Introduction • Are you a people manager? • Do you have direct contact with the customer? • Who is managing the customer?
Role of the Frontline • Staff at the frontline are managing the customer • They manage the customer interaction by taking ownership, listening, asking questions, offering a solution, dealing with issues or concerns
Role of the People Manager • Customer service plan / philosophy • Policies and procedures – get it right the first time • Recruit “managers” for the frontline
Role of the People Manager • Harness the energy of the team by making them partners of the business • Allow the team to manage the customer
Workshop Overview • Recruitment of the right people • Challenging customer behaviour and implications for people managers
Key Elements to an Effective Recruitment Strategy • Reliability • Validity • Legality
Selecting the Right People • What are you looking for? • What is needed to achieve your customer service plan?
Selecting the Right People • When you consider a top performer, what is it about this person that stands out in your mind?
Selection Criteria • The skills, knowledge, attitude and behaviour required for success in a given position • Remember the iceberg
Behavioural Interviewing • Recognises the importance of technical competence however the focus is on the applicant’s attitude and motivation which drives their behaviour (below the water level) • Difficult to train / develop attitude and motivation
Selection Methodology • Interview/s • Assessments • Psychometric Testing • Reference Checking • Based on the selection criteria
Behavioural Interviewing • Behavioural interviewing aims to identify both the applicants’ strengths and development areas in the given areas of competency i.e. the selection criteria • It is about gaining a balanced view of the applicant
Premise • If you want to be able to predict an applicant’s performance, examine what they have done in the past – not what they could, would do
Model Responses Manage Challenging Customers • Demonstrates a willingness to resolve the issue • Remains calm • Assertive yet empathetic • Displays a can-do attitude • Takes ownership of the issue / concern
Model Responses • Useful to consider what you do not want • Does not take it personally • Does not become defensive or angry • Does not blame the organisation i.e. “I only work here”
Model Responses • Identifies exactly what you are looking for in behavioural terms • Allows you to set a benchmark for required competency • Will help you to select the “right” people
Model Responses • Useful checklist before, during and after the interview • Promotes an objective assessment
Behavioural Questions • Aim to give the applicant an opportunity to demonstrate their level of competency against the criteria • In reality, not all applicants will meet the criteria
Behavioural Interviewing • Use the SAO framework • Situation • Action • Outcome • Probe however do not lead the applicant
Example • Challenging customers can be difficult to manage. Can you tell us about a time when you were required to manage a challenging customer?
Follow Up Questions • What did you do then? • How did you feel? • What was the outcome? • What would you do differently next time?
Selecting the Right People • Identify the selection criteria • Develop model responses • Develop interview questions • Conduct interviews • Develop / conduct assessments • Rate applicants • Select the “right” people
Challenging Customers • What is “challenging”? • What does your customer service plan suggest about challenging customers? • Are your people at the frontline willing and able to manage challenging customer behaviour?
Challenging Customers • Provide applicants with a realistic overview of the job, the team and the organisation • If dealing with challenging customers is part of the job state this and ask BI questions / assess to determine the applicant’s motivation and skill level to be able to manage this behaviour
Challenging Customers “I want to complain! I have been given the run around and am not happy. What sort of business are you running here?”
Challenging Customers • Selecting the right people is a great start and yet in reality, managing challenging customers can still be difficult …… • What are the benefits in supporting your frontline?
Benefits • Increased team morale / motivation / energy • Achievement of team / personal goals • Increased customer satisfaction • Increased productivity / profitability
Challenging Customers • What can you do to support your frontline to ensure they have the tools to be able to effectively manage challenging customers?
Strategies for the People Manager • Develop / review policy, service standards – in line with your customer service plan • See staff as partners in the business • Empower the frontline to manage the challenging customer
Strategies for the People Manager • Provide training – customised, relevant to your business, in line with your customer service plan • Conduct induction, refresher sessions • Conduct regular team meetings
Strategies for the People Manager • Provide motivational / self management workshops • Debrief / provide performance feedback – incentives and morale boosters • Develop / implement feedback mechanisms
Strategies for the People Manager • Analyse and act on trends i.e. review standards / provide further training • Role model appropriate behaviours i.e. how do you deal with internal customers / challenging behaviour?
Strategies for the People Manager • Provide the necessary tools for the frontline to manage the customer • Allow the frontline to manage however keep them motivated and energised to take the next call / serve the next customer
Workshop Summary • Recruit in line with your customer service plan • Allow your people to manage at the frontline • Be a role model • Continue to raise the bar i.e. customer service standards
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