Books and Workshops to build and sustain customer focus and service excellence throughout your entire organization.

I Got an Email: Getting Service Training to Stick

By Ray Miller  - Published May 19, 2011

“What you do before and after the training will dictate your R.O.I.” Free Customer Focus and Customer Service Article

Here are some tips on how to improve your return on your service training investment.

1.     Select the right training

Select customer focus training which targets everything people need to know and do in order to maximize the customer experience. This goes well beyond what many service training programs currently cover. But this is an article topic unto itself.

Ensure the training includes both customer-contact and support staff. All too often, companies focus service training only on the frontline. Yet, one of the greatest causes of service problems is o a lack of cooperation, communication and teamwork between service providers and the rest of an organization. If you can’t get it right internally, you will never get it right for the paying customer.

2.     Define expectations and accountability

Prior to the training, you need to sit down with the participant(s) and discuss what the training is about, why it is important and what your expectations are regarding what they will need to do differently, and how you are going to measure this. This defines expectations and accountability. This ensures they know what’s expected of them and I guarantee they will pay attention.

The training should have some form of action planning tool within it so that participants will document how they will apply the training.

3.     Review action plans and goals

Following the training, again sit down with each participant and review their action plans, establish performance goals and objectives related to the training provided and determine what you can do to support their efforts.

Now for the real work!

4.     Reinforce and embed service behaviour

When it comes to customer focus training, many managers assume that once their people are trained they will do things differently. Wouldn’t it be nice if this were true. The reality is that without constant reinforcement and accountability, even with a good action plan, people will not make radical changes in their behaviour overnight.

The only way to embed new service behaviour is to spend time with your team, exploring how the concepts and strategies presented in the training apply to your department, establish performance standards related to the various strategies, agree upon how you will measure the expected performance, explain how you will help them to achieve these new performance goals and the consequence (good or poor) of service performance.

Once everyone knows your expectations and what exceptional service performance looks like in your area of responsibility:

…and most importantly, ensure that what you do every day when interacting with your customers and staff embodies all the service values of customer-focused leaders.

If you would like to know more about how you can ensure that your customer focus training produces the results you need, email us at or give us a call at 1-416-698-8230.



Ray Miller is Managing Director of The Training Bank and author of That’s Customer Focus! and The Customer Focus Companion.

The Training Bank is a full service training and development firm which specializes in fully customizable Leadership, Customer Focus, Service Excellence, Management and Supervisory Development training.

Enhance your Customers’ Experience and sharpen your Customer Focus to differentiate your organization and build long-term loyalty and profitability.

Check out our book, That’s Customer Focus!: or our terrific Online Training Certification program called Maximizing the customer Experience.

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Maximizing the Customer Experience Online Training Program