A recent Colmar Brunton – David Foreman training survey found only 17 percent received training related to customer service in the last 12 months. This result reflects the recent comments from John Key Minister of Tourism and Kevin Bowler CEO Tourism New Zealand that service levels need to lift across the industry and feedback we are continually receiving from customers regarding service and experience levels.
We have been warning business about this for sometime now and still the message is not getting through according to Chris Bell Managing Director of Customer Experiences a company that specialises in customer experience and service development.
The outdated practise of sending front-line teams to customer service training workshops is now understood by many to be an ineffective approach to this vital area of business performance and for many a waste of time and money.
This is also reflected in the survey results with only 50 percent saying the training they did received helped them in their current roles.
What is not widely understood by business is what is now required to improve customer service and experience levels in today’s highly competitive environment
A recent Colmar Brunton survey found that 62% of people had stopped dealing with a company in the past year, of those 70% had done so because of a bad customer experience.
Chris Bell says business is not entirely to blame for these results, customer service training providers need to look at themselves, their training products, there approach to skill development training, and the environment business is operating in and be more accountable for their results.
This is the only way business will be encouraged to investment more money in this area. They must see real results otherwise; their investment will just be seen as another business cost.
What’s happening is that customer service training is currently being addressed in isolation, and is usually a reactive responds to customer complaints or customer defection, when it should be treated as a vital part of the total businesses strategy to develop a sustainable competitive advantage.
Chris Bell has looked closely at why this approach of trying to improve customer service delivery in isolation is not working and has found when customer service training is carried out without a proper customer experience foundation, the training itself has very little impact on changing employee behaviour and ultimately little impact on improving customer experiences”
Business must understand that everyone within an organisation plays an important role in the ultimate experience a customer will have with a business. It is not just up to the front-line, so total involvement in defining that experience so everyone understands what it is a business is striving to deliver and the part each individual plays in the consistent delivery of the experience.
Customer Experiences has just launched an online customer experience development programme www.customerexperiences.co.nz that allows a business to work through a seven step development process with support from Bell during the process.