Renee Rouwhorst shared several techniques she uses in her bakery, Ryke's Bakery, to ensure her customer service staff is performing up to her standards.
“To your customer, your salesperson is the company,” said Renee Rouwhorst during her presentation at All Things Baking called Making Your Customer Service Training Stick. “People do things for their reasons, not yours,” she added. “And tellin’ ain’t trainin’.”
Part of successful customer service training is to continually let your employees know what you expect, but understand that when your train them, they will get it at first and then about four weeks later, they will experience brain drain where they will forget everything you told them. “Understand that is always going to happen and tell your employee that this is going to happen,” Rouwhorst said.
Change is always happening in the bakery and when your employees don’t follow through with the changes you’ve implemented it’s almost always because they don’t understand the why. “Eighty-five percent of the time we leave out the why, and the why is what teaches,” Rouwhorst added.
In her bakery, Ryke’s Bakery, customer service training is a three-week process, and the new employee must be actively involved. Rouwhorst gives them a checklist of all the things they need to learn, and the employee is responsible for making sure he/she learns all of the tasks. When they do something incorrectly, assume innocence on their part. “This changes the conversation and your tone from the very beginning,” she said. People need feedback all the time, and they want to know when they’re doing things right and when they’re doing things wrong.