Foot in the Door
Category : Articles
Foot in the Door
Introduction – PowerPoint
Starr and Impeccable Training Centre is a company providing training for people in many occupational areas. We offer short course training and NVQ??™s. We work with companies, schools, local business, local councils and the government to provide job-based learning. We are here today to give you an insight into the importance of good customer service and hard work in today??™s employment environment and also help you with any future job search.
Describe the process
Icebreaker ??“ introduce who you are, what school you??™re from, tell me your dream job and dream salary and how you will get there…
Opening Discussion Point in small groups
So we can have a better understanding of how to direct the training, what sort of jobs have you got or been looking for
What is your definition of Customer Service
How would having a job benefit you
Benefits of Working
* ???Foot in the Door??? to the working environment
* Gaining skills that last ie: Shelf Stacker: customer service, team building, stock control, time management, ICT. This could then lead to a higher position as a Cashier which would require training.
* Building confidence ??“ self-esteem, learning your independence and gaining responsibility.
* People skills ??“ learning to get on with people from other backgrounds etc.
* Growth within a company: start off stacking shelves and end up as a manager ??“ Richard Branson!
* Further training- now more popular within larger corporations eg. Customer Service, Health & Safety, Manual Handling etc.
* Money ??“ bank account/ savings account/ improved credit: Understanding the value of money
We need to begin by identifying who the customers are.
Direct Customers (people you know)
* Your employer
* The customer
* The customer??™s employees/ colleagues
* Your work colleagues
Indirect Customers (people you don??™t know)
* Sub contractors
* Emergency service personnel
* Delivery/dispatch personnel
* Neighbouring companies
* Local residents
* Telephone callers
* The customer??™s customer
* Statutory agency staff
There are many reasons why good customer service is essential to the success of any business and in your position, you can play a vital role within this area. Why is good customer service essential
* Encourages customers to return;
* Increased profits and expansion of the business;
* Builds confidence and earns respect;
* Defuses potentially aggressive situations;
* Increases trust between you and the customer;
* Assists when dealing with emergencies;
* Maintains the reputation of the business;
* Maintains the reputation of the industry.
It is important that you understand how to promote good customer service and avoid bad customer service. So what promotes good customer service and how do we prevent poor customer service
Bad Customer Service
Poor customer service can be the result of:-
* A lack of understanding and knowledge of your job role:
Job role descriptions
* Tasks you are required to carry out and emergency and operational procedures.
* Ineffective communication skills.
* Deficiencies in training.
* Failing to co-operate with company policies and procedures.
* Lack of commitment or poor attitude towards customers or work related tasks.
* Avoidance of issues or problems.
The three golden rules of customer service
Customer service is essential to the success, progression, and the survival of any business and requires a great deal of thought. Customers expect and in some cases, demand good quality customer service; after all, they can go elsewhere with their business. What we need to ensure is that the business stays with your company. There are six golden rules of customer service that, if followed, will increase the chances of the customer remaining loyal to your company.
1. Acknowledge the customer.
* Greet the customer, make them feel welcome and use eye contact.
* Make every effort to assist or help the customer.
* Avoid delay in acknowledging or responding to the customer.
2. Establish the customer??™s needs.
* Establish the needs of the customer. Gather all relevant details and facts.
* Prioritise the response to customers in order of need or urgency. Acknowledge customers who are considered to be of lower priority and inform them that you will be with them as soon as possible or find alternative ways of dealing with them.
* Identify the mood of the customer and think carefully about the approach you will take.
* Will they or have they had to wait for any considerable time What can you do to make their wait less tedious or stressful i.e. is there a comfortable seating area, are there magazines to read or can they obtain refreshments whilst they wait
* Keep the customer informed at all times if delays occur and ask if they are able to wait.
3. Put yourself in the customer??™s position.
* Listen carefully to the customer and acknowledge by responding verbally or by using non-verbal communication.
* Explain the rationale behind certain procedures if resistance is met at any time to establish full understanding.
