3 ways to reduce a big BUT

It happened again today.  A business owner rang me and after some polite introductions I asked how I could help. The response I received is the most common sentence I hear from managers/business owners….

“I have this one staff member who is really good at his/her job and I really like him/her BUT…….”

The big BUT is commonly followed by one of these statements;

They are causing problems within the team”

“Customers often complain about his/her poor behaviour”

“They don’t understand how their behaviour has a negative impact on others”

At this point, the frustrated business owner usually gives me 3, 4 or even more examples of incidences that have left them astounded as to why the particular staff member doesn’t understand the consequences of their behaviour. They tell me they have spoken to them but their improvement suggestions seem to have fallen on deaf ears.

Behaviour. That’s the word that tells me there is a training or coaching opportunity BUT it’s not required solely for the individual concerned. Customer service and workplace behaviours are a team responsibility and like all successful teams, everyone can benefit from training together.

Often the person causing the problem is inadvertently doing so and are confused or may even take offence if told they are not meeting the behvaioural standards of the business. Expecting staff to change their behaviour because you asked them to, rarely works. Even if they manage to do so, it can be difficult for them to sustain the new behaviour long term.

For staff to adjust their behaviour long term, they need to develop their emotional intelligence (EQ) and their understanding of the 4 human behaviours.

If you have a big BUT in your team, here’s 3 tips to help you, help them;

1.  Put Service Excellence on the Agenda. Service Excellence should never be off the agenda. Talk about it at meetings, share best practices between the team, acknowledge and reward service excellence efforts and provide solutions to service excellence problems. When you stop focusing on the importance of service excellence, your staff will too.

2. Have individual Service Excellence Conversations.  Keep note of specific interactions that you witness and consider as examples of excellent service as well as unsatisfactory service behaviours. Discuss these examples with individual employees and allow them to ask questions and share their opinions. This allows you to confirm your expectations and identify any specific training needs.

3. Practice what you preach. Lead the way by interacting with your co-workers how you want them to interact with each other and the customers. Professional behaviours should not be reserved only for the external customers. 

The one thing you should not do is ignore the big BUT. Big BUTS don't go away. They grow bigger and before you know it, they are weighing you down. 

To create a culture of service excellence, there are 3 Key areas you must address. Book your FREE Customer Service Analysis today and find our what you can do to have your staff and your customers enjoying their interactions and leaving you with a big smile.

By Cate Schreck - Author of 

"The A-Z of Service Excellence".