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Prepping for customer service success: How to set up a motivating, effective training session
Prepping for customer service success: How to set up a motivating, effective training sessionOne of the most important assets of a quality healthcare organization is great customer service. From exceptionally comforting bedside manner to quickly and effectively handling customer inquiries, stand-out service can go a long way in keeping patient, customer and client satisfaction high.Whether you’re looking to beef up your current customer service efforts or add to your already stellar service reputation, read on to learn more on how to plan for, implement and follow-up on your next customer service training session!

Pre-session to-do
Note: The first decision to make when planning your customer training session is whether you’re going to handle its implementation in-house, hire a professional speaker or consultant, or go with a hybrid of the two. There are plenty of amazing, qualified resources out there to assist you if that’s the road you take. Simply search “Healthcare Customer Service Training” online to find them! For the purpose of this e-newsletter, we’ll focus on handling your seminar completely internally, because this can be a bit more challenging for healthcare organizations.

  • Set the date. Consider holding your seminar on three separate days, half-day only, so that your busy healthcare professionals can choose a date that works best with their packed schedules.
  • Create the day’s agenda, assessing what specific issues are unique to your organization’s customer service needs. Is keeping a positive attitude difficult for many employees? Do they often handle high-stress crisis situations? Brainstorm these challenges, and formulate your agenda around overcoming them. Assign leadership roles to senior team members, and outline any guidelines in creating their presentation or taking charge of their breakout session.
  • Notify employees of the mandatory training session at least a month out. Include the date(s), topic of the seminar and why it’s important to attend. Provide a benefits summary, and include any additional employee expectations or preparation measures. Send all info out via e-mail, including a link to an online registration form where they can choose their attendance date and submit any questions they want to bring to the table. Also print the URL on Indoor Banners to remind all employees to register!

High excitement, zero boredom ideas
During the customer service training seminar, keep the activities varied and employees interested:

  • Schedule an inspiring keynote presentation – either your CEO (or another relevant higher-up) or a hired spokesperson on the topic of customer service. The speaker should be one with plenty of experience in how customer service affects healthcare organizations in particular. Have a short Q&A session after the keynote to heighten employee engagement.
  • Mix it up with breakout sessions to discuss topics more in-depth on a personal level. Have senior staff members lead the eight- to 10-person groups, facilitating discussions and giving their input. Reward group members who are enthusiastic participants with logo’d company gear like Organic T-Shirts, Mesh Tote Bags or Leather Luggage Tags.
  • Sometimes the best way to learn how to more effectively handle a situation is by watching it unfold and helping to work it out. That’s why situational role playing can be a great activity for a customer service seminar. Come up with five to seven common situations that may arise in your hospital or organization, and have staff members volunteer to act them out, reading from a script. Then, allow for discussion amongst your team on how the situation would be worst handled and how it could be best handled. Offer tips for delivering great service, staying positive and keeping your cool during these often high-stress or surprise situations.

Wrap up & follow-up
Make your seminar’s message stick by:

  • Leaving each co-worker with an action plan for what to do next. How should each person apply the day’s information to their daily work experience? How will follow-up be handled? What are the key takeaways? Spend the last half hour of the session filling in the answers to these key questions with each employee.
  • Putting all the day’s resources in one, easy-to-find place online. Post all of the event’s presentations or .pdf handouts on the company Intranet, so teammates can reference them at a later date. Remind everyone where to find them by handing out Swivel Magnifying Glass or Magnifying Glass Key Rings after the seminar, imprinted with the URL of where they can “search and find” the day’s resources!
  • Seal the deal and make their customer service training completion official by awarding all participants with personalized certificates or Crystal Award Statuettes. Encourage them to keep the awards front-and-center on their desks to remind them to deliver exceptional customer service each and every day.

Customer service training can be a great kick-off measure to new standards of service, or even as a refresher for an already superior team of healthcare providers. Consider putting on your own customer service seminar to kick your efforts into high-gear and make your customers even happier!

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