You wouldn't believe attending a course could take so long to organise but after an initial enquiry back in April of this year, Victoria & I were the first of our colleagues to attend the Customer Service and Sales Training course at the local college.
It felt a bit like being back at school as we headed into the building among all the other students and sat down at our desk, ready for a day of learning. We even had to leave the building at one stage, due to someone setting off the fire alarm!
Even more surprising was that we knew the lovely lady taking the course as Tracey from Eva Paris. We had been sitting with her at the North Down Business Awards only a week or so before. She still takes training courses as a sideline, as her business is only newly launched.
The course was being run by World Host in conjunction with the local tourist board, so there was an element of promoting your own area as well as Customer Care techniques to assist you in exceeding your customers expectations (which is actually one of our marketing strap lines!) Day 2 will cover Sales Training and will run next week, so we are looking forward to brushing up on our selling skills too.
We like to think we are already trying our very best to offer a high level of Customer Care and it was great to hear we are doing many things correctly, but it is always interesting to pick up new ideas. The top 3 things we are learnt and are going to implement are:
1) Using Customer Names More
As I mentioned before most of our orders are placed online and so we don't often see customers face to face, but we do talk to many on the phone & so we are going to introduce ourselves and find out their name at the start of all calls from now on. This will help to build a relationship between the member of staff and our customer and help them to feel valued and important.
2) The Importance Of Voice Tone & Pitch
We learnt about the 3 main aspects of communication - verbal, vocal and non-vocals. When asked which we thought was most important, Victoria & I couldn't decide as we thought they were all important. We were then show the research statistics which placed non-verbal communication as the most important. i.e your body language and facial expression. In 2nd place was vocal, as in the tone and pitch of your voice and the least important was verbal - the words you are actually saying.
We intend to make sure this is communicated to new members of staff and ensure we offer suitable training so as they are comfortable and confident on the phone and able to demonstrate their energy and enthusiasm for our customers.
3) Don't Get Defensive & Saying Sorry Isn't An Admission Of Guilt
Occasionally things might go wrong with a delivery or an item being damaged in transit and when they do we are always quick to apologise and rectify the situation. But what do you do when you believe a customer might be being unreasonable or accusing you of something you know isn't true? We learnt that apologising isn't an admission of guilt, but is often necessary to help diffuse the situation. LISTENING is also vital. We also learnt of the 4 different types of complainers (passive, constructive, professional & aggressive) and tips on how to handle them.
Overall we enjoyed our day at the course, and as well as confirming we are currently going about things in the correct way, it was great to pick up a few new tips and for the newer members of staff to benefit from extra training.
Comment below if you have been on a similar course and what you learnt.