#6 of the 7 Mistakes Customer Service Managers make (includes DIY solutions)
Having spent 16 + years working in a Bank, I'm pretty cool with budgeting. I actually get a real kick of number crunching whether it's do with dollars or minutes. Yes I budget my time as it's just as important as the dollars.
Budgeting is a hugely important skill when it comes to running a business and managing a team but so often I see department or business managers makes this particular mistake when budget time arrives.
Mistake # 6 No budget or time allocated for soft skills training
Unlike hard skills (technical) training such as operating a cash register, driving a forklift, using a computer program or ordering stock, soft skills (people skills) training is a little more difficult to measure in terms of competency and return on the investment.
Customer Service Professionals are made, not born and soft skills training is how you make them. Budgeting time and money for soft skills training is investing in your most important asset – your staff.
· It can be free. You don’t always have to spend money to provide soft skills training for your staff - refer to CPD covered in Mistake #3 blog.
· Show what you know. How you interact with your staff and your customers is how your staff determine how they should interact with each other and customers. You and all of your managers/supervisors must lead by example.
· Inspect what you expect – Watch, listen and provide constructive and service specific feedback. Feedback should be regular and balanced with compliments and suggestions on how to improve.
· Remember that your time is money. For every co-worker disagreement or customer complaint, consider the amount of time you have to spend addressing the issue and multiply that by your hourly rate – this is money that could be spent on the soft skills training that empowers your staff to self-manage those situations.
How Lightbulb Training Solutions can help
By completing our Customer Service Analysis, we will learn about your business, your customers and your staff and from there we put together your customised, comprehensive and flexible Service Excellence Package. Your Service Excellence Package can include access to on-line videos and resources that will give you an insight into not only how your staff feel about customer interactions, but what you can do to motivate long term customer service employees who may have become complacent about the value of their service skills.
By Cate Schreck - Author of "The A-Z of Service Excellence'