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Seb Anthony

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Customer care workshop


I am currently running interactive customer care workshops for industrial shop floor staff. My session covers the usual subjects - questioning and listening skills, body language, complaint handling and telephone skills, but have had feedback from the first session that it is too simple. Has anyone got any ideas how I can liven up the training, without being too complex?
Karen Legg

9 Responses

  1. Do delegates opinions have meaning?
    I’d listen to the feedback, if delegates say it’s too simple then you can try to make it exciting or liven it up but unless you address its ‘simplicity’ then you’ll get the same feedback.

  2. custome care workshop
    Hi Karen

    I use several techniques in all of the areas that you cover in this course. For example, listening skills I find ‘chinese whispers’ works really well using a script that the agents will be using. I have a sample if you’d like a copy let me know. Also I have other listening exercises which have proved to be really successful.

    For body language using the pie chart of 55% 38% & 7% for body language, tone & words I find that reading a story in monotone voice, poor body language and bland words then re delivering the same story using upbeat words, varied tone and great body language also works. You can then do role play using scripts from the workplace.

    For questionning re open & closed questions there are several ways that I get the message delivered and mainly using activities to enforce the message. Again quite simple techniques such as one delegate to think of a tv character & other delegates have to ascertain the identity using closed questions – a none starter they can never guess then do the same exercise using a different character and asking open questions. You can then link into the types of calls taken in your environment and do role plays.

    Good Luck !!

  3. Definition of “Too Simple”
    Did the participants give any reasons why they thought the training was “too simple”? How complex did they want it to be?

    In our customer service training programmes, we’ve looked at the reasons customers behave as they do, rather than just concentrating on “simple models” of customer care.

  4. real, live customers!
    I’d invite some real, live, customers – that might make it a bit more exciting!

  5. Why Customer Care Session?
    Kick off the session by asking the the attendees what they know about ‘Customer Service’ this is hooking in to their prior knowlege, and gets their buy in to the session. Let them work in groups and share own knowledge with one another..
    Play a tape of someone trying to ring a Customer Service Dept of a well known company (we all know one!) where they keep getting hold messages ie takes 10 mins just to speak to someone!
    Have attendees break off into groups and discuss their ‘bad’ customer services experiences. Note key elements/comments on flip – its thier word, not yours! Then discuss impact of bad customer service the bottom line, word of mouth impact etc…..
    Turn the session on its head and discuss good customer service sharing in groups their own positive experiences, write all positive key elements on a flip- just facilitate, don’t dictate! Follow by the Impact of good customer Service – the bottom line! Finish off by getting them to Create a Good customer Service Banner based upon their own comments..
    Finish Off with everyone showing off their ‘Banner’
    Good luck!
    (I am sure there is more that you can add to this yourself)

  6. Useful “real world” case study material.
    I am based in Ireland where there is a growing awareness of customer service issues. A couple of websites have been created to facilitate consumers “giving out” i.e. to vent frustrations or heap praises accordingly. There are some excellent examples of the effects of good or poor customer service. These make for valuable training aids as they are genuine situations / circumstances and participants can relate to them. They provide useful provocative material for group discussions. Have a poke around these sites for some CS “crackers” (I dare say that there is something similar in the UK and other countries!).
    P.S. It may be prudent to change names and places!

  7. Participative customer service workshops
    I agree with Karen Drury but don’t just get the customer to make a presentation – have role play sessions where the real customer plays the customer role and your participants make the calls. Then let the real customer give his/her feedback. I’m sure you must have customers you can approach and I can tell you that not only would they enjoy it but they would see that your company is really trying to improve your relationship with them. I’ve used this technique many times. You will need to prepare appropriate role play scenarios with the customer.

    Mike Saunders

  8. Definitely Role Play
    Your workshop is the perfect opportunity for creative Role Play.
    I would approach it a little differently from the other good suggestions here however, and involve only staff – for maximum participant interactivity. For in the role play activity below they will have to consider, and then act out, customer problems from the perspective of both the customer rep and the customer. After all, they have experienced a lifetime of problems as customers themselves, so let them bring them up to the surface:
    * Divide the participants into a few groups and give them a few minutes to develop group lists of potential customer problems.
    * Have one member of each group list briefly their group’s items on a flip chart and discuss each with the class. You will get several identical problems on the lists but that’s good because it will demonstrate those that are expected to be recurring. Relate potential problems that they fail to consider. Do not consider solutions at this time.
    * Then divide participants into pairs, their choice as to who will act as rep and who will act as customer in a 5+ minute role play scenario.
    * Have each pair chose one of the listed problems and spend a few minutes with their partner developing their own problem/solution scenario.
    * Optionally provide the participants with some procedural model to follow if you think they could benefit from it, some model that works for your particular circumstances, i.e.: 1) Create a favorable atmosphere, 2) Ask the customer to state the specific problem, 3)Summarize the problem, 4) Ask the customer how he/she would like/have liked it handled, 5) Suggest your solution, 6) Seek customer’s agreement, 7) State that you will follow up and do so.
    * Let each pair act out their scenario in front of the group.
    * Encourage the entire class to make comments and suggestions for alternative ways of handling, following each scenario.
    The above provides maximun participation at various levels, enthusiastic interest, learning from you and each other – and enjoyment.


  9. Look at procedures and processes too
    Shop floor people often have great ideas on how customer service can be managed, how procedures and processes can be simplified or smartened.

    Get them to think like managers may just be the challenge they need,

    Beryl Comar


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