#5 in the ‘8 ways to save yourself from…’ series
Nobody likes a customer complaint and millions of pounds are spent every year on customer service training, much of which is very good, but how good are your learners at remembering your great training and changing their behaviours when they get back into the fray of normal customer activity?
One reason that people may not change their behaviours back at work is lack of opportunity to reflect on, review and practice new ‘wobbly’ habits. What can you do to create opportunities and the motivation to review, refresh and remember what they learned?
1. Whatever your learners do to refresh afterwards make sure they recall rather than simply recognise information because the feeling of ‘recognition’ makes people feel overconfident they know something –until it comes to the test with their next customer.
2. Make the learning stickier in the first place by engaging people’s emotional, thinking brain as well as their rational, thinking brain. Encourage people to tell stories about what have been the best and worst experiences they’ve had with customers?
3. Use case studies but, rather than the hard work of writing them yourself, invite your participants to bring their real life case studies with them because they will learn from a great example as well as devise solutions for a serious challenge.
4. Send out specifically timed reviews that have been proven to preserve memories for longer. Without a memory of what you learned there’s very little chance of changing your behaviour. But make sure you know when these reviews need to happen – it’s not good enough for them to be random.
5. Send people away with a semi completed mindmap with some of the details of the programme missing. Ask them to add on the missing elements the next day in order to refresh their knowledge – and only if they can’t remember to check their notes.
6. Teach your participants and students about the work of memory researchers like Hermann Ebbinghaus, Craik and Lockhart, Baddely and Hitch, Peterson and Peterson. People don’t need a degree in psychology before they quickly understand that their part in remembering and applying what they learn is probably the most important of all. And teach them any memory tools you use in the training so they’ve got multiple ways to remember better (start them on some meta-learning).
7. Print out a jigsaw with key facts and send it out a week after the programme asking people to complete it and then perhaps put it up so they can see it regularly.
8. Use whatever technology is familiar to people to set up tests of learning after the training. Make them as real as possible to benefit from the power of contextual learning.
These 8 ideas won’t prevent all customer complaints but if your people can remember what they learn about customer service it’s going to go a long way to helping.
Find out why it’s so important to test and review and 52 more ways to do it at How to be a Brain Friendly Trainer