* When people are annoyed, inconvenienced or upset their manner can change and they may become aggressive. However, by showing empathy, the customer will believe you are on their side and may become calmer.
Dealing with difficult customers
1. Apologize ??“ carefully worded! ie. I apologize for any inconvenience this issue has caused you and I will do my best to rectify the problem.
2. Sympathize- most times the customer wants to vent anger so let them talk and listen to what they have to say without interrupting, let them finish and they will usually be easier to communicate with for it. Think about when you are angry!
3. Computer mode ??“ do not convey emotion! This tactic deflects, diffuses and disarms the angry customer. If you get angry or impatient with them this will fuel their anger ??“ don??™t take the bait.
4. Empathize ??“ put yourself in their position.
Employers are now looking for people who can do more than just perform a set of tasks. Qualifications are not the sole thing employers look for in a candidate. Basic skills which do not require formal training are increasingly being looked on as vital qualities. It is essential that you know what your soft skills are and how to fully utilise them effectively. Understanding your role within the company / team could make you stand out and help you on your journey to a successful career. The following are the main soft skills:
These include the ability to lead, motivate and delegate. They are important at every level and should always be evident. Good interpersonal skills are essential if you want to progress professionally.
When working in a team there are 2 issues which must be considered for success. First: the task at hand and problems that may be involved when doing it. Second: the process of the teamwork itself and the procedures that will ensure the team works cohesively. By understanding both these processes, you can clarify group objectives and improve the overall result.
You should be able to achieve maximum results but still maintain successful ongoing relationships. Keeping conversations and environments as positive as possible will help you build relationships based on openness, trust, understanding and mutual respect. The best way to be a good negotiator is to imagine yourself in the other person??™s situation and see things from their perspective. This will allow you to present your argument in a considerate and un-patronising manner.
Speaking clearly and coherently will allow effective communication with others. Remember that people respond more to how you say something rather than what you actually say ??“ don??™t forget body language and tone of voice.
Being able to communicate your ideas well in a written manner is essential to illustrate your higher level skills. These are more important for senior level positions and could be essential to you securing a promotion.
Communication is a two-way process and being able to listen is just as important as being able to talk the talk. Just giving somebody the opportunity to speak what is on their mind could be a secret weapon to dispersing a potentially aggressive situation.
Time Management skills
This doesn??™t just mean being on time to work! Time management shows you can prioritise your workload and manage your time effectively. You can identify your responsibilities as such: visible tasks like filing and admin can build up on your desk as a physical presence whilst things like planning and long term strategies can take on a less obvious form. It is important to get a balance for both.
Some people excel when made to work to tight deadlines whilst others compromise the quality of their work in order to complete tasks on time. The bets way to prepare for this is to plan ahead by identifying:
* The objectives
* The tasks/ process which will need to be completed to meet the objectives
* The time you expect to complete
How do I identify my soft skills
Think about what sets you apart from other people, what traits make you unique Do you always reach deadlines Or have a great attitude Ask friends, family, teachers what your qualities are- good points and points and look for consistencies. You can identify your strengths and work to improve your weaknesses.
Think about what skills would be needed in the job you are looking for. For example, cashier: friendly nature,
Providing evidence of your skills
1st: stated on your CV. 2nd: explained during your interview. 3rd: demonstrated through your working career.
The most common way is to describe and analyse a situation you have been involved in when you have depended on your skills. Consider the whats, whens, hows, whys to help communicate your point.
Developing new skills
Be aware if every opportunity that could help you to develop your skills. For example at work: any training schemes you could partake in, meetings, seminars are always a good place to enhance your abilities. Set goals for yourself and ask the help of others who may have a particular talent for what you desire. Continual learning keeps your mind healthy and most jobs require some element of learning. Don??™t be afraid to ask if you??™re interested in a particular aspect of work, it will show your keenness to learn and your interest in improving yourself/ quality of work.
Online job search ??“ dummy application form, telephone interviews, applying online