Customer demands and the rise in competition have caused many companies to focus on customer service and relations. The ability to provide great customer services has much to do with the success of many individuals and companies. Customer service isn’t about giving the customer exactly what they want. It involves skills such as problem solving, empathy, interpersonal skills, communication, and leadership abilities. Employee performance can be improved in many ways. Training is one way to emphasize employee performance. Each customer interaction is a representation on the company.
How the employee handles the interaction is a direct determination of whether the customer will return. Justify the use of a needs assessment of your company’s proposed employee customer service training, stressing five (5) ways in which such an assessment would expose any existing performance deficiencies. When conducting a needs assessment, there are three areas that must be considered: organizational needs, occupational needs, and individual needs. Organizational assessment evaluates the level of organizational performance.
An assessment of this type will determine what skills, knowledge, and abilities an agency needs. It determines what is required to alleviate the problems and weaknesses of the agency. Occupational assessment examines the skills, knowledge, and abilities required for affected occupational groups. Occupational assessment identifies how and which occupational discrepancies or gaps exist. Individual assessment analyzes how well an individual employee is doing a job and determines the individual’s capacity to do new or different work.
Individual assessment provides information on which employees need training and what kind. A needs assessment is a wise investment for the organization. It saves time, money and effort by working on the right problems. Determining the needs of employees is a significant aspect of human resource management process. Knowing how many employees are in need of training and what particular training is needed are the keys to assessing the company’s need for the customer service training. The major objective of a needs assessment is to answer common questions such as who, what, when, why, and how.
Who needs to be trained and who will benefit from the training? What type of training will be needed and what will be the product of the training? When does this training need to take place? Why is this training needed? How will the training be facilitated? Answering these questions will expose any existing performance deficiencies. Conducting needs assessment protects the organization from unnecessary training. A need assessment helps to know whether training is the ideal solution to a performance deficiency.
If the training will not increase the employees’ knowledge and skill level, the deficiency problem will not be resolved and the training is irrelevant. Who receives training and who benefits from training? The people who deal with customers most will need to be included in the training program. These people are the face of the company. If they are unable to provide great customer service, the customers may leave the company. The frontline employees are often times the only employees that a customer will encounter.
Once training is complete, not only does the company benefit but the customers do as well. What type of training is need and what will be the product of training? Determine what type of training is needed. Do the employees need training on resolving customer issues, showing empathy, communications, acknowledging customer issues, or owning the customer issues and resolutions? What is the expected outcome of the training? When does the training need to be provided? Determine what the earliest and latest date the training should be offered in order to be effective.
If the training is not offered in a timely manner, the company may suffer from the lack of customer service. Should the training be provided to new employees before they ever begin to work with customers or should the training be offered only to employees who have been with the company for a while? Why conduct the training? “To tie the performance deficiency to business need and confirm that the positive outcome of training employees outweighs the problems inherent in performance deficiency” (Tobey, 2005). Why is this training needed now versus in the past? What factors have changed?
How will the training be facilitated? Determine whether training needs to be online, in class, or on the job. Employees learn differently. The method of training should be determined based on the employees that will be receiving the training. A combination of methods may be needed for a group of employees that learn differently. Develop a customer service training implementation plan and determine the method of training (i. e. , presentation, discussion, case study, discovery, role play, simulation, modeling, or on-the-job training). There are numerous methods of training employees.
These methods include but are not limited to simulations, on- the job training, presentation, discussion, case study, web based training, and mentor programs. For this customer service training, I will use web-based training. Web-based training has several advantages. •Convenience. Employees are able to take training at any time. They are not bound to a set schedule and can take the classes during times that production is not busy. •Employees are able to work at their own pace. If an area needs to be revisited, the employee can go back without holding up an entire class.
Employees are able to reflect in greater depth on responses to questions or activities posed in training before making their answers. •Individuals are able to take advantage of lifelong learning without relocating or quitting their jobs. (“The benefits of,” ) •Web-based training is generally less expensive than other forms of training. •Web-based trainings often include simulations and case study exercises •“Individual characteristics such as physical disabilities remain anonymous to other participants, thus eliminating judgments and stigmas often associated with particular disabilities. (“The benefits of,” )
•WBT emphasizes a learner-centered approach to training versus simply logging the number of hours spent in training. Employees are required to participate in the learning in order to earn credit for the class, thus actually learning the information. Propose two (2) ways to motivate an employee who has no interest in attending a training class. Many employees are reluctant to attend training classes because they do not understand the purpose of the class or feel there is no need for any changes.
The most obvious way to motivate employees to attend training is make the training mandatory. Mandatory trainings are often times coupled with merit increases and bonuses. If employees fail to take mandatory classes, they are not eligible for their merit increase or any bonuses that the company may offer. Though reluctant, employees will take mandatory training classes to ensure they are eligible for these incentives. Though making training mandatory is a likely way to ensure employees attend, it is not very likely they will listen and learn.
If all they have to do is attend to get credit for the class, they will show up, but what will be the outcome? Another incentive to motivate employees to attend training is providing additional incentives such as certifications or extended lunch break on the day of training. Also, try to make the training fun and engaging. Grasp the audience’s attention. Provide refreshments. And allow the employee to determine what form of training they are going to attend (web-based, classroom, on-the-job). Reduce the amount of stress that may arise due to work piling up while away from the office.
Many employees do not want to attend training because they are concerned with the amount of work they will have waiting when they return to the office. Management should shift work to other areas for those attending training so there is no pile up awaiting their return. This is done much easier in a call center setting where calls can be routed to a different area. Develop a survey to collect feedback from the employees who attend the training Customer satisfaction surveys are used to gather feedback as to whether the business is meeting the needs of the customer and whether the customer would recommend a friend to the company.
The same should be done with employees who participate in training. Feedback is necessary in training to determine if the training was useful, if anything new was learned, if what was covered will be used in the daily tasks of the employee, and how the course could be changed to be more beneficial to the company. Survey should be anonymous to ensure the employee there is no retaliation from management if the feedback is negative.