Magazine article Talent Development

Service Train-Ing, Pt. II: Here's a Sampling of Your Thoughts on Improving Customer Service. (News You Can Use)

Magazine article Talent Development

Service Train-Ing, Pt. II: Here's a Sampling of Your Thoughts on Improving Customer Service. (News You Can Use)

Article excerpt

Thanks to all of you who wrote in with your thoughts on improving customer service

Here's a sampling of the great suggestions I received. Train the workers beyond service skills. The solution isn't just better customer service training, says Monica Starke, psychotherapist and training consultant. Employers must go beyond job skills to provide workers with training on such self-management topics as handling stress, avoiding burnout, managing conflict, and even parenting. Helping employees with those skills that are so important to work-life balance, Starke says, will make them feel more valued and improve the way they interact with customers or clients.

Train the managers to help workers reach their goals. Tonny Harris, certified trainer, and Bryan Weller, staff development coordinator, turn the spotlight on the managers. It's their responsibility say Harris and Weller, to talk to workers and discover what their goals are. Then, managers must help design training and advancement opportunities so that employees can move to jobs they do care about. But if you go this route, beware, says Weller. You'll discover how much workers really want (or don't want) a positive solution. Harris adds that managers also have to be trained on how to respond to workers who just don't care and hold those people accountable.

Take a three-pronged approach. Cynthia Schoeppel, organizational consultant, suggests these steps:

* Make sure you're hiring the right person for the job. Be clear about the competencies, skills, and abilities your candidate should have, and evaluate past behavior in the interview. …

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