By Joe Lipham, Training Account Manager, Signature Worldwide
My 18-year old daughter was preparing for her first night as a food server for a major hotel chain. She excitedly talked about her new job, and as a proud dad and hospitality professional, I wanted to offer her my insights. As I started into the “dad speech,” my daughter waved me off and said, “Dad, you and Mom made sure we had good manners!”
This is where the distinction begins in educating a customer service representative (CSR). Good manners are not the proactive customer service that is necessary in today’s competitive world. Good manners are a great start, but a CSR has to be able to do so much more.
In the hiring process, we can gather a sense of the manners the applicant may have. The “Yes, sir,” “Thank you,” and “Please” gives us a sense of what we can expect when the new hire starts interacting with their customers. However, to maximize the growth of a proactive CSR, the key is to educate them each day on their customer encounters. For example, a young couple with a small child checks into your hotel. Does your CSR inquire if the couple needs a crib? Or does he or she simply let the couple check in and assume that they will call down later asking for that crib?
So how do we “educate” the CSR?
By equipping the CSR with the proper training, ongoing reinforcement, and coaching, the manners will automatically come into play. Just like my daughter, with the wave of her hand, the CSR now should be ready to incorporate the proper manners as part of the overall job function. Feeling more confident in their ability to ask the right questions, and recommending solutions to the questions, your CSR now will have a genuine interest in the customer, leading to great customer service that is guaranteed to wow the customer.
Joe Lipham is a Training account manager for Signature Worldwide, a Dublin, OH-based company offering sales and customer service training, marketing, and mystery shopping services for a variety of service-based industries. For additional information, call 800.398.0518 or visit www.signatureworldwide.com. You also can connect with Signature Worldwide on Twitter @SignatureWorld and on Facebook.