Are you experiencing so many different complaints from parents each and every day? Was it something a staff member did or didn’t do that’s causing you to be flooded with so many customer service concerns from parents, so many parents dis-enrolling because of something someone has done in your childcare organization? If so, I know all too well about this process. I want to talk to you about the four steps that I use in my business to ensure quality customer service and the importance of having a timely training so that my team is prepared to deliver on my expectations.
This leads me to number one, setting customer service standards. Whenever you begin working with new staff members, be sure to tell them how your business is built on customer service. People interpret customer service in different ways. One way that you can clarify what you expect from your childcare staff is to have a clear, written policy on what customer service means to you. Something as simple as telling staff how to greet parents, how to have a firm handshake with parents during the tour process can help you win a prospect to enrollment.
I’ve seen it on both sides where I’ve often had team members who forget what I expect during a tour, and I’ve had team members who can remember. Whenever they remember to do what they’re told to do, we always score the tour. When they act as if they’ve forgotten to shake a parent’s hand, that’s when parents get the wrong feeling. This is why I say be clear about your customer service standards.
Step number two is to have continual training on customer service. In my Task Management System, I’ve set up times for my staff meeting agenda, and I’ve set up the agenda focus areas. When getting organized to ignite your team to provide quality customer service, remember that meeting with your teams requires consistent training, as well. Although there are times when issues arise that will require your immediate attention, it is still best practice to prepare for your meetings with topics and subjects in advance to help your staff continually be trained, and motivated, and inspired by you.
To help you achieve clarity, begin the focus on meeting with your staff with an agenda that includes customer service training. Customer service training has helped saved my company thousands of dollars by having staff trained to keep a client as well as bring new clients in.
Step three is to be sure to complete your staff evaluations. It’s a way for your staff to know that you’re completely honest and serious about their work ethic and that there’s still room to improve if need be. I don’t know if you have experienced talking so much until you’re blue in the face, and there’s still no action behind the employee’s work ethic. I believe if you take time to improve quality customer service through evaluating your staff and documenting what you’ve observed from them, you’ll see that you’ll have a greater response from your team to improve. I truly believe that what you inspect, others will respect. Be sure to start conducting your staff evaluations as far as customer service is concerned so that they can see areas they need to improve.
Step four is to preplan your meeting agenda. For me, I use my Task Management System to pre-plan my meeting agenda with content that I’ll need to go over with my staff to ensure that they understand how I want things done in my business. Never, ever assume that just because you’ve trained your staff on this particular subject in passing by or even during a meeting that the complete lesson was learned. Always give your staff continual opportunities to prove to you that they know this information. Also provide them with continual opportunities to train, time after time, moment after moment, because training staff takes time and effort. It won’t happen overnight, but with your persistency and consistency, it will help you provide quality customer service by training your staff.