Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Internal Customer Service Training

When companies look to improve customer service, too many organizations make the mistake of focusing solely on external customer service. Measuring and analyzing how could we get better at identifying and meeting the expectations of our customers & users...Trying to identify tips and techniques that can set us apart from our competition are all very important.

But, the mistake that is too often made is the direction of our improvement focus. Instead of just focusing externally, let’s also look internally on how we identify and meet the expectations of our internal customers – our colleagues and coworkers. What type of service are we providing to our internal customers? In too many cases, external customer service delivery is negatively impacted by internal miscommunication, poor internal coordination or simply put “the left hand not knowing what the right hand needed or had promised to the customer!”   

Robert Townsend, founder of the Avis Corp. (the “We Try Harder” people) understood it completely. He said “If you’re not directly serving a customer, you damn well better be supporting the someones who are!” Too often we find that we are the ones who are shooting ourselves in the foot. The old comic strip “Pogo” said it best in one of their strips – “We have identified the enemy – and the enemy is us!” We’ve all had those situations where lack of internal coordination or communication created self-imposed hoops that we had to jump through to meet external customer’s deadlines or expectations. On the drive or ride home we sadly shake our heads and say to ourselves - “Sometimes, we are successful in spite and despite of ourselves.”   
At Proven Training Solutions, we’ve developed a program entitled “Seamless Internal Customer Service training that helps you overcome the 5 most common obstacles to improved and seamless internal customer service.

The 5 common obstacles Proven Training Solutions can help you overcome are:

      1)    Increasing internal communication by opening up your internal communication climate so when people do talk they can really be open & honest …especially about work status or deadlines.

      2)     Tearing down silos & barriers that exist between departments and/or people to increase work and work effort transparency so communication and information can flow horizontally through your organization.
      3)    Making employees more accountable & responsible for meeting due dates, deadlines and communicating. As the old saying goes, when no one’s accountable – no one’s responsible.  

      4)    Helping employees better understand their role and the role of internal customer service in the ‘big picture’ of the customer service process.

      5)    Resolving personality conflicts between key players by improving people’s interpersonal skills and situational awareness.

You can learn more about our Seamless Internal Customer Service training by viewing this video www.youtube.com/watch?v=PehZdp7O2qU or visiting our website at http://www.proven-training-solutions.com/customer-service-training/internal-customer-service-training/

Below is our overview video from the YouTube page:

You can reach us at 1-800-403-5456 to find out how we can customize our training solutions to meet your needs. 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Benefits Participants Can Receive From Management Training Seminars

Whether one is managing a small team or a large organization, effective management plays an important role to be able to succeed. This is the reason why constant refinement of management skills are necessary, and one way to do that is to attend management training seminars. Good thing is that there are lots of management training seminars and coaching programs available today. In fact, this is one of the programs that Proven Training Solutions provides.

What are the specific benefits participants can get from attending management training seminars? Well, there are a few which including the following:

  • Learn skills necessary to become an effective leader (enables management to motivate employees to deal with clients effectively, to dedicate ideal time to accomplish a project, and to learn to value the essence of timeliness and deadlines)
  • Develop improved management level decision-making with the help coming from coaches’ inputs as well as from other participants who have knowledge on how to make a management level decisions
  • Improve skills of managing different types of employees and clients
  • Learn to effectively delegate tasks to employees, so that resources (such as time and money) are not wasted
  • Learn to help employees understand the value of accountability and responsibility
  • Learn how to enhance core values, establish a more concrete mission, vision, and goals - helping employees to navigate down the path towards established goals
  • Learn to effectively conduct (accurate and fair) performance evaluations for employees, so that they can become more effective workers
  • Learn the skill of building trust and confidence among members of the team and/or organization 
  • Learn management strategies to help employees improve their communication skills with colleagues and management
  • Improve the skills on giving constructive criticism as well as impose disciplinary actions legally and safely

Proven Training Solutions - Reputable Provider of Management Training Seminars

PTS has been providing training and coaching programs for newer supervisors and managers from different industries for years. Through management training seminars and other business management training programs, businesses achieve improved relations with their employees and customers.

