A case study on customer care training

A regular client of ours in the FMCG industry contacted us to chat about a potential workshop. The challenges they were faced with were low staff morale, incomplete work being passed on, lack of accountability and an escalation of client complaints. There was a relatively new manager on board and whilst she seemed to be coping, the attendance figures and error margins were giving through different data.

The first important fact to note is that this client was already analyzing data. Their client complaints were being measured on a weekly basis through a simple logging method as all complaints went to one person who then gave through a weekly report. There was a small incentive in place for the team if no client complaints were lodged for the week.

Their attendance figures were showing decline and the conflict in the team was escalating, with the blame game becoming such a factor that they had recently installed cameras on the factory floor. The budget for training was limited and they wanted to know what we could do with their team of 15 people.

We opted for Customer Care Training due to the fact that our particular workshop includes a module on accountability and “what we get from clients”. Considering that clients can be both internal and external our trainers then went ahead with the information they had regarding the particular organisational challenges.

During training it was established that.

1. There had been no change management process in place with the new manager coming on board and no induction process that had consolidated any kind of team work.

2. A culture of blame shifting had slowly crept in after a disciplinary process where one of the more senior team members had been dismissed a few months prior. Communication and trust had broken down and the team members were highly demotivated.

3. As the customer complaints were increasing the incentives were decreasing, and the team felt that there was no hope in turning it around, in fact they believed that it worked in management’s favour as the expenses were less.

In the customer care workshop our trainer then addressed these issues as follows:

1. A quick chat with the new manager at tea time to get the go-ahead to incorporate a know-your-team-member session that helped to consolidate the manager as part of the team and not an outsider; this was facilitated as part of the culture of accountability module and a reflective diary that showed the individuals what their default response is to times of change. Some identified withdrawal, some identified push back and some identified indifference. A great eye-opener for them and for the manager.

2. The issue of open communication and creating a forum for such communication in a safe space was addressed and they all committed to a regular “use it or lose it” slot in their weekly programme. The first one was conducted at the workshop and most of the team members were quite forthcoming with the issues that were bothering them. The manager’s commitment was then to fix some of the issues, some were fixed on the spot and others put in a parking lot with timelines for completion.

3. Our facilitators through the module of “what the client does for you” reiterated the importance of clients, both internal and external at which time it was reported that a deathly silence enveloped the room! Upon probing, this proved to be one of those “aha” moments that most facilitators love. Some individuals were astounded at how easy it is to become caught up in negativity taking your eye off the goal entirely.

We concluded the workshop with a summary of the main events and learning that took place and sent the delegates on their way with a promise to be in touch either personally or through management.

The report back we received from the organisation four and 12 weeks later was as follows:

1. Customer complaints immediately decreased by 95% and they had subsequently paid out incentive bonuses for 10 of the 12 weeks.
2. Attendance figures had improved overnight and their absentee rate was negligible - in fact below 1% for the period.
3. The overall morale had improved and the team manager reported a great personal sense of cohesion, empathy and inclusion in the team, she attributed this to the fun and safe way they were using the “use it or lose it” tool in their team talks and in fact they were struggling to come up with “lose it” behaviour.

In conclusion we at Staff Training see this as a hugely productive workshop for many reasons, the three most pertinent being:

1. The paying client has concrete evidence pointing to the effectiveness of the training.
2. The training is consolidated and sustained through the use of the tools as discussed by an involved manager.
3. The team, who had many personal break- throughs, are encouraged by the continual use of the tools to self-reflect – leading to continued growth.
4. Sufficient background information as to why the training was necessary helped the facilitator to hone and practically apply the theory on the day ensuring that the organisation’s desired outcomes were met.

A great positive outcome for all.
Staff Training is a national soft skills training provider with more than 60 short courses available, as well as various team and individual coaching options. Contact us at 0861 996 660 or drop us an email.

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