Customer Service Training Program Guidelines
Create a Vision for Your Program
During a cold winter season, smart organizations get busy preparing for spring. One way to prepare is to create (or confirm) a clear and motivating vision of what you want to become. Back this vision up with customer service training and other measures and you can transform your business for the better. This vision can serve as a guiding light for customer service training and to focus your efforts now and in the future.
1. Why do I need an engaging service vision to assist with customer service training?
An engaging service vision is fundamental. It gives people a sense of purpose, value and meaning. It provides a platform on which to build customer service training programs. An engaging service vision is inspiring. It arouses feelings of ambition, enthusiasm and commitment that last well beyond customer service training.
An engaging service vision gives direction. It provides an unmistakable idea of what is sought, and what is not, delivering valuable customer service training in the process. Many organizations have some statement of commitment to service. And most of these statements fall flat and do nothing to bolster customer service training.
An engaging service vision captivates attention. It is distinctive, motivating and clear. It is unique, and powerful, and yours. Customers should hear your vision and say, Yes! That is who you are. Staff members should read your vision and say, Yes! That is who we want to be.
2. Why should my service vision be different from others?
How do you want to be known? Why are you different from the competition? What makes you stand out from the crowd? Promising "excellent service" is no longer enough to interest customers or staff. Excellence sounds good, but you intend to be excellent at what? A vision guides your actions, customer service training and can even mold your future.
Discover the style of service your customers value most, and then craft an engaging service vision to address and fulfill their needs. For example, excellent service in a hospital should be warm and caring, but that's not what you want at a computer store or car wash. You need a unique vision to guide customer service training for your distinct business.
Some restaurants are known to be elegant and expensive, but that's not what most customers want when the whole family goes out for dinner. A leading Roads and Transport Authority promises "Smooth and Safe Transportation for All." Think smooth roads and railways, but also smooth licensing procedures. Think safe travel, but also safe handling of your personal details and data. The Raffles Hotel has a mission statement that includes this vision: "...delighting patrons with many memorable experiences." People go to Raffles for good times and great memories, and Raffles staff members are delighted to make them happen. The vision backs up customer service training for the unique environment.
Wipro, a world class IT services provider from India, who caters to both domestic and international markets, promises to be the "Proactive Value Adding Service Partner" of choice. Their customers get new ideas from a company they can partner with for the future, not just a low cost vendor who only meets minimum specifications. This vision guides customer service training and inspires staff to perform. Singapore Airlines has a tag line that sets an extraordinary standard: "Service even other airlines talk about." Annual service awards praise those who go beyond the call of duty to make this tag line real. Customer service training programs back up the vision and help reinforce it. Xerox Emirates promises to be "Much Better than Expected." They are always coming up with new ways to surprise their customers and excite their staff.
Be clearly understood throughout the organization. An engaging service vision must make sense for those in the front office and the back office and at every level from top to bottom. Use clear and practical language, not theoretical and intellectual prose. Be sure to reinforce the organization's vision through customer service training.
Easily translate into action. When you hear an engaging service vision, you know what it means and you can figure out what to do. If someone reads your vision and asks "What does that mean?", then keep working. When they say "I get it. Let's do it!", then your vision is already in action.
Keep your vision up front. Put it on the wall and website. Put it in the wallet of every employee. Print it on your stationary. Pin it on your chest. Record it on your voice mail. Store it on your screen saver. Bring it up in every message, meeting and conversation. Use it in your customer service training.
Finally, make your vision a challenge. Meeting expectations and complying with specifications will not turn your people on. You need bolder language to drive them onwards. Your vision should challenge and offer a lesson in customer service training on its own.
A teacher was told that a few of her students had exceptionally high intelligence. Naturally she expected them to excel. Although their IQ was in fact similar to other students, those few performed much better. You are the teacher of your team and the principal of your future. What service performance do you want? What expectations do you require?
Make your service vision a challenge your team will deliver. Include your vision in your customer service training to help send the message home.