Shaun Parker asked:
In the UK customer service is not nearly as good as our transatlantic counterparts. The Americans and Canadians take great pride in providing a service with a smile. It goes well beyond staff spitting out a gimmicky ‘have a nice day’ after every successful transaction. It boils down to the fact that members of staff in the US receive much better training than those in the UK. As a result the US customers receive better service. So how can you improve the service your staff members deliver to your customers?
One way to improve the level of customer service that your staff deliver is to give them extensive training. Training providers can teach your staff how to meet the needs of the customer effectively. Training schedules are typically tailored to meet the needs of each organisation that utilises them. The techniques that the training provider delivers depend on the organisation they are educating.
Customer services training generally begins with the provider undertaking customer service research on the performance of the staff they have been asked to train. This can come in many guises and will usually be performed through the use of a mystery shopper or by the customer services training staff. Often the provider will be experienced enough to pick out the weaknesses of the staff and highlight areas that require training quickly and effectively.
Once the particular areas that require work have been localised then the customer services training provider will set to work. The methods with which they offer training are far more sophisticated and exciting than people often expect. The training provider will generally attempt to make the training as enjoyable as possible. This means many of the training exercises take place in an enjoyable atmosphere. Training takes place through many games, music and activities all of which contribute to accelerate learning.
The customer services training provider will often use the analysis gained through mystery shopping video footage, telephone footage and the surveys they submit to help the staff receiving the training reflect on their own practices. Often the practice of reviewing the performance of other people in the customer service industry provides an extremely effective method of improving the performance of the staff members. Usually seeing the effective performance or ineffective performance of other people allows staff to evaluate their performance themselves. This self-reflection is an extremely effective form of training.
Training events generally encourage staff members to participate. This encourages participants to stay involved and as a result make the most of their training day. Usually the participant will be involved in the delivery of core course material. This helps the learner experience both sides of the process and increases the likelihood that the training will be effective. By giving the learner a position of authority it is often the case that they demonstrate recognisably improved levels of confidence. This often translates to an increased ability to deal with customers effectively and satisfactorily.
Customer services training can also cater for those working with technology to ensure that the use of technology does not interfere with effective customer service. The training provider will often be able to cater their training schedule to meet the needs of your workforce. This will mean that complex booking systems in hotels or a difficult till system in a pub will no longer hinder the ability of the staff member to focus on the thing that really matters – good customer service.