Hi everyone! It’s Chris, Director of Training for Red-Carpet Learning Systems. Here are your March tips to help you with your customer service skills training. Your participants are in your training to learn new concepts, skills and behaviors so being able to effectively set up an activity, skill practice, reel play (role play) or discussion is super important and takes forethought and practice!
Tell them what is going to happen… step by step. Your participants want to know what’s going to happen so they can feel comfortable and confident which helps in the learning process. For example: “For this next activity we are going to first get into 2 lines, the person opposite you will be your partner. Next, we will practice step by step the skill of ____________ and finally we will return to our table groups to discuss how this activity went.” This is a great rule of thumb whether your leading customer service skills training or any other type of curriculum.
Assure your participants that you are there to support their success and they are in a safe environment. Your participants sometimes worry that they won’t do something right and will feel embarrassed. You can ease their worry by letting them know you are not going to let them fail. For instance you can say “if you find yourself without a partner, don’t worry I will find you one” and/or “this is practice, there is no expectation that you are perfect”.
Check for understanding. It’ important to ensure that your participants understand what you are asking them to do. Once you have given instruction on the activity and let them know you will not let them fail, then ask (in your own words) “What are your questions about this activity”? Your customer service skills training won’t be effective if your participants don’t understand the exercises.
Restate the steps one more time before beginning the activity. You’ve set up the activity, you’ve set your participants at ease and you have checked for understanding. One way you can do this is by asking your participants what the steps are. You can say “what is step one? And then what?” and then say “sounds like were ready, step one, line up in two lines”…
Taking the time to make sure that your participants know what to do will save you the pain of trying to wrangle them as they wander with a blank look in their eyes. The practice piece is one of the most important aspects of excellent customer service skills training! Use these steps to ensure great communication between you and your trainees. Now go break a leg!
Chris Perillo is the Director of Training & Countess of Curriculum at Red-Carpet Learning Systems, Inc. She has over 25 years of experience in Organizational Development and is an award-winning curriculum designer and trainer. She leads the train-the-trainer programs for RedCarpetLearning.com and works with our clients to ensure maximum success of their customer service skills training efforts.