Monthly Archives: October 2015

It all stems from the top

staff-trainingI’ve been starkly reminded this month just how important it is to be a role model for your team.

I’ve been in a couple of businesses recently where, although the managers and senior team are completely bought into the importance of delivering memorable customer service, sadly that ethos has not filtered down to the line managers of the customer facing team.

Take for example some training I did last week where I had a line manager defending one of his team for being rude to customers. And another whose body language said it all during the customer service training.

No one can ever really expect their team to deliver first class customer service when they don’t get the motivation, encouragement and support from their line managers. Their behaviour really does breed behaviour, and any apathy or reluctance towards customers and your service ethos will invariably be damaging.

And of course it’s not just how line managers treat customers. How they treat their team sets the whole tone.

Whenever I conduct customer service training in person I know that the training on its own will never be enough to change people’s behaviours. It’s what happens before and afterwards. So without the managers buy-in and support to embed new habits and behaviours it won’t be long until everyone’s back to their old comfortable way of doing things.

So what ever training you are planning in your business, be that customer service skills or otherwise, first check you have the line managers buy in. And if not work on them first!

Lack of buy in from line managers is just one reason why customer service training fails.

Here are 6 more reasons to be aware of

Maybe the next time?

thumbs-upI love this little story I found in the paper the other day.

It demonstrates perfectly what can happen when you don’t set your expectations. Even with the most enthusiastic team, unless you give them customer service training explaining your own standards for handling customer complaints sadly even the best intentions might not quite meet your customer’s expectations.

This is what happened:

A couple complained about their meal at a cafe they visited for the first time. When they informed the smiling waitress that the beans were cold, the eggs were hard and the toast was burnt she replied cheerfully: “perhaps it will be better next time you come”.

Hmm, I somehow doubt there will be a next time!