Monday, November 25, 2013

A Taste of My Own Medicine

Have you ever watched a video of yourself giving a presentation?  I suggest this to my public speaking students at Central Wyoming College.  There is really no better way to evaluate and improve your public speaking than by being your own critic.  This is advice that I have recently realized is easier said than done.

My talk from TEDxJacksonHole was recently posted online, and it has been somewhat unsettling to watch myself perform such a personal speech on the internet.  It was actually easier for me to deliver the speech in front of  a live audience of 500 people than it has been watching it online.  Check it out for yourself, and let me know what you think.  (Be kind)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Training That Sticks

You know how important customer service is to your business.  When you see a customer leave your business with a smile on their face, you know they are likely to do business with you again.  Moreover, there’s  a good chance they will recommend you to their friends and family.

Knowing this, you probably provide some customer service training to your employees (If not, you really need to!).   I challenge you to consider how much of your training focuses on procedures (i.e. what to do) vs. behaviors (i.e. how to do it). 
What to do                                               How to do it                                                   
     Make customers feel welcomed                 Be genuinely interested in your customers
     Exceed customer’s expectations                Empathize with your customer's situation
     Maintain a positive attitude                         Recognize and manage your emotions at work

Chances are you have been focusing mostly on training procedures, which is good.  Unfortunately, “good” isn’t what you are aiming for.  Raising the level of your customer service requires that you train the behavioral skills your employees need to truly “wow” your customers.    

Learning behavior skills works best when the training is customized to individual strengths and personalities. Don't assume that a group training session is going to do the trick.  Follow it up with individual meetings to find out what part of the training your employees felt was most valuable. Ask thoughtful questions about how they will apply what they learned.  Providing individual attention improves employee engagement, retention, and skill development.  This is especially true with younger employees who are used to more individualized attention from parents and teachers.  Give it a try.  It'll be the most valuable time you spend improving performance all year, and might even improve your relationships with your employees.