If you feel like you’ve tried everything to improve your team’s customer service skills – jokes, threats and rewards – but nothing seems to be getting through to the members of your mobile staff, it may be time for some fresh customer service training ideas to get back on the right track.Training isn’t a cure-all, but it is a great way to make sure everyone's hearing the same message at the same time. Your mobile staff may resist taking time away from their day jobs, but consider training an unmatched investment in customer satisfaction.
Have your team name all of their customers – internal and external.
Have each member of the team list by name all of the people they spoke with that day or the previous day. If they can't remember the name, have them name one detail that made that person unique. Identifying and thinking about individuals automatically makes us think of them as people, not tasks, and that's the first step in excellent customer service.
If your team doesn’t interact with external customers, they may not consider what they do customer service. Encourage an internal customer service mentality by having them do the above activity, but list all of the coworkers they had contact with. What could they say or do in the future to help that person do their job more effectively and achieve the company's or agency's goals together?
You can reframe the way they approach their work with the idea that everyone they come into contact with is a “customer” whose satisfaction and loyalty are key, even if they’re internal. Your mobile staff may be the only ones who provide your particular service for your company, but that doesn’t mean they should take your internal customers for granted.
Have the team brainstorm customer service skills and tactics that they enjoy when they’re on the customer end of a transaction, and collaborate on ways to emulate those skills and tactics to turn the team’s internal reputation around. Make improving internal customer feedback a goal for everyone’s next performance review.
Identify the source of the problem, whether it’s the people, the technology or both.
Spend time observing your staff in situations where problems have arisen in the past, to determine the source of the issue. For example, if there's a problem with orders being inaccurate, it could be due to incorrect use of mobile radios correctly to reduce background noise during conversations. Or maybe they’re hard for customers to understand for the same reason. If unmitigated noise is the problem, and you have the right mobile radios for your situation, the solution may be as simple as holding a refresher course on using the radios the right way.
You can also remind staff about the importance of making sure they have everything right before they sign off. Suggest having them repeat the information back to customers, every time: “So, what you'd like is …”
If your current mobile radios aren’t keeping up with the demands of your workspace, it may be time to consider upgrades or accessories to enhance their performance.
Round up 3-5 common complaints and have the team come up with ways the situations could’ve been handled differently – and can be handled better in the future.
If the same kinds of issues seem to crop up, turn the complaints into lessons for the team. How could each interaction have gone more smoothly? What could your mobile staff have said or done to defuse the situation?