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

The Customer Focus Training Top Forty

By Ray Miller

“Since this training is a significant investment, it is essential that you maximize your return on investment from this training. ” Free Customer Focus and Customer Service Article

We have separated these objectives into two groups:

The learning needs of these groups are significantly different if you are to maximize sustainable change and customer-focused improvements.

Let’s start with non-management staff.

At the very least, your training should achieve the following objectives:

  1. Align participants with the customer focus goals and values of the Company
  2. Enhance participant commitment and passion for service excellence
  3. Enable participants to understand their impact on the customer, their impact on their department and their contribution and impact on the Company’s short and long-term goals and objectives
  4. Provide participants with a clear understanding of what is required of them in order to create and sustain customer loyalty, particularly in times of economic uncertainty
  5. Strengthen their ability to forge strong internal service partnerships,  improve teamwork and cooperation both internally and with third party resources
  6. Enable participants to utilize a proven process for dealing with any customer situations including the most difficult and challenging in order to arrive at solutions which impress the customer yet fall within the policy and procedural boundaries for given situations
  7. Understand or be reminded of the importance of service quality
  8. Understand why customer focus is a critical strategy for the Company
  9. Define customer service excellence at your Company
  10. Understand how they individually contribute to the customer’s experience and to the Organization’s success
  11. Identify critical customer touch-points, determine what will satisfy customers, identify what level of discretion they have, and determine ways to exceed customer expectations
  12. Identify what obstacles are preventing them from using the discretion they have been given and develop a plan for how they will use this discretion in order to enhance the customer experience
  13. Identify and implement specific actions which will improve service delivery to external customers
  14. Identify the impact of strong internal partnerships on the customer’s experience
  15. Identify and implement specific actions which will improve their internal service partnerships specifically related to the escalation of situations from their internal partners, and also other internal service issues which are having a negative impact on long-term customer loyalty
  16. Quickly and easily identify communication barriers and act to remove or at least minimize these barriers
  17. Deal effectively with personality conflicts and disagreements
  18. Apply effective communication approaches with both customers as well as co-workers, in person or on the telephone
  19. Identify and remove obstacles to service delivery; communicate obstacles to management

In addition to the foregoing, any employees who interact directly with customers may also need training which enables them to:

  1. Gather and use customer feedback at the local level to identify service improvement opportunities
  2. Implement a proactive approach to and improved handling of customer problems
  3. Develop communication strategies for “moments of truth” (critical issues/problems)
  4. Evaluate any given communication situation to determine and apply the best approach both to achieve their objectives and to build respect and credibility
  5. Communicate negative information with positive results
  6. Clarify customer issues and concerns
  7. Handle complaints in a manner which at the very least satisfies the customer and which aims at exceeding customer expectations
  8. Interact with customers in a way which focuses on building long-term relationships

What about Managers, Supervisors and Team Leaders?

Now let’s consider what those who supervise others need to know and do in order to build and maintain the kind of environment where customer focus best practices flourish. Not surprisingly, they need training which achieves all of the above objectives. In addition, their training should ensure that they can:

  1. Understand and are committed to their pivotal role in implementing a customer-focused strategy
  2. Clearly articulate a definition of what customer service is at the Company
  3. Demonstrate and build passion for service excellence
  4. Motivate and energize their staff to increase service quality
  5. Develop and communicate service standards; set service performance goals; monitor and measure performance against these standards and goals
  6. Embed customer-focused leadership practices into their day-to-day management practices.
  7. Strengthen internal service partnerships (enhance communication, cooperation and teamwork specifically as these relate to exceptional service delivery)
  8. Implement a proactive approach to the improved handling of customer problems
  9. Pro-actively measure service performance, give constructive service performance feedback and hold staff accountable
  10. Pro-actively gather and use customer and internal partner feedback at the local level to identify service improvement opportunities
  11. Assess existing processes and identify ways to continually enhance the customer’s experience
  12. Identify and remove obstacles to service delivery at their departmental level
  13. Understand what they must do to embed service excellence across the Company

By ensuring that the training you provide accomplishes all of these objectives you can be certain that you will have provided your employees with the mind-set, knowledge, skills and tools they will need to become customer-focused.

On a parallel track to your training you will need to address issues associated with your policies, procedures, performance management processes, measurement practices, and reward and recognition practices, but these are fodder for future articles.

If you are not sure where to go from here, give us a call or send us an email. We will be happy to help.





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.

If you need help, check out our book, That’s Customer Focus!: The Overworked and Under-appreciated Managers Guide to Creating a Customer-Focused Organization.

Everything you need know and do to create and implement your strategy is covered in this great book. 

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