Last week’s Monday Morning Stretch sure did strike a resonant chord with our subscribers. We were swamped all week with comments, kudos, and questions about the need for developing this high level of dedicated team members and elevated communication skills. I even received this email from my assistant, Kelly Case:
I just got a call from a woman who works for the Education Corporation of America. She said that she’s a long-time follower of your MMS and has heard you speak before and is a fan. She said she loved this week’s MMS so much that she forwarded it to the head at their company who then forwarded it to their entire company. And, because of it, they are having a company-wide training where they will role play how to turn a ‘no’ into a ‘yes.’ She just wanted to call and tell you that. I told her how thrilled you would be to hear it and how much we appreciated her calling to tell us.
We’re thrilled to have stirred the pot a bit on the importance of training your team to understand your commitment to top-notch client service and to make the time to train that level of skill. If you want to make sure that your team can and will interact at this advanced level with clients, I believe you must work on three things: 1) their mindset, 2) their skill set, and 3) their tool set.
Mindset: Mindsets stem from beliefs. Expertly communicating and delivering exceptional client service consistently requires your team to believe that these skills are critically important to your vision, brand, and overall reputation in the marketplace. They must feel that it is not only possible to do but essential. Teams who excel at delivering this level of service often see it as a fun and rewarding game of turning negatives into positives, resolving conflicts, creating raving fans from even the most disgruntled customers, and finding creative ways to create win/wins. These teams are united in their faith in the overall goodness of people, the power of respect and empathy, and the boomerang effect of kindness and generosity.
Skillset: And then… you have to train, train, and train some more. At LionSpeak, we believe in the old adage of “inspect what you expect,” meaning that discussing this is not enough. Mastery comes from learning, observing, practicing, and evaluating. We teach high-level communication skills, and then we demonstrate those skills for our trainees in real time with real issues. We have found this to be one of the most convincing and powerful tools in our training arsenal. Then, we create engaging, safe, and effective ways for the team to practice the new skills with us being right there to guide and correct. We start with the simplest elements, and as mastery takes hold, we begin to layer on real-life complexity so that the team’s confidence grows. Lastly, we recommend ongoing evaluation to cement the learning and maintain the standards. This can include mystery shopper calls, secret shopper visits, or random observations with evaluations and ongoing training.
Toolsets: Communication and client service toolsets might include customized telephone intake sheets, “scenario of the month” discussions at team meetings, easy-to-access cheat-sheets for resolving conflicts, daily reminders at morning meetings, easy-to-follow protocols for certain types of communications, mentoring partnerships, and monthly client service book clubs at work.
Most of us did not learn these high-level communication, conflict resolution, or client service skills at home or at other jobs. We set ourselves up for failure and ongoing frustration if we assume that people will just naturally know how to do this and understand how or when to use these skills… or that once trained, they are masters forever more.
This week discuss your team’s client service and conflict resolution mindset. Take a look at your system for elevating those skills and provide the necessary tools to support your team’s efforts. Lastly, create a method for ongoing support, evaluation, and continued advancement.
If the expert team of coaches at LionSpeak can assist you in any way with implementing high-level mindsets, skillsets, or toolsets for mastering client service or communication… just say the word. We’re standing by, just waiting for your call or email!
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life,
and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.”
~~Steve Jobs, CEO Apple