Train Staff Before Changing

Bragging about your customer service without first training the employees who will deliver that service is like sitting on a branch as you saw it off.

To prove that point, Dennis McCarthy, president of Paradigm Group, a Connecticut-based consulting firm, tells a story about a company that hired him to improve its image.

He started by talking to some of its best customers and soon learned that many weren’t satisfied. One of their biggest gripes: the near-rude treatment they got when they called the company.

Then, on the day he was to meet with senior managers, he noted the company’s full-page ad in two major daily newspapers. The ad boasted about the company’s "improved customer service," listed an 800 number, and urged people to call "and experience the difference."

At the meeting, he asked if those who would handle the calls to the 800 number had received any additional training. The answer came from the marketing director, who said, "We didn’t have time for that. We had to act fast to improve our image, and ads are a good starting point." Worse yet, McCarthy learned that the phone reps didn’t even know about the new customer service campaign.


~ The Loyalty Link: How Loyal Employees Create Loyal Customers, by Dennis G. McCarthy, John Wiley & Sons Inc., 605 3rd Ave., New York, NY 10158.

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