One of the best ways to teach staff members how to communicate effectively with customers is to incorporate examples of good customer service into your employee training efforts.
Customer Service Training
If you own or manage a business, it's important for you to provide employees with ongoing customer service training. No matter how carefully you select the people who work for your company or how thoroughly you prepare them with product knowledge training, there is no substitute for reinforcing customer service communication skills.
The key to providing customers with outstanding service is to keep your employees focused on effective customer communication at all times. It's a good idea to incorporate ongoing customer communication training into staff meetings and training sessions. Vary the message so people don't get bored with hearing the same information.
Including good customer service examples, as well as stories about bad customer service, in your staff development programs keeps the content fresh. Approaches for working customer service examples into your employee training sessions vary.
Recognize and Reward Outstanding Service
Recognizing the best efforts of your employees can be a great way to reward and motivate them. You can use positive examples that you see in your own workplace to help your staff learn practical tips for providing outstanding service to your company's clients. Make a point of observing your employees on a regular basis. When you notice employees exhibiting the types of behaviors you want to encourage, make a note of what you see.
Set aside time at each staff meeting to recognize those employees who have demonstrated outstanding service. You can present the employees with some type of reward, such as a plaque, company logo shirt, gift certificate, or other item as a means of rewarding their performance. Further, discuss the actions you observed that led to the recognition. This can positively reinforce the desired behaviors in these employees, as well as provide training and goals for the other members of your team.
Share Positive Customer Feedback
From time to time, it's likely that you'll receive feedback from your customers about their perceptions of the level of customer service your company provides. Often comments focus on service problems, but sometimes customers will also go out of their way to share positive experiences with management. While getting this type of positive feedback can make you feel great, it can have an even more powerful effect on your staff. Any time customers point out good customer service incidents, it's important to share that information with your employees. Letting your team members know what behaviors customers particularly appreciate is a great way to reinforce what exceptional service really is. It's also a good idea to recognize and reward the star players that warranted positive client feedback.
Use Examples of Good Customer Service from Other Companies
It can also be beneficial to spend time in your employee training sessions discussing the type of service that you and your employees receive from other companies. After all, it's likely that each of you experiences good and bad customer service from organizations that you do business with on a regular basis. Valuable lessons can be learned from analyzing your own experiences as a customer. Ask team members to pay attention to the type of service they receive from other organizations, and set aside time to share and evaluate those experiences during your staff meetings. Discussing real-world examples of good and bad customer service helps identify your organization's strengths and weakness in customer service.
Examples of great customer service include a wide variety of acts and services, including:
- General Attitude: Is the employee bright, friendly, and helpful?
- Meeting Customer Needs: Is the employee knowledgeable about the business and wuickly provide necessary information?
- Handling Conflict/Issues: Does the employee handle any customer conficts or issues with respect, courtesy, and a genuine desire to help the customer?
- Special Requests, Services, or Needs: Does the employee go out of his or her way to meet make sure special requests, services, or needs are met?
- Exceeding Standards: Does the employee go beyond what is expected to deliver truly exceptional customer service?
Customer Service Improvement is Ongoing
Preparing your team to provide outstanding service is a process. Customer service training is something you'll need to do on an ongoing basis. Even people who know how to provide exceptional service sometimes need to be reminded about the basics. Using examples of good customer service as discussion points is a powerful and effective tool to keep training fresh and effective.