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Trickle Down Customer Service Training

Jul 11, 2008
Everyone can make a difference in customer service. Every employee and every person. Whether your job is the CEO of a multi-million dollar company or the janitor of a mom and pop, you are invaluable to those around you. And customer service training starts from the top down.

When it comes to customer service, the people on the front line (because they are seen by the customer more often than the management) appear to be more in need of training. However, good customer service training starts from the top and trickles down to each and every member of the staff. That is why it is important to give customer service training to the management first to provide a strong foundation. Then and only then through employee training can they pass the information on to the rest of the staff.

In any business it is crucial that everyone be on board with the message and the goals of the training.

Just imagine how difficult it would be to train a minimum wage worker to do something that the high paid manager was not willing to do himself. One of the most crucial elements of customer service training is to allow the employees to visually see what is expected of them. Such as smiling at every customer, or remaining positive even in a negative situation.

Once while I was speaking to a large company on the importance of customer service I noted that the CEO spent the entire seminar sitting in the front row with his arms crossed and never once cracked a smile. At the end of the program I allowed some time for questions to which this CEO stood and asked me how to get his employees to smile more at work. He seemed to have no idea that his actions directly related to the atmosphere in his company.

What he needed was to understand the importance of trickle down customer service training. If he had focused on his positive attitude he would enjoy a staff with that same mentality.

But without this consistency from the management the employees would see no reason to comply. This of course will cause customer service training to fall by the wayside.

Managers and owners have to set a high standard for the service offered and then remain diligent to that standard. It is unreasonable to expect employees to follow rules not followed by their managers, so put the standards in place then start with customer service training at the top.
About the Author
Wendy Gillett is owner of ExtraordinaryCustomerService.com, a full service online membership site dedicated to Customer Service Training specializing in increasing profits through Customer Experience Optimization.
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