Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

 

June 29, 2018

Jeff MowattBy Jeff Mowatt

One of the most common challenges I hear from managers and business owners is how to get staff to want to provide better service. After having trained literally hundreds of customer service teams for over 25 years, I’ve observed that the organizations who nurture the best service behaviours use these five strategies.

1. Educate towards empathy

It’s easier to get employees to care about customers by putting them in the place of customers. That’s why when clients bring me in to conduct customer service training seminars for their teams, I ask participants to create a list of what they expect when they are customers. Then we reveal tips on how, by simply changing a few words, staff can demonstrate that they understand the customer’s perspective. Compare: “I’ll have to check our schedule” vs. “I’ll be happy to check our schedule for you.”

2. Send grumps to your competitor

Pay attention to how each of your employees responds when a customer casually asks, “How are you?” If an employee uses that small-talk question as a license to complain about how he or she feels (tired, busy, or ready for a break) it’s time for a chat or a training review. That employee needs to make a serious choice to either a) stop burdening customers with their problems, or b) consider working for the competition. That might sound harsh, but the last thing today’s harried customers need is to be forced to listen to the soul sucking lamentations of a service provider who over-shares. The bonus of sending toxic talkers to work for your competitor is your remaining staff will appreciate the more positive atmosphere with the purging of just one negative person.

3. Catch them being good

This message was pasted on a banner at a daycare across from a fitness room where I was working out. It was meant to remind the staff to pay attention when toddlers are doing the right things; not just correcting them when they misbehave. Similarly, managers foster better customer experiences by catching employees when they provide exceptional service. The key then is to ensure all team members learn from the positive behaviour. That leads us to…

4. Stage CAST meetings

Getting employees to care requires more than a onetime event; it requires ongoing nurturing of your customer service culture. To make the process more efficient, consider staging CAST meetings. CAST stands for a Customer Service Team Meeting. It’s where leaders and their teams talk about how to make the experience better for customers, employees, managers, and other stakeholders. CAST meetings take as little as 90 minutes a month and you’ll find that in as little as six months they transform your customer service culture. Essentially they involve reminding team members of your service mission and standards, providing a coaching moment, disseminating customer service feedback, discussing ways to enhance the experience, and celebrating your service legends — examples where staff went above and beyond for customers. I detail the step-by-step process in my book, Becoming a Service Icon in 90 Minutes a Month

5. Turn service stars into owners

As the expression goes, owners care more, and it shows (particularly to customers). Employees who have a vested financial interest in ensuring customers are happy over the long term take a different approach to service than those who are just waiting for a paycheque. That may mean putting your money (actually your equity) where your mouth is. At some point high performing frontline employees, who presumably don’t earn as much as managers, are going to want to create a more secure financial future. One of the most effective ways to involve them — literally — is to offer share ownership to your star performers.

Bottom line: cultivating a customer service culture isn’t complicated. It does however require training and support. Some managers claim they’re too busy for this. My question: in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace where your service is increasingly the only significant differentiator, what could possibly be more important to managers than ensuring your team provides outstanding service that customers notice, pay a premium for, and tell others about?

This article is based on the bestselling book, Influence with Ease by Hall of Fame motivational speaker Jeff Mowatt. To obtain your own copy of his book or to inquire about engaging Jeff for your team, visit www.jeffmowatt.com.

 

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Electrician Forum Brought to you by Schneider Electric

As industry experts you know the products you use everyday better than anyone and should have input on what information you receive about products and what could improve them.

Therefore, we want your insight on the biggest challenges or issues you face when installing loadcentres, breakers (CAFI, GFI's…) and other surge protection devices. We ask that you do not provide product specific details but rather your general issues and concerns or any questions that have come to mind while working with these product types. Provide us with your valued expert insight into the issues you have faced so manufacturers can better inform you about the installation and use of these products. Lets generate some discussion that will help guide the Industry.

Make your comments  HERE

 

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Cloud

There has been a lot of talk about cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) models these days but both are relatively new to the lighting industry. Let’s take a look at what they are as well as their roles in commercial lighting.

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of compute power, database storage, and applications via the Internet with pay-as-you-go or subscription-based pricing. Cloud computing means that instead of all the computer hardware, software, and data that you are using sitting somewhere inside your company’s network, it’s provided and managed for you as a service by another company and you access it over the Internet. 

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Copper $US Dollar price per pound


 

Jean-Marc Myette

By Line Goyette

Meeting people in our industry often comes with surprises. This was the case with Jean-Marc Myette, Business Development Manager of ABB’s Electrification Products Division and chair of the Board of Electro-Federation Canada’s Quebec section. Not only does he know the electrical industry down to the most minute product and technological innovations, he is also a professional car racer on sabbatical, and someone very involved in his business community and personal life.

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