In the skilled trades and service industries, we often are hiring young people with little work and people experience and expecting them to excel with minimal training. Somehow, we expect them to magically acquire skills that we barely master, including communicating with customers.
Eric “The Tech Whisperer” Sprague joined us for The DYOJO Podcast and discussed the backwards thinking he had as a manager expecting twenty somethings to be able to explain complex service offering such as property restoration. He had to learn and develop a process for training his team members which he calls Morning Tech Meeting.
Integrity is key when talking to customers
Remember that communication is more than just talking. If your goal is to develop a thriving culture, then you will want to remind your team members that their integrity is essential. Most organizations have some variance of “do it right” as a core value, but few do much in the way of training to help team members understand how that applies to their work.
Unfortunately, there are too many examples of people who will speak when without thinking about what they are saying or about things that they don’t fully understand. Perhaps that hits you because you are guilty of doing this. You are not doing yourself or your client a good service if you tell them something just to ease the tension or sound important. Train your team, and show them by example, that it is ok to NOT know the answer to a question.
Training your team to talk to customers - Rule number one
Whenever we would onboard new technicians, or in peak season when we would bring in temporary labor, I would give some variation of a speech about two great communication anathemas that weren’t to be practiced in our team culture:
Training your team to talk to customers - Rule number two
Customer service, or better said, the customer experience, is essential to long term success. You cannot expect that customer service is common sense or that your existing team will pass down everything that you hold dear.
The habit of training your team to talk to customers
If you are a manager and/or owner, when you train your team members to develop their mindset and habits, you communicate opportunities for growth which will also push you to continue to grow. This quote attributed to Richard Branson, is a strong encouragement to any organization that wants to thrive with their people, "Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to."
Thoughts on personal and professional development.
Jon Isaacson, The Intentional Restorer, is a contractor, author, and host of The DYOJO Podcast. The goal of The DYOJO is to help growth-minded restoration professionals shorten their DANG learning curve for personal and professional development. You can watch The DYOJO Podcast on YouTube on Thursdays or listen on your favorite podcast platform.