Training Within Business, Page 25, September 2019 Edition
Customer Service hasn’t always been a priority within UK business. So many companies, especially in the current climate, are more interested in making money and therefore, the first thing in the financial budget which is trimmed, and in some cases, completely abandoned, is training.
Companies can ask themselves, why should we pay for our staff to be trained, when we can save money, and at the end of the financial year end up in the black? As far as senior management are concerned, the company has made a saving of several thousands of pounds, made a profit, so flourishes financially. However, what is not considered is the amount of potential customers – and staff for that matter – who they have lost, due to the lack of investment in customer service training for their staff. This is never taken into account when it comes to making money. This is, in my opinion, a very short-sighted outlook by any business. Every organisation wants to be a success and profit margins need to look healthy, however any form of training is imperative in order to allow staff to not only learn, but to help them grow and to keep them motivated. Realistically, it’s not just about the money!
Starting from basics, customer service training should be compulsory within all companies. It should not just be introduced to customer facing staff, but to all staff. Whatever your occupation, you should be aware of and be able to display basic customer service skills, which can be transferable across all professions. It is not just for your customers, but just as importantly for your work colleagues. Without a good professional working relationship with your colleagues, it’s not a pleasant work environment. This can impact on the standard of work by individuals, and can lead to an increase in staff turnover.
For so many years, customer service training has been acknowledged, but it is not been addressed as a pivotal component within many company policies, because there is always something else which is more important and superior. Therefore, training, especially customer service training, becomes secondary to other business needs and priorities. What is not taken into consideration though, is how much potential business has been lost, because of the lack of good customer service skills.
By introducing training for staff as a higher priority in companies, this will ultimately enable and encourage staff to become more motivated and productive. Psychologically, they will start to feel that they are being invested in, and that they are of importance to the company. This will, in turn, show management the potential of their staff, because they will work at a more productive level. It will give the management the opportunity to evaluate any shortfalls in performance standards and identify more specific and relevant training accordingly.
Any form of training of staff is a positive deed, as we should always be ready to learn something new. If companies invested specifically in customer service training, poor customer service would be a rare occurrence, instead the epidemic it is now, and companies would flourish - as trained staff will be happy staff!
Reeta Minhas-Judd is Managing Director of RMJ Training Services, who specialises in customer service training.