Good Service is about meeting the needs of your customers and your own company
by Jason Christian
Stage 1 - Define Customer Service
"The ability to meet your customers needs in the most efficient and cost effective way"
Stage 2 - Who are your customers?
1 Define who your internal and external customers are.
2 Determine the difference between internal and external customers
3 Assert that all customers should be treated the same.
Once you get to this stage you can set in place a road map for dealing with all customers and any issues in the same structured way.
Stage 3 – Training Content
The key is to emphasise simplicity.
Focus on determining the core issue that a customer may have and the solutions you can provide.
Many companies operate under an assumption that a single customer service training course will satisfy all of the customer service needs of the business. The reality is that good customer service is not only about asking questions it is about finding lasting solutions to a customers issues which keep them coming back for more.
Good service starts with good understanding. The better equipped your people are to understand your customers and build trust, the stronger the better their interactions will be. (Questioning techniques, listening techniques and relationship management training)
Identifying needs is a key first step, but if your people understand your own business they can provide tailored solutions to your customers problems based on your companies products and services. (Business and Commercial awareness training will show your people the range of services you offer, they ways your company makes money and how, individuals can affect costs)
Once a recommendation is made, the customer will go one of two ways; acceptance or rejection. Prepare your people for both. (Assertiveness, Proactive thinking, strategic planning and negotiation training)
4 – Construction of courses
When selecting source material, use real examples wherever possible. There is no issue with created scenarios and data, but when trying to bring people in to your business, it helps using real examples to demonstrate your customers real needs and the solutions that were offered. I favour call recordings, transcripts, roleplays based on real examples and live company data.
When constructing all of the above course types, decide if it will be a course, a workshop, or a forum. This will depend on the type of training and the relative experience of your people.
• Course – Instructor led, with planned exercises and defined topics, good for new starters, however care must be taken when constructing content for experienced members to ensure that there is something new for everyone.
• Workshop – Mediated by an instructor, with planned topics, however, the majority of content comes from shared experience and real world solutions.
• Forum – Mediated open discussions on topics proposed by participants, this can be very organic, which is useful for a general exploration of issues, however, not as strong for meeting specific training needs.
Ideally, you want a mix of courses and workshops for the majority of content, with short forums once a quarter (half a day) to review how the raining has been used in a live environment.
Once your first roll out has taken place, continue to hold forums regularly to discuss what is and isn’t working. Use these as a spring board to promoting best practice.
These are the steps I took when designing content for my companies in house qualification for our service team. Full roll out took just over two years but the benefits have been tangible.