Monthly Archives: November 2013

How to give effective customer service?

I knew someone who was very ill in hospital. She was diagnosed with a life threatening cancerous tumour. Her wonderful consultant successfully the tumour and saved her life. Unfortunately, post op she contracted MRSA in her wounds which meant a long stay in an isolation ward in a well-known Dublin Private hospital. The MRSA a minor blip, she had come through major surgery but the real pain in all of this was the poor service on a human level that she experienced over three weeks in that hospital.  So what, you may ask, has all this to do with Customer Care? Let me explain.

It’s never just about the place it’s always about the atmosphere.Image

Millions were spent on this spanking state of the art hospital and you could tell. Gorgeous bathroom, great TV, even a view! Of course none of that mattered because a lot of time the atmosphere was as cold and impersonal as a dark dungeon. You see, some (not all) of the nursing and catering staff had forgotten about the people end of their job. They had forgotten the basics of what makes for a positive customer experience. It’s fine to spend millions on a building and specialist equipment but without friendly professionally trained staff it’s only a building. Your customers and mine will be judge not just on the surroundings, we will be judged by the attitude of our staff. The things that really matter to customers is the experience not just the product or the building and furniture.

 

Customers don’t ask for a lot really. A friendly smile.

A little humour. A minute to make conversation and be treated as a person not a statistic.

When Customer Care is not evident, we customers/patients become nervous and insecure and when that happens we become difficult to deal with, which will make your day more stressful.

These basic customer care skills if not practiced will result in poor customer satisfaction no matter what business you’re in.

My friend eventually recovered from the MRSA. So grateful and happy to be alive. She will always remember those who exceeded all customer expectations and she has worked at blocking out Nurse Ratched and her followers.

So what is Customer Care? Simple! Smile. Look interested. Show your Humanity. Listen. Create a great atmosphere. Guys, if you don’t do the basics, you won’t do the business. Do the basics and you will do the business and keep it! Superior Customer Service is easy.

Hibernian Training Courses run customer service courses every month. To sign up for any of our customer service courses or to simply enquire or get information about all our courses in management that we have to offer, click here

We are located in Dublin City Centre, on Fenian Street

12 Ways to Disagree Without Losing Friends

The workplace can be a perilous and thorny scene for disagreements. Being loud and clear leaves no room for misinterpretation. But it can also leave no room for anyone else’s ideas. Staying silent doesn’t air dissenting opinion. So that’s no good, either.

How to find more neutral ground? Here are 12 ways to register your disagreement without clobbering coworkers with the know-it-all club.

1. “Hmmm…” (then, silence)

It can be hard to stay silent when we disagree with someone. But doing so actually gives a reaction. It’s just a silent one. Chances are, the person will follow up with more detail or try to explain their idea better or more convincingly. Plus, it leaves some space in the conversation.

 

2. “Why?”

If silence is too subtle, try asking just, “why?” Then keeping quiet. It’s respectful, but direct.

 

 

3. “I hear the pros. What about some of the cons?”

This response shows you’re listening, but dubious. And it invites your co-worker to think through other options and share them.

 

4. “So, what do you consider the downsides to be?”

Here, you aren’t indicating any sense of agreement. And like #3, it leads your co-worker — not you — to point out flaws or shortcomings with the idea. That can help keep defensiveness at bay.

 

5. “Can you talk me through that in more detail? I’m not seeing a successful outcome with that approach.”

This response gives people more time to talk, which lets them feel like they are being listened to. Plus, it does let them explain the idea more clearly. Significantly, it also shows that — in a calm manner — you are not on board.

6. “Well, let’s imagine if this happened…”

This response lets you object in a way that feels collaborative. You’re proposing to puzzle through options together and continue the discussion.

 

 

7. “We could look at it from this perspective, too”

Here’s another way to discuss potential pitfalls from the approach of being on the same team. This response effectively makes space for your view. But it doesn’t sound threatening, so you’re more likely to be heard.

8. “I see the situation from this angle”

Here, your opposition is implied, just not named. You don’t state: “I disagree.” Even though you do. Rather, you jump right to the next step and share your differing view.

9. “I’d like to lay out another perspective”

This is another phrase that achieves a result similar to #8. You present your view without first declaring an unfavorable opinion about your co-worker’s idea. This is subtle. Yet, it creates a much more neutral context for your proposal to be received and heard.

10. “I don’t see it that way”

This response naturally invites your co-worker to ask you why. It sets up a platform for you to keep talking and explain why you disagree.

11. “I have a different take on that. Here are my thoughts…”

This response indicates two things: you’re not a fan of the idea and you’re going to present your reasons. Still, it sounds much less confrontational than: “You’re wrong, and here’s why.”

12. “I see risks with that approach, such as these…”

This is the most direct response of the bunch. It clearly states your opposition. And it indicates that you’re going to lay out the flaws and shortcomings you see with your co-worker’s idea. However, it still avoids personalizing the disagreement by firing back with: “You’re wrong.” Or worse: “That’s stupid!”

I’m not suggesting that we tiptoe around colleagues with whom we disagree. Not at all. But what I am saying is this: when you use phrases that are civil and respectful in disagreeing with co-workers, you are more likely to keep the discussion calm and also more likely to get your own point across. When people feel like they or their ideas are being attacked, it shuts down the conversation.

You might disagree, and I’m happy to hear why. You might also have other effective approaches for dissenting in the workplace to share.

