How to prepare and engage your team for customer service training
I’m just putting together the finishing touches for two customer service training workshops I am delivering next week. But I can’t do this alone.
When carrying out any training – customer service training or otherwise – what happens before and after is just as important as the training itself if you are to get a return on your investment of time, money and effort, and start to see a positive impact on your customers’ experience and their long term loyalty.
Whoever is delivering the training naturally there’s plenty to do before the training.
But it’s just as important to get the participants prepared if you want to get them engaged and turning up for the training in the right frame of mind.
Here are 3 considerations for getting started on the right track, whether you are delivering the training yourself or using an external trainer.
- Keep in mind delegates’ schedules and personal circumstances when scheduling the training. You can’t expect someone to spend several hours in a training session on top of a 9 hour shift and still get full benefit from the training. Or remain fully focused on the training if it means being late for the school run or missing the kids’ bedtime.Give plenty of warning and aim to schedule training so it doesn’t interfere with their normal routine outside work, or potentially getting behind in their work resulting in the stress caused by playing catch-up.
- Tell people what the training is about and why they are attending. Some people see training as a punishment or a criticism of how they do things now.Relate the training to a personal benefit; will it make their job easier, quicker, safer or more interesting? Will it put them in a better position to progress to a new role they aspire to? Will it give them more confidence and independence in their role?You shouldn’t ignore the business benefits, but help them identify what’s in it for them too, so at least they turn up to the training with a bit of enthusiasm.
- Recognise not every customer service problem equates to a training need. If there are shortfalls are these down to lack of time, resources, motivation, or authority? If so recognise these and have a plan to fix these otherwise they become an ‘excuse’ for people not to adopt change.Be careful not to use training as a way to improve one person’s shortfall when everyone else is already doing an excellent job. In my experience the good people see through it instantly (and begrudge having to waste time or worse see it as an insult, whilst the person it is aimed at is often blissfully unaware!
So if you only do one thing before your next training – tell people what’s in it for them.
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