One of the trends we’ve noticed through the years of doing Quality Assessment, training and coaching is that permanent behavior change is a slow process. You may have a mile-long list of habits you want a CSR to perform, but you shouldn’t expect a person to build lasting habits overnight. Too often we’ve witnessed CSRs hit the phones after a coaching or training session trying to do too much too soon. They do great for the first couple of calls but then with too on which to focus, they become discouraged and fall back into old patterns.
It’s been said that it takes 21 days to make a habit (or was is 51 days? maybe 30?). The key is to have only a couple of things on which to focus. If a CSR can focus on a couple of behaviors for 3-4 weeks, they will typically begin to build habits into lasting behaviors.
We’ve regularly ran contests to try and motivate people to work on their service skills. It’s amazing to watch the charts as people do really well for a short burst, but then their service level quickly drops back down to mediocre.
Steps to building good service habits:
- Make a list of all the behaviors you need to work on.
- Prioritize the list. Determine the behavior or behaviors (no more than three) that will have the greatest positive impact on your customers.
- Focus on these few behavior(s) daily until your realize that they have become an unconscious part of your service delivery.
- Replace the newly formed habit with the next behavior on your priority list.
Slow and steady improvement is the key to lasting behavior change. Slow and steady wins the race.