Interested in PTS programs? Send a message today at info@proven-training-solutions.com

Call us for inquiries at 1-800-403-5456

If you are interested in Internal Customer Service Training, read more on the internal customer service training page.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

How an Internal Customer Training in Arlington, VA Can Help Your Business

Many employees are trained to deliver good service to external customers. However, dealing with their internal customers (such as employees, stakeholders) is still a challenge even these days. This is partly because institutions tend to focus more on their external customers, when in fact internal customers should be given the same level of interest as well.

There are compelling reasons why businesses should improve their internal customer services some of these are the following:
  • It maintains an ideal environment for workforce, needed to deliver efficient services - a high level of service and support should begin from within the organization; when employees are happy, they are able to emulate it for external customers
  • A good working relationship within an organization is key to a high level of productivity, service or product quality and efficiency - necessary to create external customer loyalty. 
  • Internal customer service is a good training ground for enhanced external customer service - once your employees’ customer service skills are already polished inside your company, no doubt they are able to provide such high level of service to external customers with ease.
Internal customer service training, Arlington VA

There are a number of customer service training service providers you can ask for help to improve your employees’ skills on delivering a high level of service for internal customers. If you are in the Arlington, VA area, you might be interested in working with Proven Training Solutions. Our company has been helping businesses with an array of training solutions, which include internal customer service training.

When working with PTS for your internal customer service training, we will cover different areas for internal customer service improvement, including the following:
  • Understanding service perceptions and why they should be managed
  • Giving assessment on each employee’s needs as a customer
  • Understanding the elements of excellent service
  • Handles common service problems in ways to satisfy customers
  • The importance of teamwork within an organization and breaking the invisible barrier of compartmentalization
The success of your business, regardless of the industry you belong to, greatly depends on the quality of products or services you give to your customers, and your internal employees play an important role for that. Pay attention to your internal customers’ needs, the same way you address your external customers’.

Read more on the internal customer service training page.

Watch an overview of our internal customer service training below:

Monday, January 25, 2016

Tips for Creating and Strengthening Relationships with Remote Employees.

A few months ago, on the blog, I gave tips for businesses managing teleworking employees.

Today, I would like to address both the managers of virtual employees and the telecommuters

themselves. This includes those of you who are working from home, as remote employees.

Members of a Virtual Team:

1. Be dependable and reliable. Make sure you are taking this job as seriously as you would

if you were in the physical office. Meet the deadlines set out for you by your manager. If

you are unable to meet the agreed-upon deadline for your project, make sure and keep

everyone involved apprised of the situation, and where you are on the project.

2. Make sure you know what your management expects. Clear communication is key

when you are working remotely. Make sure expectations and deadlines are understood

by both parties involved so there are no surprises. If you aren't clear on your boss's

expectations, speak up.

3. Get to know your colleagues. When you are working on a project with others, take time

to get familiar with those you will be working with. You won't have the same

opportunity to get to know your peers as you would if you worked in an office together,

so do a little research (either on social media or by sending them a get-to-know-you

email) so you can see where they are coming from. You may also want to take a minute

or two to find out a little about them on the phone. It's important to create a

relationship with those on your virtual team.

4. Talk when you need to. Technology is great! Being able to email and message people is

a very efficient way to communicate. But sometimes things can get lost in translation

and emails can be ambiguous. If you are dealing with a topic that can be easily

misunderstood, or one that is complicated, you will want to pick up the phone rather

than shooting off an email.

5. Don't get lost. If you can arrange regular progress reports and stay in regular

communication with your boss, you won't fall off his radar. Be assertive and proactive so

that you will not get overlooked, as can happen when you aren't in their proximity daily.

6. Keep up to date on technology. Make sure you are proficient in the latest hardware and

software that will be needed for the job. You don't want to slow down the team by

being the person who always needs to ask how to do things. If you don't know how,

take some time to learn.

7. Research cultural differences and take them into consideration. Because you are

working remotely, your colleagues may be from different countries, have different

backgrounds, and different cultures than you. You want to be sensitive to the cultural

differences of your colleagues. You may want to invest in sensitivity training (Proven

Training Solutions offers this).

