"Where there is no vision, the people perish." – King Solomon
Customer Service training, Quality Assessment, and Call Coaching are great tools for raising the customer experience and improving customer satisfaction. So why do they often create so much internal confusion, frustration, and irritation? Why is it so hard to get people to care?
I think wise King Solomon made a good point. You’ve got to have a vision for why you’re doing it and see the forest for the trees. Someone in management needs to keep their eyes on the big picture of what the team is trying to accomplish, constantly keep that vision in front of people at every level of the organization, and make sure that the vision is not lost in the day-to-day operations and machinations of the program. Otherwise, it becomes easy for QA to become nothing more than a legalistic list of meaningless checkmarks to the front-line. It becomes easy for supervisors to subvert objectivity and "give the CSR a break" because they don’t see the point in arguing the matter. It become easy for managers to manage to a number rather than care about what the number actually represents.
So what do you do?
- Make the customer part of your vision. Give constant reminders of what drives your customer’s satisfaction (if you don’t know what drives your customer’s satisfaction when they call – find out). Make actual customer feedback a key part of training, coaching and internal communications.
- Manage to customer expectations. It’s easy to default to an attitude of "that’s just the way we want it done so DO IT!" Sometimes it becomes a "you better get this SCORE or else!" But that doesn’t always motivate well. People need to know the "why", and they want to be part of something larger and more meaningful than getting a score. Walt Disney didn’t say "I want employees to be nice, clean, and well-behaved". He said he wanted "to make millions of people happy". Which do you think is more inspiring to a Disney cast member? When coaching or training, always refer to how a particular behavior or skill will positively impact the customer.
- Repeat. Many companies launch a QA or Customer Service initiative with a big meeting, some cool trinkets and a few posters thrown up on the wall. Two weeks later everyone has forgotten what you said in the meeting. The posters have been replaced by the latest HR notices and the trinkets are either broken, tossed, or thrown in the back of a desk drawer. People need to hear it. They need to hear it again. Then they need it said a different way. One of the important components of casting a vision for your team includes the responsibility to cast that vision again, and again, and again.