Customer service is “emotional labor;” it’s very hard to deal with a large volume of people day after day, some of whom are in a good mood and some not. In fact, customers are becoming even more demanding and therefore even harder to deal with.
So what are you doing to keep your people fired up and motivated about delivering excellent customer service?
The kind of service that turns your customers into cheerleaders for your company? The kind of service that differentiates you from the competition and contributes to your bottom line?
Well, of course you can always bring in an outside consultant to conduct a program, but many companies cannot afford to do this, so let me give you two suggestions for things that you can do in-house.
Here are a few exercises that you can do in a quick staff meeting to help send everyone out to face the customers with a renewed spirit and motivation to serve your customers.
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Exercise #1.) “How does it feel to be the customer?”
Divide your staff into two groups. Tell the first group to think of several examples (3-5) of good experiences that they have had as a customer. If possible, have them list the ideas on a big piece of flip chart paper on the wall so everyone can see them.
Then tell the second group to think of several bad experiences they have had as a customer. Have them list their ideas on a different piece of flip chart paper. Give the groups five minutes to do this.
Now bring them back together as one large group and ask each group to briefly describe their examples of good and bad experiences.
Ask the following questions: “What were your feelings as the customer in each situation?” “What was different about the behavior of the employee in the good examples as compared to the bad examples?” Have them be very specific here. Don’t, for example, let them say, “The employee had a “good attitude.” Get them to tell specifically what the employee did or said that made them think the employee had a good attitude. (Did they smile or say something positive, for instance).
Continue the session with questions like these. “How do they think the employee was feeling in each of these situations?” “What was your response to poor treatment as a customer? What did you do about it?”
This exercise will keep them thinking about customer service and all the things that they do or not do to make it happen.
Exercize #2.) “What’s in it for me?”
Another exercise that I have found helpful when I’m conducting a session is to get them thinking about why they should bother to deliver excellent customer service. It’s the “What’s in it for me?” question. Divide them into teams of three and let them brainstorm ideas on why giving excellent customer service is good for them individually.
Don’t let them say things like it: “Makes more money for the company.” That is not a good personal motivator. Instead, get them to talk about things like they will have less stress, because when you treat a customer well they are usually more cooperative and easier to deal with.
Hopefully they will also bring out ideas like a feeling of self- satisfaction, continued employment (they get to keep their job) a good working environment, enhancing their personal skills so they stay employable and others. By reminding them of why it is personally important to give good customer service, it will help to re-motivate them.
Try these exercises the next time you have a staff or educational meeting. See if they don’t renew everyone’s commitment to delivering exceptional customer service. For more ideas download your FREE, do-it- yourself, easy-to-implement training program.
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.