and especially for employees themselves. Talking about why we do something is just as important as what we do. Motivation is more about motive than mood.
- What if some employees miss-out?
If you have turnover challenges or circumstances when not everyone can attend a Customer Service training session, you’d be forced to bring-in trainers a lot. That’s not efficient. Instead, work with trainers who are open to having the session filmed. When we work with clients, I often arrange to bring in my videographer so that the subsequent footage can be used to train additional current and future staff at a fraction of the cost. Also consider a Trainer on Retainer – for a cost effective way to have a trainer ready, on demand.
- Is there reinforcement?
One-shot sessions have value; they are certainly better than nothing. Like any new skill though, there needs to be ongoing reinforcement. Better to work with a training company with the depth of resources to offer coaching tools beyond the seminar that will keep the message fresh.
- Will it be relevant?
Managers tell me that when it comes to training, they haven’t got time for interesting. Interesting is everywhere on the internet. What they need are tools that are relevant. Some topics are more applicable to enhancing service than others. Listening to an adventurer or professional athlete talk about their careers may be entertaining, but realistically it has little relevance to real jobs that deal with satisfying internal and external customers. What engages participants is choosing a presenter who specializes in employee/customer interactions; interviews several leaders before the training, and incorporates those insights into the messaging. That way it becomes a fascinating session because it’s about most people’s favorite topic – themselves.
- Will it engage my team?
This time the fault lies not with the message; but with the messenger. You’ve likely had the misery of being imprisoned in a meeting room listening to a monotone presenter assault you with PowerPoint punishment. Conversely, there are some speakers who know how to enthrall, entertain, and engage. They skillfully customize their training to make it resonate for that particular team. Make sure to choose a trainer/ speaker that will engage and inspire your team to take action.
Are you looking for a trainer to give your team a competitive edge, Contact me, we will customize programs and sessions for results.
I share valuable Customer Service tips and insights for front line managers and employees on how to deliver customer service to keep your customer coming back. The name of the game is customer loyalty and it’s not just about satisfaction. It’s about a willingness to be a repeat buyer, willingness to recommend you to others, and resistance to switching to a competitor. Fortunately, I learned this lesson through my 15-year corporate career. Poor service is an all-too-frequent experience for us all. I provide a framework for implementing ongoing processes that can build customer loyalty.
Let’s Talk today about what we can do to get your team motivated, engaged and delivering superior service every time.
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