I got a call the other day from someone visiting my website wanting to know if I offered customer service training. We had a nice conversation and before it was over the prospect and I agreed that there were deeper, underlying issues causing the service problems that needed to be addressed first.
We’re meeting next week to discuss the best approach to solve those problems.
Then, after hanging up the phone, it hit me!
Especially from an outside consultant or trainer (with all due respect to my colleagues whom I know are great at delivering that type of training).
I mean, think about it!
What do company leaders want to see in most customer service trainings? Teach our people to be nice to the strangers that come in to use our service or buy our products.
Adults need to be trained to do this?
By the time you’re old enough to vote, you should know how to be nice to a stranger that wants to learn more about what you can do to help them solve a problem or serve a need.
What are the fundamentals of customer service, anyway?
- Make eye contact,
- Repeat the person’s name in the conversation to make them feel comfortable,
- Call people back in a timely manner to respond to their inquiry or request.
What else is there that someone needs to do to provide “customer service?”
Do you really need to pay someone from the outside, pay your employees to sit in a training room for a 1/2-day or even a full-day, pay for a catered lunch,and an off-site hotel training room, to teach people the fundamentals of treating strangers nicely?
I would argue anything over and above that has nothing to do with “customer service” per se, and everything to do with company culture and its Values, Vision and Purpose.
What flows from that may be a unique, differentiating customer service approach that clearly defines a company’s brand, such as a Ritz Carlton Hotels, a Disney or a Zappos.com,
But, that’s not basic customer service training. That’s company exclusive customer service policy, procedures, standards and expectations.
No one needs customer service training. If they do, you shouldn’t hire them. If they do they shouldn’t get past the first five minutes of the job interview process.
But, that’s just me.
Outstanding customer service comes when a company focuses on the fundamentals of creating a “championship culture.” There are 3 key strategies every business must follow, you can learn more about “The 3 Strategies of Champion Organizations: The Secrets to Creating a Highly Motivated, High Performance Work Environment that Delivers Champion Level Results” at this link and download a free white paper that outlines the whole process.
’til next time. Have a great weekend!