To give real service, you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity-Douglas Adams.
Some time ago, I went to pay a phone bill.
As a security measure, the company erected a 2-way window at each of their payment counters - maybe they'd had some negative interactions with their "Public" (I’m guessing here), and this barrier was probably to protect their CSRs from verbal and/or physical abuse.
Looking back, I realize it should have been my cue to simply walk out and go on with the rest of my errands-and my life.
Nevertheless, I was still shocked, when one of the reps determined that the best (and I guess to her mind) only way to attract her customers’ attention was to rap very loudly on the glass partition with her pen.
This action, which was both discourteous and unnecessary, spoke volumes about her care and concern for those she was serving-especially since both parties could see and hear each other clearly.
Amazingly, when I brought this to her attention, I was met with a blank stare.
Even more disconcerting, I soon realized I was the ONLY person taking issue with this behavior-everyone else queuing in stony silence, seemingly resigned to their collective fates...
To the customer, you are the company-Shep Hyken.
We've all heard the stories - the clerk that's more interested in her nails than your purchase, the barista who rolls her eyes when you place your order, the failed attempts at "familiarity"-with females being addressed as ‘moms’/ ‘mother’/ ‘tants’ / ‘tanty’/ ‘famalee’
Or the disinterested server who simply places your meal in front of you in utter silence.
In most instances, the stock response to these episodes of "customer disservice" is that "They need to be trained"- almost as if this ‘Training’ will somehow transform poor behaviors/bad employees into responsible, caring human beings.
But here's the thing,
While training is supposed to change behavior, and much money and time is usually invested with this as the goal, it often fails at achieving this objective.
While there are many variables that can and do contribute to this shortfall, 3 major issues emerge.
1. Training is conducted in a ‘Controlled Environment’.
The ‘finished product’- the trained person will now have to replicate these newly
acquired abilities, skills, and knowledge in an operational environment, where other
issues -noise, organizational culture, and the behavior of others including members
of the public, will affect this training-either upward or downward.
2. For optimal success, training must be monitored, evaluated, and controlled.
This ensures that the new behaviors are ‘hard-wired’ from short term to long term memory, where replication over time (and practice) will help them become automatic.
3. Third, training must be imparted using a methodology that involves the
‘HOW’ as well as the ‘WHY’.
This gives the trained person(s) the ability to successfully perform in today's’ dynamic environments, where decisions are often made on the fly. Without this, any attempt to measure performance will give differing results-which will stymie any strategies designed to remedy perceived challenges.
Whether it's a bored demeanor, a dismissive look, or just plain rude behavior, sloppy customer service spells disaster faster than just about any other business transgression-Lauren Simonds
Therefore to be effective, a training program which results in a high level of customer engagement, customer returns, and exceptional reviews MUST CONTAIN these 3 components - however, most of the time this is either absent or sadly lacking- which in the end hurts everyone!!!
Here's our take on what customer service/frontline training should be.
If this is what your company needs/lacks, here's the link:
And yes, you're welcome.