GUEST BLOG: 'Training is for Our Customers, Not Our Staff'
Despite what we always hear and are told, to “Train for your staffs’ success,” the truth is training isn’t for our staff’s success; that’s simply an ideal byproduct. Training is for our customers’ success. When our staff knows which questions to ask, how to ask them, about our products and services, how to overcome objections to help our customers achieve their goals, how to identify and solve customer problems, and so forth, our customers will find great success… and reward us for it. (Think increased business, larger contracts, referrals and more.)
Today, as is often the case when time appears limited and dire, we tend to move away from training instead of toward it. This is because we are short staffed, overworked, dealing with supply chain shortages, find ourselves at home on quarantine with our children, and are dealing with a multitude of other atypical challenges.
During such a time, do you need each of your staff to work and operate as a warrior of six or a warrior of 1/2? Well, if you don’t properly train them, you’re getting less out of them at the precise time when you need more! You’re operating, for example, with a 10-person army acting like 5, when you need it to act like 60. This creates an ideal time for your competitors to cherry pick your customers.
Additionally, and rarely discussed, is the effect your team can have on your customer. We have all called a business with a difficult question and left the interaction without the solution we need. It is bad for business for a customer to walk away feeling as though they have wasted their time, often more frustrated. This can ruin the customers’ day and cause them to lash out at their team or in their personal life. The effects of one poor interaction can ripple significantly. The same can be said of a positive interaction that leads to a customer having a great day and treating everyone they encounter with a positive, successful mindset.
If you haven’t yet, focus on training. It doesn’t have to be complex. Start simple and it will grow. An impactful book for each member of your team, from which you can coach, and they can self-coach. eLearning. Apps. Articles. Reach out to me for ideas if you need help getting started training for your customers success!
Bio: Author of “The Customer is Never Right: Sell More Trucks, Cars, Buses, Parts… Anything in One Month,” the only book geared specifically for the heavy-duty industry, Ian Coburn has been producing and training top sales and customer service teams for twenty years. In 2017, he founded GPA Training, Inc to meet the vast training needs of our industry and beyond. Roles he has held include Navistar Training Manager, which he filled when Navistar got back into the black. You may reach him at email@example.com.