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Michelle Rafferty

Standard Life

HR consultant

Read more from Michelle Rafferty

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Internal Customer care training


Looking for ideas on running internal cuatomer care workshops in a manufacturing environment. Needs to be engaging and fun

3 Responses

  1. Internal Customer Care Training

     Hi Michelle,

    Depends on how much time you have…but a very effective exercise we’ve run is ‘mystery shopping’ – split the group up into pairs of thress and set them a benchmarking exercises. Basically let them out into the the local area to experience examples of how other organisations treat their customers.

    Rather than this being just a shopping trip, set them specific thing items to enquire on (A Car / Clothes/Food/Entertainment/ Electrical Goods etc….anything that’s in the local area) and set them specific criteria to rate their experience on…(How were they greeted / treated/ how soon were they engaged/what was the tone/body lanaguage/appearance/manner of the customer service rep/how helpful were they).

    Then in review consider their experiences…what impressions does this create on the brand/company/product…would they recommend to others or avoid..what are the consequences for business? 

    If you link it in with ‘Moments of truth’ or Net promoter score theories it can be very engaging, fun and informative.

    Hope that helps



  2. Internal customer service training

    I am currently working with a large manufacturing employer delivering eight 3 hour workshops for a group of 18 staff on improving the internal customer service network. They are experiencing conflict between depts with some dept managers being quick to lose their tempers and creating an atmosphere, they have a blame culture. One of the requests from the employer was to address these issues and  to make it fun and interesting.

    I have delivered 3 sessions to date and the feedback has been very positive.

    I have started off each session with a different fun icebreaker. Explained my aims and objectives then went into the difference between an internal and external customer.

    On the first session I briefly covered the issues, using scenarios and group tasks.

    I finished by setting them course work to complete for the next session. (I took this from C&G smartscreen resource site)

    The second session again covered the issues but in more detail, I also researched large blue chip companies on their customer service charter, the fines that the two big utility companies have recently received for poor service. How poor internal service leads to poor external service, I went on various sites to gain statistics. Every 20 mins approx I got them to do tasks, again the resources on smartscreen are quite useful. I also played games, chinese whispers, pass the parcel etc.

    The third session (employer changed programme at this stage)  to introduce a staff forum and develop an improvement plan for both internal and external customers. The feedback from the MD has been exciting and there is a buzz now amongst his staff,  they are beginning to realise why working together is important for the success of the business. The comments from the staff are they have been thinking about their actions before reacting to a problem and are now looking forward to the next session.

    This is a trial with the company and if successful it will be rolled out to all employees.

    Hope this helps.




  3. Koosh balls!

    At the risk of ‘self-promotion’, I have a ready-written course available on this very topic….

    One of my favourite exercises is a simple koosh ball activity, which I have taken directly from the course materials:

    Ask delegates to stand in a circle, and ask each to wear a label of a typical company department e.g. finance, marketing, HR, sales, customer service etc. Give yourself a label…”Customer”.

    Toss a koosh ball to an appropriate ‘department’ e.g. sales or customer service, shouting out that department. Ask that person to throw the koosh ball to someone else. It doesn’t matter who, but try to make it across the circle. This should continue until everyone has handled the ball once, when the final person sends it back to you.

    Explain that often this is the way of customer requests or complaints…they get passed around internally before the result gets back to the customer.

    Repeat the activity, trying to go a little faster. Everyone should throw to the same person they threw to before.

    Keep it going and gradually add in more koosh balls, until there are almost as many balls as there are people. Delegates will begin to drop balls and chaos will soon ensue.Stop the activity and discuss what happened. E.g:

    ·      Why did finance (for example) drop so many balls?

    ·      What did you do when you ended up with three?

    ·      Why did HR throw the ball to Sales (for example) when Sales was busy retrieving a ball that had gone awry?

    ·      And so on.

    Make the link that often at work we are so focussed on what we have to do, we don’t always think about (or care) what others are having to deal with, and the impact that has on the customer.

    Hope this is useful.

    Sheridan Webb – Keystone Development

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Michelle Rafferty

HR consultant

Read more from Michelle Rafferty

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