Customer value is vital for the success of any business organization irrespective of size. Many organizations fail to recognize the financial consequences of dissatisfied customers, which cost businesses millions of dollars in profits. Business entities must invest in customer retention and satisfaction to improve performance. The understanding of how companies generate, share, interconnect and convey value to both existing and potential customer is a significant ingredient in the performance metric. Effective customer service entail various factors including hiring highly competent individuals and subsequently empowering the employees. Employee customer service training is one of the techniques that can be utilized to promote customer satisfaction and subsequently improve the profit margin of different organizations. Employee customer service training describes teaching staff the skills necessary to effectively interact and deal with customers in a bid to offer maximum gratification to the customers. Employee customer service training is particularly crucial for the new employees since it ensures that the staff is imparted with the knowledge and skills that facilitate their effectiveness and efficiency as they serve the consumers.
Needs Assessment of Employee Customer Service Training
Needs assessment describes the process of analyzing an organization, including the employees and their responsibilities in efforts of identifying the necessary training if any, essential in the firm. Needs assessment is particularly essential for new staff since it emphasizes evaluating the employees to determine where there is lack of skills and knowledge and therefore the necessary training that is required for better customer service (Ferreira & Abbad, 2013). The needs assessment facilitates the identification of deficiencies in the abilities and expertise of the new personnels that are necessary for the provision of satisfactory services to the clients. Therefore, the needs assessment to no small extent facilitates the identification of the most effective training program and subsequently, the most effective techniques to impart the employees (Bansal & Thripathi, 2017). Indeed, failure to recognize the needs of the new employees may result in wastage of resources if an organization invests in the wrong training technique. Additionally, the needs assessment is beneficial since it will also concentrate on the wishes and desires of the clients, which will ensure that the training technique adopted takes into account the exact methods that guarantee customer satisfaction.
Specifically, the needs assessment showcases the gap between what the consumers expect from the organization and the knowledge and skills that are necessary to keep pace with customer tastes and preferences (Bansal & Thripathi, 2017). The gap between customer expectation and a business entity’s ability to meet them is the leading cause of dissatisfaction.
The needs assessment extends beyond the identification of particular knowledge and skills to encompass the recognition of the exact cause of the deficiencies. It is possible that the staff lack of ability to deliver value to the customer is due to other factors such as lack of motivation, incentives or the necessary resources (Ferreira & Abbad, 2013). If the deficiency is due to other elements other than lack of the essential knowledge and skills, the training is unlikely to improve the employees’ customer service. It is vital to acknowledge the practice is only practical if the performance deficiency is grounded on the lack of expertise.
The needs assessment is also crucial since it reveals whether the new staff is equipped and willing to grip the necessary expertise to improve customer service. The success of the training initiative to no small extent depends on the employees’ aptitude for the new knowledge and skills and their willingness to absorb the information (Bansal & Thripathi, 2017). It will be an ill-informed investment if an organization invests in a particular training while the employees do not possess the aptitude and motivation for it.
The needs assessment is also useful in pinpointing the precise areas in which the new personnel require training. The recognition of the exact areas in which the employees are back is crucial in the development of the training program.
Since it identifies the exact areas in which the new staff is lacking, the needs assessment also showcases the context and to some degree, the content of the training session. The needs evaluation identifies the training needs in context with the goals, vision, mission and the strategies that the organization (Ferreira & Abbad, 2013). Therefore, the needs assessment might be able to illustrate that the deficiency in employees’ customer service might be due to deviation from the organization’s strategy and as such design a system intended to ensure the staff perform on the grounds of the organization’s mission and vision.
Training Implementation plan
As mentioned, customer value and as such active client service is vital for the consumer contentment and subsequently the success of any business organization. The new personnel customer service drill takes into account the importance of customer value to the success of the organization. Utilizing two prevalent training techniques, on-the-job training and role-playing, the current customer value training intends to impart the new staff with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively interact with customers and deliver customer value. The customer value drilling encompasses four core steps including, recognition of the clients’ desires, assessing the current abilities and expertise of the employees, developing and implementing a specific training technique and evaluating the employees.
