When my son was 17, he accepted a job at a national grocery store as a part-time bag boy. Upon being hired, he went through the standard background and drug screening process, and then three days of training. Over the course of the training, he learned about his position, his role and responsibilities, and his expected work attire. These were set standards and expectations for employees at any of the grocery store chain’s locations across the country. I quickly recognized the blue shirt and khakis he wore home, the details he was asked to look for and take notice, and even the phrase I had heard so many times: “Would you like help bringing these to your car?” As a frequent customer in the store, I stopped, took notice and asked the question: “What does all this tell me about this grocery chain?” It told me the following:
- The company is serious about setting standards and expectations early on in their workforce.
- All employees who have contact with its customers represent its brand.
- Every interaction with customers is trained to be memorable, impactful, or even decisive.
Numerous studies have indicated a direct correlation between the effectiveness and expenditure of a company’s training and the positive perception of its brand. Not even employees of world-class customer service organizations like Disney or Southwest Airlines are required to know exactly what is expected of them before they are hired. Interviewers know what qualities they are looking for in an ideal candidate. These companies then invest in training to give their team guidelines and processes to ensure their customers’ expectations are met or exceeded.
So how does this relate to your professional service firm? Ask yourself the following questions:
- What do you want your brand to represent?
- Does every member of your firm represent that message?
- How are you training or equipping your team to ensure everyone is on the same page?
- Everyone is client facing, either internally or externally, so what are you doing to guarantee that your team knows what is expected to perform at a high level and remain on the team?
- What is your process to ensure consistently good client service and the ascertainment of your clients’ satisfaction?
- What does recovery look like in your firm in response to problems in client relationships?
If you are unsure about, or dissatisfied with, any of your answers to these questions, contact us or visit our website to learn more about potential solutions that will create the right answers for your firm.