Firms in the service industry make significant investment and effort to provide technical skills training for their employees. Many companies train their staffs locally, some send them to manufacturers training classes, while others utilize trade organizations. Technical training is a priority. Trained technical staff help ensure a firms’ products are supported. It’s not an option, it’s a requirement. For many firms that’s the extent of training provided.
The most common complaint I hear from management is the lack of skills shown by employees to help develop and support sales, and to provide great customer service. Not surprisingly, I hear the same complaint from employees. They’re quick to add that their company has high expectations, but provides little training on soft skills. The situation needs to be addressed as these are the people that are most in contact with customers.
Technicians, Programmers, Dispatchers, Customer Service Reps are all on the front line. They come face to face with clients in the field or speak with customers over the phone. What are they saying? How do they represent the company? Are they prepared to handle themselves in the expected way? Far too many firms overstate their employees soft skills.
Not only does soft skills’ training have financial rewards, it also has a major impact on customer satisfaction and employee morale. Every employee should have some basic sales skills. Every employee should have some customer service training.
- What is the cost when a technician has an opportunity for a sale while at a customer site and doesn’t know how to develop it? The result is a lost opportunity due to lack of training.
- What happens when a customer calls with a complaint and the person dealing with it isn’t skilled on how to handle it? The result is a client who may not generate repeat business.
- How many lost sales opportunities or unhappy customers does it take to justify providing some basic Service Sales or Customer Service Training?
Service employees operate in a high stress, high expectation environment. It takes more than technical skills training to help them do their jobs correctly.