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The Basics Part 4: Great Training

Well trained team members give the very best Guest service.  Too often when you have a sub-par service you can likely look across the counter and deduce that the person serving you is new or under-trained – or both.

Businesses have been slow to embrace that poorly trained team members give terrible Customer service.  This is a reality that is all too common on the service landscape and this is a reality that most Guests are all too aware of.

So that’s where we need a training intervention.  We all need to take a giant step back and look at things from the point of view of a new associate.  What does their experience feel like right after hiring and does it prepare them for success?

Let’s talk about those milestones:

Understanding the vision

When someone joins your team it is the perfect chance to dip them in your organizational values.  They are coming in with a blank slate and have no bad habits regarding your processes.  Take the time to make sure your team – not just new folks – understand your vision of service and the values that drive your thinking.

On-boarding for success

Be sure that when you select a new team member to join your organization that you are starting them off in the right direction.  The first days and weeks after someone joins your team are crucial to ensuring their success.  This is more than training, it is about little things like paperwork, parking, keys, meeting colleagues, paychecks, and how to get paperclips.  These little things add up to major inconveniences and barriers for new team members who are already filled with trepidation when starting a new job.

Tying training to Guest expectations

Think about what your new associate needs to accomplish on the job and train to that.  What do your Guests tell you are the most important pieces of their experience?  How are you tying training to those goals?  When you ask these questions you are preparing your new team members to deliver upon Guest expectations and equipping them with the tools and knowledge they will need.

Ongoing development

Training and development is not a “one and done” type of process.  It requires ongoing updates and fine tuning to ensure success.  New team members may need updated skills about their technology or product line.  It also could be updates in their job duties or new ways to approach the Guest experience.  Guest expectations change over time and keeping your team up to date on those changes will make them feel empowered and confident in their performance.

Confident employees give much better Guest service


What gets rewarded is more likely to get repeated.  If you tell someone they’ve done a good job and made them feel proud of their accomplishments that will set off a series of positive emotions that will be tied to that event.  They will want to repeat it because it felt good to be appreciated and to have their efforts reaffirmed.  Recognition doesn’t have to be complicated – which is the misconception that keeps so many from working it into their days.  Every accomplishment doesn’t require a parade, but rather a sincere, specific, and timely “thank you.”

So take a moment today to think about your training strategy – from the time someone joins your organization through the total lifestyle of their employment.

Look for ways to make them more skilled, more confident, and more empowered in their duties. 

That is where Guest satisfaction begins and is the path to even deeper loyalty.


Tony Johnson -Guest Experience Leader-

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