Preparation always pays off for you and your participants. Standing in front of a group of people can be a very lonely place if you have forgotten something, or you are not fully prepared.
Preparation is vital to help you feel confident and be in control, so that when the participants arrive, and the session begins, you can concentrate on them and only them. They are after all your customers!!
Most people believe in the importance of good customer service, but will give you the reasons that prevent them delivering these, be it systems, processes, organization or morale. The level of customer service can be a good barometer for the organization. Dissatisfied employees, and out-dated systems will have an impact on the level of service your customers experience.
So in our customer service training tips preparation focuses on what you need to do so you can focus on the participants and their issues from the offset.
The planning and design of your training session is key to ensuring a good experience for the participants and a benefit for your organization.
What so you want your session or course to achieve?
What is most important for the participants or the part of the business they represent? Is it
Have realistic expectations. Will just one morning with you really change people's attitude, behaviors and skills for ever? Focus on what needs to be achieved and work towards that. If you try to do too much, your messages will be diluted. Think this through carefully when you are planning your training sessions.
If you are an experienced trainer working in skills development, there is a very useful guide on Amazon which talks about successful design. I really like the fact that it talks about our need as trainers to prove we "know our stuff" or prove "our worth" so we end up cramming material into a training session.
As companies and organizations are trying to do more with less - a two day training course may now need to be run in one day. The guide helps you think through your approach to design, and not to cram in the same amount and rattle through it.
Have a checklist to hand. Include all the things that you need for the beginning of the course, laminate it and tick on the right hand side if it is needed for this course, and tick on the left hand side when it goes into the training box - A list like
Email or send joining instructions to participants so they are clear where they need to be, and at what time. If your participants aren't used to "training", include messages which will out them at ease, so that they arrive as open-minded and relaxed as possible.
Put yourself in their shoes. What would they want to see or read that would help them feel open to the training?
Check all your equipment is working, and that you have everything you will need for your training course or session. If preparation time is tight, for whatever reason, make sure you have everything you need and in working order to get you to the first break.
Play good lively music while setting up to get you and any early arrivals in the mood. Music is a great way of getting people to feel good and put some energy in the room. Make sure you have the necessary licenses to broadcast music.
"How can I be most useful to the people I will be working with?"
One of the most powerful questions any training or development specialist can ask themselves as they start to work with an individual or a group of people.
Sometimes, your set up time doesn't go to plan.
Traffic Problems, equipment failures, lost room keys, all can conspire against us.
However challenging your schedule, take five minutes to go to the bathroom, take some deep breaths, check your appearance and focus yourself on the session ahead.