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GGP December 2014

Final Frame 90 December 2014 Infamous Five You’ve tried hard – really, really hard – to get Barry in customer services to demonstrate a proactive and positive approach to customer issues. Despite all the direction, coercion and coaching, he still fails to do what he should. Your clients are upset and you’re rapidly losing patience. Have you ever stopped to consider how many possible reasons there are for your staff not doing what they should be? Surely the potential causes for their intransigence must run into the thousands! Actually, there are only five. There may be an infinite number of potential circumstances, but only these five core reasons. When we learn what they are, we can properly analyse a situation and deal with it effectively. Some 20 years ago I took over a busy customer service team. One supervisor was at the end of his tether with Barry. A weekly report was supposed to be delivered at 9 o’clock each Monday. Barry always delivered it late, badly formatted and incomplete. Knowing the five core reasons why people Having shown you some of the ways you can improve customer interaction by having your team think and act differently, this month, Marc Lemezma talks about how to deal with those who just won’t play ball? don’t do things, I was able to ask some key questions that uncovered the real issue. The first reason is about ‘time and place’. The report needed to include service data from the weekend. Barry worked week days from nine. He could never have met the deadline he was set. The pressure to complete led him to cut corners. A simple resetting of the target to midday solved the issue. “staff don’t always know exactly what you Checking that someone is in a position to perform a task should always be your starting point. But what if that hadn’t fixed the reporting issue – what else could have been going on? The next reason to consider is that staff don’t always know exactly what you want them to do. Even if Barry had time to do the report, he could still be left in a no-win situation if you don’t agree the format. The crucial next point is about having the tools and ability to perform a task. Access to the right software, training and input data are all critical dependencies for this report. Before you criticise, make sure everything is in place. Our fourth potential reason links back to last month’s article about the word ‘Because’. If someone can’t see a reason for, or importance of, a task, they may not attach value to it. Clearly explaining the importance of a task is a great way to overcome this potential hurdle. What is interesting about these first four ‘reasons’ is that, as a manager, they all are under your control. Yet many of us are all too ready to blame an employee. It can seem the easy way out and much simpler than having a dialogue. The fifth reason is a little more tricky to deal with. It is about the person and their own perception of who they are. If everything else is in place and Barry still doesn’t perform… then and only then, you know you have to work on the person. More of which in a future article. In the meantime, the phrase ‘I can’t do that here!’, will remind you of the key questions you need to ask! www.speechmarc.co.uk want them to do.” What are your customer service stories? Tweet Marc @lemezma #glazingstories


GGP December 2014
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