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Train, Train, Train – and Then Train More

Training and commitment are powerful tools in the quest to deliver great Customer service.

Too often those in front line roles are dumped into their positions and left to figure it out.  The problems with this (like I really need to point them out) are numerous.  When team members are left to their own devices they will often make bad decisions – but it’s not their fault, since they don’t know any better and no one bothered to train them.  I am often amazed at the lengths to which folks will go to “get the doors open.”  They often commit not to give up even when their organization dumped them straight into the weeds.  That is admirable and often the energy they use to overcome their lack of training leaves nothing left in the tank to delight their Customers.

So stop wearing out your front employee! 

You can get off on the right foot very quickly by making sure that you are hiring the right folks.  For more on that, check out my latest book RECIPE FOR SERVICE from

Once you have that amazing team on site take the time to onboard them properly.  Too often we let our new team members practice on Guests and that is a recipe for disaster.  Put the time, energy, and money into making sure your team has the proper skills and they will more than pay that forward to your Customers.  That begins with orientation – we would all do well to stop skimping here.  There are some amazing organizations that have robust programs here, but most fall into the mediocre category.  This is your first date with your new team member, so don’t waste it.  Take the time to share your company’s rich history and make sure that you start to transfer that pride to your new team member.  Those humble beginnings make for great stories that carry a heavy load in terms of planting seeds of commonality.

Take the time to make your training area conducive to the experience.  If you are lucky enough to have a static space, then keep it clean, well lit, and use the space to immerse your new folks in the company culture.  Photos of the past, organizational leaders, and historic milestones make for an environment that starts to drive home your message.  Invest in good equipment, seats, and guides to make the experience great for your team.  You don’t have to spend a lot to show your commitment.  Also be sure to offer them coffee or water and something to snack on during the session.  This is your chance to bring them in on just the right note.

If you aren’t lucky enough to have a designated space, use portable signage and communication pieces to bring that iconography into your space when you do hold onboarding sessions.  The impact can be just as powerful – the important thing here is the passion that the onboarding facilitators bring to the show.

Those presenting to your freshly minted employees absolutely have to BRING IT!  They cannot mail in their presentations and talking points, and have to practice until they are polished but not memorized.  They can be leaders in your organization in conjunction with some of your veteran Front Line Associates.  The key here is that they bring a caring attitude, passion for the organization, and love for the Customers they serve.

Once your new team members have been familiarized with the organization, this lays the foundation for their job specific training.  They should be toured around their work area, introduced to their coworkers, and fully trained in staying safe.  Too often we tend to focus on the specific job without ensuring that they understand the expectation for safety.  The more they understand how they can contribute to safe working conditions by staying alert, the more likely they are to do so.  Couple that with solid practice in their specific job duties and your new team member will be confident when they serve their first Customer.

The final piece is that they understand the expectation.  Throughout the hiring and training process you must constantly reinforce the motifs of great service, diligent safety, and a fantastic product.

Your commitment to meaningful training will help your new team members deliver that fantastic service you seek to inspire every single day.

Until next time, train your team well and treat your Customers like cherished friends.

Tony Johnson Customer Service Expert | Author | Trainer | Speaker

Check out my FREE Resources and Training Tools: Web: YouTube: Twitter:

Check out my new book: RECIPE FOR SERVICE Now Available on

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