When conducting customer service training include complaint handling.
Getting feedback from your customers is essential to gauge whether or not what you offering is right for your target audience. Whether it’s positive or negative and whether you agree with it or not is key to your success.
But so many team members shy away from any feedback in case they hear something that they can’t deal with, or that reflects badly on them.
Of course, not being able to deal with it is frustrating, not only for the customer but also for the employee, and ultimately for you if you get called in each and every time there’s a complaint.
So as well as training your team in how to manage service when all’s going smoothly and to plan teach them to deal with the ‘what if’ situations, i.e. how to deal with things when they go wrong.
This includes giving them the skills and authority to deal with complaints as they happen. Encourage them and train them how to ask for feedback and just as importantly how to respond when they get complaints or negative feedback.
This is far better for the customer because it gets a quicker solution, far better for the team member because they’re able to deal with it, which gives them pride, and far better for you because it means you don’t have to always been involved. This doesn’t mean to say that don’t want to hear about complaints particularly if there are common recurring problems that need to be resolved.
Don’t assume because you’ve told people how to do something they will be able to just go out and deliver it consistently. It’s all very well knowing what to say, but you know how sometimes when you come to say something the words just don’t trip off the tongue as you might hope! Let your team practise in a safe environment, based on different scenarios.
Agree with them their levels of authority so they know just how much leeway they have in offering the customer/guest compensation, and at what point they may need to involve a manager.
Observe how your staff handle complaints and give them feedback after the event on what they did well, what they could do more of, and give the appropriate support and guidance on areas where they need more help.
If you adopt a culture of it’s okay to make a mistake as long as you learn from it, your team will be far more confident to, not only deal with complaints, but also feedback so everybody learns, and ultimately of course to prevent the same problems happening again.