Communication Can Change Lives

Here’s your challenge:
Go out today and make a positive impact on someone’s day. Listen. Be sincere. Smile generously. Be generous in praise and compliments. Communication has the power to make a difference and change lives, or at the very least make someone’s day more luminous.

Here are some famous inspirational quotes. Share them with your friends!

1. “You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life” ~ Zig Ziglar

A well-timed positive word or compliment can change the course of someone’s day.

2. “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all” ~Thumper from Bambi

Negative words traumatize and leave an impression that can last for days. If the communication is going to do harm, take Thumper’s advice.

3. “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you” ~ Dale Carnegie

“You” is the most important word in any conversation. Minimize the “I” and the “Me” and focus on the “you.”

4. “What will they think of me? Must be put aside for bliss” ~ Joseph Campbell

Put aside your worries about what other’s will think of you and just serve others with your message.

5. “I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university” ~ Albert Einstein

Treat everyone with respect no matter their status.

6. “Save all your worries for Wednesday” James Teague Ward

By the time each Wednesday comes around you will struggle to remember all your worries.

 

 

Close your Training Course with Impact!

Close your Training Course with Impact!

Written by Crona Sheehan

We have all done it! Time has run out, it’s 4.45 on Friday of a long weekend and I have not left enough time to close the training course. I find myself abruptly summarising the main learning points, handing out the evaluation forms and within 5 minutes I am left in an empty room wondering where it all went wrong! The answer is of course, simple. Closing Stupid!!

The closing can be a much overlooked part of the training day. When a course is abruptly closed our delegates are unsure if the training objectives were achieved and can be left wondering” What was all that about?” Here are some tips to help you close your training courses that will leave a lasting impact on your learners.

  1. Review the Training Objectives: Confirm with delegates that all the training objectives were met by summarising the main points from each training module.
  2. Encourage feedback: Ask the group to comment on their learning experience of each training module. If there is dissatisfaction, facilitate a discussion; if everyone is happy move on, to the next item. People need to walk out the door knowing that their training objectives were met.
  3. Review action items: Make sure that participants who are responsible for action items are committed to complete the action item. Confirm the date by which each item will be completed.
  4. Evaluate the session: Conduct a formal evaluation of the training to determine your delegates’ level of satisfaction with the process and the trainer’s skills. Let them know that they do not have to put their name on the evaluation form.
  5. Thank delegates for their participation: Make a point of thanking delegates for their time and input to the process. End on a positive note.

By following these Train the Trainer guidelines you will effectively close your training course. Your delegates will leave knowing that they got what they came for. You will know that the training was a success and your job as a professional trainer was done.

If you’re interested in becoming a Professional Certified Trainer be sure to check out our Train the Trainer Fetac Level 6 course.

Management – Why You Need to Be A Caring Leader

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I heard today that Dublin house prices are on the rise. Instead of breathing a sigh of relief that someone, some day will buy this pile of bricks from me, I must admit that deep down I could not help feeling depressed remembering all those boring conversations about the increasing value of someone else’s home. Yawn!! Seriously, I don’t think I could handle it again.

When you think about it back then (maybe we still are) we were surrounded by so called leaders who were supposed to be experts at winning; — elections, deals, titles, bonuses, profit. And often, we were told that they were the ones we should look up to — because it’s the spoils and the mulah that really matter.

But, it’s not about what you have, and how much —it’s about what you do, and why. Real leaders get this, and lead their teams successfully by sticking to the basic principles of people management. Here are a few thoughts about management practices for today’s workplace.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THEM.

 ”All things being equal, we will work harder and more effectively for people we like. And we like them in direct proportion to how they make us feel.”

That’s a quote cited by James Kouzes and Barry Posner in their book Encouraging the Heart (Jossey- Bass, 1999). What’s being talked about is emotional, caring leadership. If you want your team to care about its work, you have to care about your team.
Remember you are working for your team not the other way around. It’s not just about what you do—it is about how you think. Know your people as people. Show concern for them.

TELL THE TRUTH

Assume responsibility for your actions and the actions of those you lead. It is about being accountable for actions and outcomes—yours and others. Leaders accept responsibility. It matters more than they do.

SET HIGH STANDARDS OF PERFORMANCE AND BEHAVIOUR.

Always promote really high standards of work. Lead by example. Your attitude towards work/clients will be adopted by your staff. Standards of behaviour are as important as standards of work. The behaviour you adopt when communicating with your people will create that atmosphere within the team.

BE A CARING MANAGER

For some managers the mention of becoming a caring leader may sound “touchyfeely”, managers who are used to thinking about productivity, the next big pitch and budgets.
The practices of caring leadership “are core leadership skills, “according to Kouzes and Posner. They write. “They are not just about showing people they can win for the sake of making them feel good. This is a curiously serious business. …Leaders must make sure that people experience in their hearts that what they do matters”. This seems to be the recipe for helping people to succeed.

CONCLUSION

So, perhaps I should not panic about forthcoming boring property conversations. We all know that the Irish economy is still in the red, greed isn’t good, bankers shouldn’t earn a billion times what teachers do, TD’s should not get paid €100,000 in pensions for running country into the ground, the sky really is blue, and Roy Keane is second in command  — and the leader must continue to lead.

Hibernian Training Courses run a number of management courses, including; Managing People course FETAC Level 6, Supervisory Management course FETAC Level 6 and Management, Development and Leadership course FETAC Level 6. To sign up for any of our management courses or to simply enquire or get information about all our courses in management that we have to offer, click here

We are located in Dublin City Centre, on Fenian Street