Customer Service Training Courses Need to Concentrate on the 2 Ps of Customer Service

On customer service training courses one of the key questions is, what is customer service? And are the customers always right. Everyone’s perception of customer service is different; there are common threads to most customer service training courses.

I have used the word perception in the first paragraph and it really is one of the most important words to remember, as good or bad customer service really is down to perception.

I recall shortly after 9/11 I was travelling to Florida, we were supposed to change flights in Newark, but what happened was the flight was late landing in Newark and we missed the connection flight to Florida.

The reason given for the delay was that the flight had to change its flight path due to the recent tragedy at the World Trade Centre. Although this was understandable it was still amazing to watch the reactions of the customers like us, who were affected by missing connecting flights.

From a customer view point, it was obvious to see that the airline staff had been through some level of service training. They apologized, showed empathy offered options and tried their utmost to calm some of the more difficult customers, just the type of key skills one would learn on a customer service course.

Just as we are always taught about service to customer, put yourself in the customers shoes, and offer options, the airline staff offered free accommodation and meals for those who had to wait overnight etc. The customer service training had really paid off, or so I thought.

Unfortunately when we were being transported by coach to the nearby hotels many of the customers were not happy with the service. At least 50% of customers felt the service was poor as it should not have happened in the first place. Although they did feel the people dealing with the problem did help they felt they would be reluctant to travel with the airline again.

The other 50% understood the problem and although were not happy about missing the connecting flights felt the skills the staff had show were excellent and they had done their utmost to resolve a situation they had no control over.

That evening I learned 2 crucial lessons; I learned that approximately 40 customers had received the very same service but their perceptions of the service they received were very different.

I also learned that training in this area should really concentrate on 2 key areas the first being the personal service the client receives from an individual or a company. The second being training should also concentrate on the performance or standards of service.

Both sets of customers were right the personal service was excellent; however the standards of performance were poor. With this in mind all service training courses should concentrate on the 2 Ps of customer service training.

Personal and Performance