The success of the customer service training initiative depends on how well the program equips the new staff with the essential skills and knowledge to meet the needs of the consumers. Therefore, before the development of the training method and content, the organization needs to invest in the recognition and identification of the desires of the clients (Elnaga & Imran, 2013). The customers of the retail shop typically anticipate the personnel to assist them in any inquiries including but not limited to the location of different things in the store, the different brands of products that the store stocks, the price of the items, the return policy and after-sale services such as installation of electronic devices among others. Throughout these different, detailed and rather time-consuming inquiries, the customers expect all the employees to be not only polite but also sensitive to the diverse backgrounds of the various individuals that visit the store. In efforts of collecting data on the satisfaction rates and the needs of the consumers, the retail store can develop a counter to receive feedback from the customers immediately they are done with their shopping. The feedback from the customers should be detailed to identify the specific needs of the clients.
The second stage of the customer value training encompasses the evaluation of the abilities and expertise of the new staff. As previously mentioned, the review of the employees is done through the needs assessment. After ascertaining the needs of the clients, it is paramount to analyze the abilities and expertise of the new staff that are necessary to placate the already established customer needs (Ferreira & Abbad, 2013). Since the new employees are not familiar with the organization culture and activities of the store and also lack experience in that particular working environment, likely, they may not possess the necessary knowledge and skills. Indeed, the employees should be equipped with extensive detailed information concerning the products and the activities of the organization, such as return policy to be able to interact and assist the clients effectively.
After the identification of the customer needs and assessing the knowledge and skills of the new employees a mix of role-play and on-the-job training will be implemented to bridge the gap between two aspects (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2015). A blend of role-playing and on-the-job training will be useful in imparting all the necessary knowledge and skills to ensure the new employees effectively interact with the customers and meet their expectations. On the first day of employment, role-playing will be employed to impart the new employees with the necessary skills to meet customer needs. On-the-job training will subsequently be applied after the first day for the first three months of employment.
The training will focus on five core aspects, including communication skills, patience, attention to detail, effectiveness in addition to product knowledge. Undeniably, the effectiveness of the training is reliant on the product knowledge of the new employees about the entirety of the products and services associated with the store. Role-playing will allow the new employees to practice their communication skills, particularly in the efforts of catering to customers from different backgrounds. Similarly, role-playing is useful in teaching patience since it encourages new employees to see circumstances from the perspective of the customers. Additionally, both role-playing and on-the-job training allow the organization to train employees to value the customer’s time. Efficiency goes hand in hand with product knowledge and communication skills since the training allows the new employees to be familiar with the system and as such capable of resolving issues quickly. Attention to detail, on the other hand, will enable employees to recognize the different characteristics among the customers and their distinct needs. Training on attention to detail is vital in the efforts of personalizing the shopping experience for each customer that visits the retail store.
It is crucial to evaluate the employees after their first three months in the retail store and continuously in efforts of ensuring they are at pace with the standards of customer service that the retail store advocates for (Khan, 2012). Since customer service is highly subjective, the evaluation can be done on the grounds of feedback from the customer. In addition to relying on customer feedback, assessment can also involve observing the conduct of the new personnel during their initial months of employment.
Justification for the Training Technique
As mentioned, the training program will employ the use of a blend of role-play and on-the-job training. Role-playing requires the new employees to assume diverse roles, whether that of a customer or the staff and react in ways that their roles require. Role-playing allows the new employees to act out different situations that are likely to occur in the store and practice on how to adequately react and respond (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2015). For instance, through playing customer or employees, the new employees learn and recognize the real circumstances that they will encounter during their working hours. Through acting and assuming different characters, the new workers will be able to comprehend their jobs descriptions better and as such equipped to meet the needs of the customers. Since the customers in the retail store vary, from their backgrounds to their inquiries, role-playing is useful in ensuring the new employees are adequately prepared to handle the diversity that is the customers of the retail store.
