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Customer service coaching


3 Responses

  1. Customer Service


    I recommend a dvd and training programme called ‘give em the pickle’ – we have used this on a lot of our customer service training.

    It is very simple but extremely effective.




  2. Customer Service


    I ask trainees to tell about bad customer service experiences they’ve had. Then we sum up what made the experiences bad on a whiteboard or flipchart i.e. the salesperson ignored them, the waiter was rude, the customer service rep didn’t care, etc.

    That becomes a list of what NOT to do. You can also write "opposite statements" as a list of what TO do i.e. acknowledge customers, be courteous, pay attention, be empathetic etc.

    A game I find successful is here:

    It adds some fun to the class and it’s useful. I’ve adapted it by getting real-life examples of odd/wacky customer questions from Customer Service Reps where I work, but since you’re in the hotel industry the examples given would probably be fine. 

    Best of luck!



  3. Good Customer Service Tips for Hotels

     Hi Ghiz,
    I have just noticed your post around implementing some customer service training within your hotel. I recall having the same role many years ago and thought I would share some tips and insights with you.

    1. Identify your current success and challenges in delivering customer service:  take a look at your current levels of customer satisfaction from guest surveys, and analyse your guest complaints in terms of the volume and nature to ensure the customer service training addresses these issues.

    2. Address attitudinal change as well as skills acquisition within the training: to reap the benefits and embed a genuine desire within the team to deliver exceptional customer service. Experiential exercises help to embed this mindset shift as well as getting the staff really involved in making suggestions for improving guest service, as long as these are implemented or at least are explained why they cannot be fully implemented.

    3. Draw out personal customer service experiences: by asking the staff to share an example of when they have received good customer service and bad customer service. Ask them to specifically identify what it was that made them view the service as either good or bad, helping you to draw out that service is the feeling, good or bad, that a person has when they are with YOU! You make the real difference.

    4. Step into the shoes of your guests: ask your staff to ‘step into the shoes’ of their guests, considering the different needs of your guests, e.g. business person, weekender, holiday maker, family with young children. Draw out what their needs are and get the staff to view the hotel services with their ‘eyes’. Capture the learning and the suggestions for change to pass these on to your management team for potential implementation. Even better if you can get your staff to fully utilize your services such as taking a soft drink in the bar, eating a meal in the restaurant, staying overnight.

    5. View competitor customer service: by running activities that get your staff telephoning another hotel to make a enquiry, having a soft drink in their bar/lounge area and reporting back their findings. This type of activity usually helps people to critique guest service from a non threatening perspective that you can then draw back their insights to how we offer guest service at our hotel, helping to change perceptions and mindsets.

    6. Provide communication skills training: such as telephone enquiry handling, face to face greeting guests, embedding your guest service standards as you go. If you do not have some basic pre agreed guest service standards, then get your staff involved during the training to help define these, e.g. answering a telephone call within three rings. Give the staff some practical scenarios of using these communication skills so that they discuss how then would handle them and then get them to practice these scenarios to build their skills and confidence. Encourage them to support one another and give each other some constructive and motivational feedback.

    7. Provide training in dealing with difficult situations and complaint handling: to ensure staff have the opportunity to share best practice and build their confidence in dealing with these situations. Running a practical demonstration of how not to handle the guest followed by a good example can help you draw out the techniques. Give staff the time to then practice these situations themselves.

    8. Develop product knowledge: by introducing quizzes and opportunities to learn more about other areas of the hotel. This will help your staff in confidently explaining these to your guests and may well increase your hotel sales.

    9. Get managers involved: by sharing your training plans with them, asking for their contribution and ideas and update them on the progress of your training. Ask the managers to provide you with feedback on the changes they have observed following the training. You may even be able to get a manager to introduce the first training session to explain why this is so important, more willing managers may even support you with practical demonstrations.

    10. Involve the staff in developing the training: by asking them what they would like to learn and how, giving you feedback at each training session, capturing all their ideas on improving guest service and providing feedback on these. Ask them how they would like to keep the momentum of the training going afterwards, e.g. customer service forums, features within daily briefings and team meetings.

    11. Measure the outcome of the training: returning to your guest surveys and complaint record after a period of time e.g. on a quarterly basis. Draw out what these are now telling you. Feed back and celebrate the success to the hotel team and embed the lessons learnt into future training.

    I hope these tips have been helpful. The key to customer service training is in developing the right attitude and mindset in your team. If a member of staff genuinely wants to help a guest, the guests will recongise this and feel as though they have experienced great service.

    Further Good Customer Service Tips can be found on our web site. I wish you every success in implementing a great customer service programme.

    Kind regards,
    Kim Larkins

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