Virtual Team Managers:

1. Make sure your expectations are clear. Are your directions and expectations clear?

Ensure that your remote employees are aware of your what you expect regarding

deadlines and work completed.

2. Use virtual meetings as a tool. You will need to become a master of communication and

be able to manage virtual meetings so that your team can effectively communicate.

3. Hire the right people. Some qualities that make people well-suited for remote work

include: above average communication skills, ability to work on their own, being self-

starter, and great organizational skills. List these qualities when posting and

interviewing for the position. You want to make sure that the person ( or people ) you

hire are suited for the job.

4. Make your orientation face-to-face. Once you've hired the right person, it's time to

train them. Take time to meet with your new employee in person if possible. Meeting in

person can make a difference in the quality of your working relationship.

5. Be sensitive to cultural differences. Invest in cultural sensitivity training. Research the

country and culture of your new employees if they live in a different country than you.

This will help you inadvertently offend your new employee and will also help your

relationship grow.

6. When you commit - see it through. It can be extremely frustrating for an employee

when the manager procrastinates. If they have to wait at length for you to make a

decision or to get back to them with the information they need to complete a project, it

could hurt your relationship. Commit to following through on  your commitments to

your remote employees.

These days more people are teleworking than ever before. I have noticed a dramatic increase in the demand for training in this area. Hopefully managers find these tips useful and can keep them in mind when managing their off-site employees.

Proven Training Solutions provides training for managing virtual and remote employees in DC area including Washington, Virginia and Arlington.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Thoughts on Sensitivity Training Going into 2016

Hello everyone, Bill Walsh here. 

I hope you are all having a great holiday season and if you are reading this after December 31st then a Happy New Year to you!

Going into 2016 I have been booked for many Sensitivity Training Courses for businesses in Washington and Arlington. This is something that doesn’t really surprise me as many business operators like to start the new year off with new training for their employees.

Year after year Sensitivity Training continues to be a popular training course and honestly, I think this is a good thing. 

With more and more instances of workplace harassment and abuse being reported each year, it seems to be that there is no such thing as TOO MUCH awareness about this issue.

The only problem that I find when it comes to sensitivity training is that not everyone takes it as seriously as they should. If I had a dollar for every time someone made an “insensitive” joke during their sensitive training I would be a rich man!

Employees, often snicker and laugh when dealing with the sensitive matters addressed during “sensitivity training”. As the trainer I have learnt to take this with a grain of salt. I just hope that what I am teaching sinks in.

It is true that we are in a very enlightened era. However, matters of workplace harassment and abuse are not to be scoffed at. Inappropriate conduct can cost businesses money when lawsuits are filed. Employees, can lose their job if they do not conduct themselves appropriately. 

For this reason Sensitivity Training continues to be necessary (and needed) in all workplaces. It doesn’t matter how modern or progressive your office is your employees need to be properly educated about conduct issues. It is wise to provide them with training for liability purposes as well. This way you can at least be certain that everyone is aware of the expectations and policies that are in place.

That is just my two cents. Going into 2016, I am hoping that there will be less “news” about large  workplace harassment lawsuits. I also am hoping that my training courses actually sink in.

Until next time

Monday, November 23, 2015

More tips for Managing Offsite and Teleworking Employees

As a manager there are a few things that so make dealing with offsite and teleworking employees that are slightly more difficult. For instance, when you have off site employees you have to be more diligent about communicating and interacting with your employees. Instead of waiting to run into them at the water cooler you must go out of your way to touch base and communicate clearly with your remote employees

When you do communicate with your off site employees it is important to be organized and discuss the important items that need to be dealt with. Here are some pointers to make this easier.

Communicating effectively with your off site or remote employees

1. Establish goals

First things first, in order to make the most out of the time you have talking to your off site employee begin the conversation by defining some clear goals for the conversation.

This will help you stay on track and make sure you get to the most important items during the conversation.

