Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Are you clear with the brief?

I recently had to go on a course on customer care, and what a waste of a day it was.

The venue was easy enough to find, even though it was 100 mile round trip, however signs for the training rooms were sadly lacking.  I did not warm to the lecturer even before the day started.  He was described in the literature as a 'provocative, lively and entertaining speaker', well I think that could be successfully contested in court.

To me he seemed very condescending and his voice just grated on me, it seemed like such an affectation and not his real voice.

We had to complete several exercises, none of which were particularly clearly written, but all of which were preceded by the question 'Are you clear with the brief?'.  

The first exercise required us to write down who our customers were and what they expected of us.  Thinking back to previous courses I have attended, both for this employer and others, my answer was 'anyone who contacts the department is a customer' and that they expected 'to have their queries and complaints resolved to their satisfaction and to have information provided in a timely and usable format'.

This apparently was not correct, I should have listed ALL the different groups of people who we have dealings with and EVERY TYPE of query they could possibly have.

The food supplied was awful, three small trays of sandwiches for 24 people plus a bowl of fruit that looked like it had been on the table since Christmas.  A few of us went to the onsite cafe and the event organiser's representative went out to the local supermarket to buy cakes and biscuits.

Later in the day we had to practise saying no without using the word no, not, can't, don't or any other negative word.  The question he gave was 'I would like a glass of wine with lunch'.  Errrr, that was a statement, not a question.

I don't think the speaker has any idea of what it is like to work in our profession, we don't have the time to give flowery speeches when the caller just wants a yes or no.  If we have to divert our phones every time we leave our desks, we are going to spend most of the day diverting and undiverting our phones.

It really was a waste of a day.

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