Last week MSNBC's homepage featured a series of articles on customer service including "The Customer Service Hall of Shame." The website also featured articles about companies which consistently put customers first and offered solid suggestions for improving service at your organization.
As camps, parks, libraries and recreation agencies get ready for their busy summer season, it's critical to include basic customer service skills during each and every staff orientation and training event. Every staff member and volunteer who has contact with your customers has the power to attract (or repel) future visits. Even those working behind the scenes impact the customer experience by quickly handling registrations, paperwork and requests for information.
Park and facility maintenance workers are often approached by customers for directions or information. Help these important members of your team to understand that their job description might say "grounds-keeper," "gardener" or "maintenance worker;" but they're real job is to insure a safe and enjoyable customer service experience. Ban the words, "It's not my department." from your department's list of acceptable customer responses. Help customers easily identify staff with shirts, buttons or other on-person promotions that literally say, "Ask me! I'm here to help," "Follow me to the Fun," or simply the word, "PLAY!"
When it comes to handling customer complaints or suggestions teach the H.E.R.O.S method...
Hear Everything. Reiterate. Offer Solutions. Check out my complete H.E.R.O.S formula in this article. Or better yet, consider booking a Customer Service Workshop to energize and prepare staff for a super season. While it may be too late for Summer 2007, it's never to early to book next year's summer staff training.
Click on comments below to share your very worst (or very best) customer service story.