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It’s often quoted that we have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. Why is it then that some customer service providers aren’t making use of their ears to best effect with their customers?
I am becoming increasingly frustrated by service providers asking me to repeat myself. It’s annoying enough to be passed from pillar to post when dealing with call centres and having to repeat my query over and over without having an individual server not listening properly and then asking me to repeat what i’ve already said.
Have you ever thought about Customer Service and the Emergency Services in the same sentence? Well now’s the time.
When it comes to being ranked for Great Customer Service, you might be surprised that two of the top ten performers are not the traditional service industries you might think of. In fact they are two of the emergency services. In a 2012 Customer Satisfaction Survey*, the Ambulance Service came in at third with the Fire Service close behind in sixth* both behind the top performer Amazon.
How often have you gone into a retailers and the sales assistants have ignored you, or acknowledged you briefly when you got to the till, only to start up, or continue a conversation with one of their colleagues?
At what point in time, or in any customer service training they’ve been given, was it ever deemed acceptable to treat customers as though they were invisible and not there at all?
This phenomenon is by no means exclusive to face to face customer service scenarios.
After talking to a new contact this week about my business, they told me the story about another invisible customer situation that they’d experienced with a local business.
The business in question hires out meeting and training room space. They had rang to book a room and got verbal confirmation of the booking, but got no subsequent written confirmation, either electronically or by post. This was the first time they’d used the venue and this lack of communication created a high level of anxiety on their part, especially when subsequent emails received no response. They finally rang the venue again to ask for firm confirmation and even this activity produced only a weak response that did’t allay their fears totally.
How many times have you been on a great training course and gone back to work really motivated and wanting to put your newly acquired knowledge into practice? How often have you then found, that after only a few days or weeks, that same motivation has gone, as the flames of passion for your subject is quelled by the disinterest of your manager or piers?
It’s often quoted that we have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. Why is it then that some training providers aren’t making use of their ears to best effect with their learners?
As a relatively new business, I am becoming increasingly frustrated by training providers who are delivering training targeted at new start up businesses, but who, whilst they clearly have experience and expertise in running businesses themselves, don’t have the same expertise in transferring that knowledge to learners in the most effective way.
It may be that their lack of experience in the training environment means that they are unaware of how to conduct training evaluation or perhaps they are afraid of getting any negative feedback or how to progress their course on the back of any feedback they receive – who knows.
Asking the right questions are the ideal way of enhancing your courses. It’s only by evaluating the learner experience and the ongoing impact of the learning, that we can learn how we can make our courses even better.
I appreciate that we all have busy lives and often have a multitude of things on our mind, but undervaluing the benefit of evaluation can have a detrimental effect, especially on small training businesses who rely on repeat business from an existing client base.
Show your clients and delegates that you care about the quality of the training you deliver. Let them see that their opinions matter, tell them how you’re continually improving your courses and then not only will they come back for more, they’re more likely to tell other people about your quality ethos too. That’s the power of evaluation, win-win.
New Chapter Learning are a UK training consultancy who specialise in supporting the training industry to deliver quality learning solutions.
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Whose job is it to deliver customer service exactly?
When asking people to consider the question of responsibility around delivering customer service, it can be all too easy to see the delivery of customer service to be the remit of only those staff who have direct contact with customers. This is a very simplistic view of what customer service is all about.
A traditional clock serves the purpose of telling the time. However, the only element of the clock to do this is the face of the clock itself. How effective would the clock be if the cogs that turned the hands were broken, or the battery was dead?
It’s the same with customer service. The members of staff who face into the customer directly have a key role to play in the delivery of great service. They are the face of their business. However, without efficient processes and people to support those same staff in delivering to the customers needs and to support the efficient working of that business, then the overall customer service would very soon be degraded.
If you’re not already in a direct customer facing role ask yourself this question – how do I deliver customer service?
And I’m sure you’ll find you’re one of those all important cogs making sure your business is telling the right time!
New Chapter Learning – Giving Your Customers a Reason to Love You.
I had a great Customer Experience today at the Thistle, County Hotel in Newcastle. I’d gone in early this morning in advance of a business meeting. I’d sat next to the restaurant area where hotel guests were enjoying breakfast. A friendly member of staff came across and asked if she could help.