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Ten Tips for Customer Service Supervisors

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

1.  Share stories of great service within your company, agency or location. Use bulletin boards, email or meetings—whatever you’ve got at your disposal.

 

2. Ask customers what they want! You can use surveys or focus groups to get feedback from customers directly OR ask employees what they’ve been hearing from customers in the way of wants, needs and desires.

 

3.  Look! Listen! Learn! Have employees actively check out what other organizations are doing –both good and  bad. (It’s especially great when you can have them observe what the competition is doing.)  Recognize or reward them when they bring forth observations your team can use to improve its service level.

 

4.  Regularly reward employees for giving great service. Small and inexpensive rewards can work well.  For example: movie tickets, coupons to leave work a half-hour early, a pass to park in the boss’s space for a week, etc.

 

5.  Post key customer service concepts in prominent places.  Add visuals and snappy phrases.  Post in the break room, cafeteria or on entry/exit doors.

 

6.  Ask employees to keep a lightbulb list nearby so they can jot down new ideas to improve customer service as they occur.  Reward and recognize employees whose ideas are implemented.

 

7.  Train employees by: providing brown bag lunch learning sessions where you bring in a guest speaker or motivational video; sending them offsite for a community college training course  or paying for them to take a course online; maintaining a lending library of self-study audio CDs, DVDs, books and periodicals.

 

8.  Job Rotation Day.  Designate one day a month when a number of employees cross-train and learn a little bit about somebody else’s job.  Draw names randomly so everyone gets a chance to do this over time.  This gives employees a chance to see the big picture of the workplace and gives employees who don’t typically interact with customers an opportunity to do so.

 

9.  Revolving Brainstorm Bulletin Board.  Set up a webpage or suggestion box for employees to bring forth customer service problems (anonymous is usually best). Post the problems and provide methods for other employees to propose possible solutions.

 

10.  Have fun at work!  Studies show happy employees are healthier and they give better service. Here are just a few ideas:

 

·         Awards – Create a rotating award relevant to your organization.  The awards can be funny or serious.  Once a month, give the award to a team member.

·         Decorate – Decorate the workplace for holidays or seasons.

·         No Reason Parties – Throw a little party for no reason at all.

·         Ice Cream Social – Walk around and hand out a selection of ice cream treats.  If your employees work on a retail floor, put them in the freezer for everyone to have on their break.

This material excerpted from the Leader’s Guides to the video programs Remember Me and Fun is Good.

Need more help in this area? CRM’s new video program, WAYMISH (Why Are You Making It So Hard…for me to give you my money), comes with a special video just for supervisors.  Find out why WAYMISH was voted a “Best Product 2009” by Training Media Review.

Getting learners to use company library resources?

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Getting people to use learning resources in the company library can be tricky, Kathleen Miller-Buettner and Susan Hayley-Gates say.

Their library has books, videos and audio tapes on communication skills, management skills, balancing work and home lives, and dozens of other topics.

But, as in many organizations, the materials once went mostly unused.

To encourage corporate library use—and learning—the training department initiated a TOM (theme of the month) Club. Membership is free. Each month has a topical theme – effective feedback, industry information and the like. Trainers, however, don’t disclose what the month’s theme is. Instead they post clues throughout the office and via email on the first day of each month. Employees guess the theme, placing their guess in one of the special TOM Club raffle boxes around the workplace.

On the 10th of each month, trainers collect the boxes. The names of participants who correctly identified the theme go into another box, and a winner is drawn. That person receives a prize.

For the rest of the month, material on the theme of the month is posted throughout the office, and a library listing of related materials is published. Seminars, computer-based tests, and games during the month reinforce the theme.

Secret “TOM VPs” randomly ask employees what the theme is. Those who know receive a gift certificate to a local bookstore.

“We recently developed an ASK TOM! feature,” Hayley-Gates said, “in which employees can send messages to the TOM Club asking for more information on a topic. This is done via the email system. Trainers field the questions.”

Enthusiasm about the TOM Club has raised awareness of learning resources to use at their convenience—and they’re using them.

 

 

Used with permission of The Bob Pike Group ©2009. Originally appeared on the Bob Pike Group Web site, www.bobpikegroup.com. This is a Classics Corner tip from a past issue of Bob Pike’s Creative Training Techniques newsletter.
 

 

 


 

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