2.  Plan for the next conversation

Once you have touched on your goals for the conversation also make sure that you establish your expectations for the next conversation. Also schedule the future conversation so that your remote employee has a clear deadline.

3. Let your employee know how they can reach you if they need you

Before you conclude your conversation make sure that you also let your employee know when you will be available if you are needed for questions or clarification. This helps to let your employee feel more comfortable reaching out to you if they need assistance before your next scheduled conversation.

4. Reinforce the positive

Because remote employees often feel out of the loop make an effort to reinforce the positive and thank them for their role in the team!

5. Don’t leave them out

Lastly make an extra effort to include remote employees in workplace meetings, social events and communications. If you want your off site employees to give their all. Make sure that you include them in the day to day operations of the business. 

When you are dealing with employees who are not located in the same building as the rest of your team it can be easy to forget or neglect that relationship. As a manager it is important to go the extra mile when communicating with your telecommuters so that they feel as if they are part of the bigger picture. This will help you to create a stronger and more productive working environment. 


Proven Training Solutions provides training for managing virtual and remote employees in DC area including Washington, Virginia and Arlington.

Monday, November 16, 2015

How to Successfully Manage Teleworking and Offsite Employees

Hey everyone, it is Bill again and I am back to share a few of my thoughts on managing employees who are telecommuting!

A larger number of businesses are allowing their employees to work remotely these days. As more companies embrace this trend, new techniques to manage teleworking and offsite employees are being explored. New technology has made the management of employees located at home (or other locations) easier than ever. However, not having your team onsite every day can raise a few workplace challenges. Today, we are going to talk about some helpful strategies that will allow you to more easily support and lead a team offsite staff.

Individuals in all industries, working in all sorts of roles are now able to stay home and work remotely.This can be an excellent way for a company to save money on office spaces. It can also boost morale and overall productivity. 

In these circumstances managers often struggle to coach and lead remote workers effectively with the biggest challenge being clear communication and regulating time management. 

I have had many years of experience coaching leaders on managing employees. I also have a few theories about how you can keep things running smoothly even when managing teleworkers/ offsite individuals. 

Communication is key!

Employees working remotely, can often get left out of the loop. 

This is especially true when dealing with different time zones or work schedules. 

As a manager it is important to remember that you cannot expect everyone to be available all of the time.

To make the telecommuting experience more beneficial for everyone it is important to establish communication guidelines and expectations early on. Come up with routine virtual meeting times that are consistently the same. Also express deadlines for responses on important emails or assignments. You should also make sure that you also stick to these agreements as the manager. Lead by example and set a standard so that your employees know that you are reliable. Good employees will return the favour!

Time Management is Not As Important As Meeting Deadlines -

Truthfully when you are dealing with telecommuters it is nearly impossible to expect your employees to work on a "set schedule". The greatest perk of remote work is that you can create your own day structure and choose when and how you work. 

Instead of taking this flexibility away from your employees embrace it! Avoid making "rules" about how many hours each day employees must work. Do set concrete deadlines and encourage your remote employees to meet them. Try allowing your employees to choose their own work schedule but also be clear about your deadline expectations. 

You'll find that some employees prefer an 8 hour work day, while others will take days off and work full days to get the job done. You will also find that morale is higher because employees are free to manage their own time. 

Make this work by keeping the lines of communication clear and sticking to a regular communication schedule.

Embracing the challenge of managing teleworking and offsite employees 

Obviously, managing teleworking employees comes with a fair share of challenges. In my experience I have found that the best way to work with a team under these circumstances is by embracing the situation and actually using it as an incentive. If you make it clear that working remotely is a privilege and way that you show trust to your staff, you will be met with a much more positive response. Remember though, you have to set communication standards and maintain them to make the arrangement work. You should also "let go" of the 8 hour work day and embrace a more free range structure for your remote team. Try to place emphasis on getting the work done in time for a deadline rather that within a conventional work day.

Good Luck!

-Bill Walsh

For more information about virtual or offsite employees visit Proven Training Solutions.

Currently offering training for managing virtual and remote employees in DC area including Washington, Virginia and Arlington.