Employment Costs – Company Image is Crucial – but you still need to control the cost.
People come and people go in every organisation, but you should never let personnel change erode your company image.
Doesn’t it make you cringe when you phone into the office on an ‘away day’ and the receptionist makes it sound as though you misdialled and got through to Fred’s Back Street Warehouse?
Just as bad is the feeling you get as you stride through customer support and overhear poor advice being given to a caller.
Okay, you always take action, you always put it right. You tell yourself it only happens on rare occasions, when you need to backfill because of staff shortage, sickness or holidays.
But, you know it does happen and you have a sneaky suspicion it happens most often when you don’t see it. Receptionists, support staff, delivery drivers, field workers, representatives, they all present the ‘face’ of your company to a particular individual at a particular moment in time.
While you take care to ensure that new employees are schooled in the correct techniques to present the professional face of your company there are times when busy schedules mean the lessons are not learned quickly enough.
In these days of 'judgment by performance' only one person is going to carry the can for poor presentation and whether you are proprietor, manager or team leader that person is you. You can't very well take it out on the people who fail you, especially if you didn’t allow enough time to train them in the first place.
You could of course make sure that new and temporary hire is always of a very high standard. That would bring new skills and talent into the business, but of course there would still be some training. Even the brightest individuals are not clairvoyant and they can't know your internal methods until someone shows them. And don't forget that recruiting from the top of the tree in order to import skill and ability incurs a cost premium.
So, how do you make sure that the people you employ present the best service to your customers from day one?
One way is to make absolutely sure that every employee has easy access to any resource they may need. In order to perform even a simple task a person needs to know how you want it done. It makes sense, therefore, to document your processes. Everything from answering the phone to giving detailed product support can be written up and given as a resource to employees where and when they need it.
Technical authoring will ensure that the documentation describes the processes in straightforward language, enabling average employees to follow the steps and ensure all customer contact is conducted in a precise and professional manner.
New and temporary hire need only to be shown where to find documentation to be fully capable of piloting a customer interaction to a satisfactory conclusion.
Everyone wins, your employees are happy because they have confidence in what they are doing, your customers receive a professional service and feel safe in their association with your organization and the next time you call in on an ‘away day’ you'll be proud to experience the professionalism.
© Copyright 2007
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris A Watkins is a writer with many years experience in the provision of Technical documentation. His industry experience ranges from vehicle fleet management, through IT, to small business management. http://cawatkins.blogspot.com/