Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Training and Customer Retention

Good customer service doesn't necessarily come natural to some people. They need to have training and follow-up. Most organizations have some sort of customer service training but it's too often not enough. One basic class during orientation doesn't cut it. New staff are commonly overwhelmed with information already. Give them a little bit of time to get acquainted with their job and to see just how and where they fit in. They'll be able to adapt to their role in customer service a lot easier.

Don't leave training with the one class. Do follow-up in-service's, seminars, etc. Keep customer service at the forefront of your staff's minds. You don't need to (and don't want to) cram it down their throats. Just make sure that they at least know the basics, can use the basics, and be able to form some type of relationship with their customers. Customers should be treated like guests in their own house. Relationships are a key influence to holding on to customers, especially in service-oriented industries.

There are five basic standards for treating guests that you should be reviewing with staff:
  • welcome them using their name,
  • introduce yourself,
  • take care of their needs,
  • thank them, and
  • invite them back.

Good customer service is that easy. You can include these standards in your training in many ways - video's, role-play, "how would you" questions, "pick the best way" scenarios, etc.

Markets, for any organization, are constantly changing so "people skills" become extremely important. Reminders in staff meetings or pre-operation meetings will go a long way. Focusing on this key area will not only give you a good ROI on training, but also show staff how important it actually is and where your priorities stand.


Mary said...


Wonderful post. Summed up lot of information on customer service training and retention. The market demands of this sector seem to be growing with every passing day.

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