August 05 2011

Customer Service Role Playing, Part I

Rich Harrison, Safelite® Senior Vice President & Chief Operations Officer

As COO of Safelite AutoGlass®, I am always looking for moments of customer delight from other companies so that we can see if there is something to bring back and apply at Safelite. We want to be a company famous for our service and I have no problem learning from and imitating excellence found in other companies.

Within the past year I had the pleasure of experiencing fantastic customer service at a Mandarin Oriental Hotel. The staff was attentive and really attended to my every need. They get it! Just amazing service.

So I asked one of the employees to tell me about how they were trained at the hotel. I was told that they go through five weeks of intense training, including role playing, to ensure that they are taught how to interact with guests.

One of the keys to great service is to provide sufficient real-world training to employees in order to clearly set expectations and to provide hands on training on how you want your people to interact with customers. The temptation we often face is to get someone productive (out on the floor) as quickly as possible. I don’t think it is necessarily a badge of honor to say we can get someone up and running in x number of days.

I am impressed by companies like Mandarin Oriental who really invest and are thoughtful about how they equip their people to successfully deliver on their brand promise. Customer role playing is an effective tool in preparing your people to deliver great service. If your people have been shown what excellence in customer service means then you have a much better chance to achieve your service vision.

Read more about their service approach, which is similar to Safelite’s, and then tell me – where have you experienced a truly delightful customer experience? And, what do other world-class service organizations do to prepare the front line people to deliver great service?

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Articles like this really grease the shafts of knowlegde.

Marni, September 29, 2011

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