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Friday, September 18, 2015


Trainers, Please Teach These Things!

Before we became Arizonans-Steve and I were born and bred Californians and his occupation for almost 4 years was as a corporate trainer.  For 3 years, I taught learning disabled teens how to get and keep a job.  I'm mentioning this because of a few experiences I've run into here in our wonderful but remote community that a few more minutes of training would greatly enhance customers experiences in local businesses and the employees who may (or may not) do better at those said jobs.

Just as a couple of examples:

The other night, last moment, we went with our friends to a local well-known coffee house.  It was about 7:30 at night.  Steve was the only one of the 4 of us who actually had coffee.  Our friends ordered a fancy iced non-coffee "shake" type drink, Steve had an iced Caramel coffee and I decided to actually have tea.

Not just any tea-but I wanted a brewed Chai, no milk and (here comes the point to this blog) I wanted the young man taking my order to check and make sure I could have a de-caf version.

This actually happened:

Me: Do you have a de-caf version of the chai?

Him:  It doesn't have coffee, it's tea.

Me:  Yes, I understand that Chai is tea, but do you have it in de-caf?

Him:  It doesn't have coffee in it.

Me:  Okay, may I have the non-caffeine version of this tea?

Him:  Uh, (looks at the manager, who was actually witnessing this exchange) what do I do?  The Chai doesn't have coffee already?

Manager:  Let me check, I'm not sure if we have the Chai in de-caf.  (several minutes later)  Yes, we do!  Good to know!!!  Would you like it in de-caf?

Me:  Yes, very much.   Thank you.

Obviously, neither the store manager or the employee understood the difference between de-caf and coffee.  The real question is WHY??????

Another situation:

Steve and I decided to go cruise a market that is going out of business and is currently selling stuff at 40-60% off to see if we could save some money.   We were surprised to see that most of the store was already pretty empty.  We weren't surprised to see that all of the employees had that "beaten down" look.
I went back to the store the next day for a few items and talked to one of the managers and one of the cashiers-they were NEVER trained by the new owners and their way of running a store was far different than how the original place ran things!

Plus, they were all promised at least jobs for 2 years-instead they got 2 MONTHS and 2 months of closing up shop!

What kind of business training/planning was this?

In today's world, customer service is a huge part of staying in business-so here's a tip from both a consumer and a former trainer:  BUSINESSES, train your employees to reflect your wish to be successful in the marketplace that fits your store and make sure you at least care enough to know your product well enough so at least MOST of the questions coming from your consumers are answered intelligently.

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