Employment advice: Customer service with a smile

Kieron Hill, from Kieron Hill Employment Services, offers some tips on managing the relationship with your clients

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Kieron Hill

For more information about Kieron Hill Employment Services visit their website or call 0161 850 1122. You can find them at 23 New Mount Street, Manchester, M4 4DE.

MANAGING THE relationship between your clients (customers, patients, service users or whoever) and your staff can make or break an organisation.

A simple test is this. Do the staff who deal with your public moan about the people they deal with? If they do then the people they deal with probably moan about your staff, which is never good for business.

The thing is, as an employer, there isn’t much you can do to change the great British public. I’ve worked with many clients in the hospitality, healthcare and the retail sectors over the last 15 years. I have yet to come across a successful attempt to change the attitude of the people who come into your organisation without first changing the attitude of your staff.

This is not to say that staff in surgeries, restaurants and the like should have to experience behaviour that is totally unacceptable, but there is a lot they can do to prevent this behaviour in the first place.

How the manager behaves is key to making sure staff prevent friction with your clients. The Dalai Lama was once asked how to teach morality to children and he answered by saying you don’t teach it, you show it to them.

So, if you are a manager, don’t join in the moaning about awkward customers. Create clear boundaries and a consistent set of rules and follow the advice of the Dalai Lama; much better than spending money on the latest “team building motivational” stuff.

Finally, if you are one of the people who appoints a manager, don’t give the position to someone who wants to be a manager because they can’t stand doing the job itself. A manager should be prepared to do the jobs of the staff they supervise.

If you want to talk about how you go about managing your staff call us on 0161 850 1122.

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