#2 of the 7 Mistakes a Customer Service Manager makes (Includes DIY Solutions)
No-one likes making mistakes be we all do them and if you're like me, mistakes are often your biggest learning event. The good news is, not all mistakes have to be made by you, for you to learn.
With 30+ years of experience working in, managing and training frontline employees in organisations across Australia, I regularly see businesses make one, some or all of what I have identified as the Top 7 Mistakes.
These mistakes cost a business time and money and leave the employees and customers feeling frustrated and annoyed and considering if the business is worthy or their support.
If you want more customers, less complaints, happier and more productive staff and a reputation for excellence, be aware (and beware) of this mistake.
Mistake #2 - No customer service component in your induction process
Often induction processes consist of a walk around the workplace, focus on the Hard Skills (the technical aspect) of a role, introductions to the team and then time for filling out forms and reading policies and procedures. Mandatory stuff? Yes. Customer service specific, inspiring and motivational ? No.
Induction processes must include customer service expectations and soft skill conversations.
Soft Skills (people skills) are what customers assess of your employees to determine if the business is excellent. Soft skills are the skill set that determines if staff will get along, support each other and seek to provide consistently excellent service to customers.
New employees need an induction process that confirms the customer service standards of the business, the soft skills required and the support options in place to help them achieve those goals.
If you find yourself saying you don't have time to do a complete and customer service inclusive induction, then schedule even more time to address the new employees needs down the track - or start the hiring process all over again as many employees today are happy to keep searching for a customer service supportive employer.
· Put pen to paper/fingers to keyboard. Have clear customer service standards that are written down and relevant to the role.
· Allocate a mentor/buddy for your new employee. Someone they can go to with questions when you are unavailable.
· Schedule regular Service Excellence Conversations. Dedicate time for a new recruit to ask questions and for you to assess their customer service skills and knowledge. As little as 15 minutes once a week shows you value their service skills and you want to help them reach your desired standards.
· Hard before Soft. If possible, allow new recruits to learn the hard skills (technical aspects) of a role before they interact with customers. Once they are familiar with the technology/equipment/processes/computer programs etc, they will find it much easier to concentrate on their soft skills (people skills) when with a customer.
How Lightbulb Training Solutions can help
Our Service Excellence Packages provide you with a range of customer service specific training and resources that you can include in your induction process. You can be sure that all the skills and attitudes required to delight your customers will be addressed and any learning gaps identified early. At a minimum, we recommend every employee be provided with a copy of my book; “The A – Z of Service Excellence - The Essential Guide to becoming a Customer Service Professional”. It's there for them when you can't be and you can download the first chapter for FREE.
By Cate Schreck - Author of The A-Z of Service Excellence