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Columns : Influential Voice - Kim Welcome Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

Good intentions is no substitute for proper training
By Kim Welcome
Dec 30, 2011 - 12:45:19 PM

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It is not uncommon for employers to think that if they hire people who are nice and polite, there is no need to invest in customer service training. Erroneously, some employers believe that if they hire pleasant staff, that’s all that’s needed. Sourcing naturally friendly people for your front line is very important; however this is only the first step in ensuring your customers have a great experience. 

I can’t tell you how many times during my workshops I’ve witnessed “polite people” give their best effort only to demonstrate their honest ignorance of what is acceptable and unacceptable to say. Training helps to create self awareness, which is an important key in delivering exceptional service. 

Because we live in a society that is somewhat lacking in the area of customer service, we sometimes are unaware of what people from other places would consider inappropriate. You would be surprised to see and hear what “good” employees think is okay. 

Here are some real life responses of well meaning frontline staff: 

In response to a customer’s frustration with slow service, the restaurant hostess asked, “Why did you come at our busy time?” 

A sales girl politely asked the customer to please hurry up because it was closing time and she needed to pick up her child from the day care. 

A receptionist told a client that the person they were there to see is busy and to take a seat, without ever looking up from her computer. 

Training your staff to deal with customers, providing them with appropriate responses and giving them the tools they need to handle difficult situations conveys your company takes the business of their customers and clients seriously. 

Kim Welcome is CEO of Influential Voice, a Communication Trainer and Coach; she is committed to helping professionals and companies polish their vocal image. For more info email kimwelcome@influentialvoice. com .

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