A special thanks to Kate Nasser for spending some time with me, chatting about her experiences training people on how to improve their interpersonal skills. In the excerpt below, we specifically discuss creative customer service training activities to help train your customer service team, but if you’d like to see our whole conversation, click here.
What are some good training activities that you’ve seen work well in a customer service department?
I’ll tell you the most creative idea I’ve ever seen – and most people would think of it as a training activity – it was absolutely brilliant!
I was speaking at a customer service conference and someone came up to me afterward and said “we’re doing something really great and I’d love to get some feedback on it!” This was 4 years ago and I still remember it!
What the manager did was printed up cards – like the size of a business card. On the front of it, it says “Thank you so much for your outstanding customer service today!” On the inside, there was empty space, so the person could write a specific note in it.
Now, as I’m saying this, you’re probably thinking he’s going to give them to his reps, right? Which, you could do, but, he didn’t.
Instead, he gave these blank cards to the reps and said “throughout your week, when you’re in a restaurant, or a dentist’s office, or a store, or car mechanic, or wherever, if you get great service, why don’t we share the kind of goodwill that we would like customers say to us.”
Then, they had a morning kickoff meeting and started the meeting with “Okay, who gave out a card and what was it for?”
So, basically, he had his entire department eating, sleeping, breathing customer service evaluations everywhere. It was such a simple idea and it didn’t cost a penny!
Yeah, you’re right, that would make everyone think about it all day, every day. That’s great!
It also puts the reps in the position of being able to assess the customer service of other people because they get cussed out by customers, measured by management, and over time you feel like you’re this kind of puppet dancing around and you have no control.
But, instead, he thought of a way to say “you’re a customer, go out there and asses the type of customer service you get and let’s start a pay-it-forward movement to tell the world that this is great service – thank you so much!”
Then, of course there are lots of creative ideas and activities that you can use in training sessions. I have this game where you have to a toss this ball around and it was very fast and they all have lots of fun, while they are learning for 4 c’s of customer service that I teach.
So, there are all kinds of fun activities you can do. I’ve used puzzles – I literally have a room full of toys in my office. People are like “what do you do for a living?”
It has to be fun, engaging, interactive, and respect who they are and what they know, while at the same time help them really open up and admit “hey, I didn’t really handle that one so well, so what can I do now?”
Learn how companies use Lessonly to train their customer service teams here.
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