Customer Service Training Should be Your New Year’s Resolution


During some travel hiccups with our recent holidays, my family and I decided to spend a few days at a large indoor waterpark-hotel so that our 11-year-old daughter (and us, truth be told!) could enjoy a few days of fun and relaxation. The overall experience was great, and we tremendously enjoyed the time making memories together.

The resort had obviously spent a great deal of time and money in training front desk personnel as well as investing in texting technology to provide guests updates throughout their stay. Kudos on all of that.

However, where the resort failed was providing training to other on-site staff on how to answer questions or how/where to direct people with inquiries.

For example, as we walked into the waterpark this sign in the image above greeted us: Pool Towels**Cabana Rentals.  (Please note, we tweaked the logo from the exact photo I took to protect the name of the organization.) As we went up to the individual below this sign, we asked, “How do we rent a cabana?” This seemed like a logical question since the young lady was standing directly under the sign and was handing out towels – which was the other obvious role for her at this spot.

Her answer? “I have no idea.”

Okay, um, wait a second, she’s under a sign that clearly states Cabana Rentals, yet she has no idea how cabanas are rented, nor has she been given training on how to answer the question to provide guests more direction. Point of purchase mistake. We were interested and at the point to rent a cabana, but we were away from the front desk or concierge services and didn’t feel like trekking back to inquire again.

A missed sales/income opportunity.

We hear this type of story again and again and it’s this type of communication – or noncommunication – that consumers remember and share with others. It’s not the thread count of sheets at the hotel, nor the beautiful design of your marketing collateral nor the cleanliness of the waiting room at the doctor’s offices.

I’m not here to shame the organization in my example because I know there are so many other businesses out there that spend time and money on updated facilities, improved products, competitive research, and sales/advertising, yet fail to invest in their most significant resource – their people.

What if, when a new family comes to your school, they are greeted with excitement and enthusiasm by the front desk person – and perhaps served a cookie while waiting – rather than just being asked to take a seat until the principal or admissions director can get to them?

Or, perhaps when a person calls into your credit union to ask about loan prices, we don’t consider them a “price checker” but rather as the next big member? Would your tone change and would they feel comfortable to have a full conversation with you?

Better yet, what if you trained your front desk personnel checking in patients at your physician’s practice, to welcome people and empathize that they are taking time out of their day for a potentially scary situation with their health?

And what if, when you ask a team member to stand under a sign that clearly states, “Cabana Rentals,” that s/he knows how to do just that and/or how to answer questions to better assist customers?

We spend a great deal of time with companies on marketing initiatives but also focus significant effort on customer service training. After all, we want people to come to your door, but we also want them to feel welcomed, stay, and tell others about their awesome experience. If your organization needs to improve referrals and/or better retain clients, connect with Chartwell Agency to provide customer service training.