On-the-job training will complement and supplement role-playing. Indeed, while role-playing equips the new employees with the skills to act appropriately in different situations, on-the-job training allows the new employees to gain actual experiences on the circumstances. The first months will encompass extensive supervision from the managers to ensure that each employee has learned the indispensible customer service abilities in line with the organization’s customer service standards. Undeniably, on-the-job training provides the workers with different opportunities to practice what they previously learnt during role-playing. Moreover, on-the-job training offers an opportunity for evaluation (Amin, Saeed, Lodhi, Iqbal, & e-Tehreem, 2013). Since the new employees are under the supervision of managers during the initial three months of employment, their on-the-job performance is liable for evaluation. The assessment provides an opportunity for feedback from the oversights to the employees, which is likely to improve performance and subsequently, profit margins.
Motivating Non-interested Employees
The customer service employee training is an investment like any other in the organization. Since it consumes the retail store’s resources, it is only logical for the program to have viable returns. Customer service employee training is intended to prepare new employees for the job. Training is only effective if the staffs are willing to learn. Willingness entails being active and attentive throughout the training period (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2015). However, despite the evident advantages of both the employees and the organization, some new employees might be reluctant to show up for the training. The fact that the retail store will dedicate substantial funds in the training of the new workers illustrates that it is vital to persuade the non-interested individuals to participate in the training. Motivation can be done by giving the employees incentives to participate in the training or emphasizing the importance of after-training evaluation.
When the new employees are aware of that there are particular incentives such as bonuses they can be motivated to not only attend but also to take the sessions seriously. Through awarding incentives for attendance, the organization emphasizes the impact of the training in the growth of the new employees’ careers (Khan, 2012). The incentives are not necessarily monetary and might be as simple as the issuance of a certificate upon the completion of the training.
Moreover, the new employees might be encouraged to show up for the training if they are aware of an evaluation directly related to the practice, such as a quiz. Indeed, when the new employees are aware of an assessment linked to the sessions, they are likely to focus during the session (Khan, 2012). The application of evaluation as a motivating technique is only valid if the employees are informed at the beginning of the training that they will be evaluated upon completion.
Upon the completion of the sessions, it is vital to seek opinions from the newly trained employees in efforts of analyzing the effectiveness of the training. In this particular training the survey will be grounded on the following questionnaire;
Employee’s name: ____________________
Employee’s Age: ____________________
|S. No.||Statement||Very Pleased||Fairly Pleased||Indifferent||Fairly Displeased||Very Displeased|
|1||Techniques adopted by the manager to recognize the strong suit and flaws|
|2||The superiority of the orientation|
|3||Technique of training|
|4||Quality of the teaching|
|5||Guidance from the Managers|
|6||Determination from the organization to develop performance|
|7||Customer value standards|
|8||Time Spent training|
|9||Chance to act on what has been imparted|
|10||Responses given by the managers for inquiries|
- Issues during training: ____________________________________________________
- Perceived importance of training in the career growth: ____________________________
- Will the training assist in facilitating customer value? : ________________
- General experience: ________________________________________________________
- Any recommendations:______________________________________________________
Amin, A., Saeed, R., Lodhi, R. N., Iqbal, A., & e-Tehreem, R. (2013). The impact of employees training on the job performance. Middle East Journal of Scientific Research, 1273-1278.
Bansal, A., & Thripathi, J. P. (2017). A literature review on training needs analysis. Journal of Business and Management, 50-56.
Elnaga, A., & Imran, A. (2013). The Effect of training on employee performance. European Journal of Business and Management, 137-147.
Ferreira, R. R., & Abbad, G. (2013). Training needs assessment: Where we are and where we should go. Brazilian Administration Review, 77-99.
Khan, M. I. (2012). The impact of training and motivation on the performance of employees. Business Review( Federal Bank of Philadelphia).
Noe, R., Hollenbeck, J., Gerhart, B., & Wright, P. (2015). Fundamentals of human resource management. Mc Graw Hill.