Customer Service Training
Customer Service experts have long agreed that community
relations training needs to focus on attitudes and values. Many
times, it is not a matter of employees not knowing what to do, but
rather a question of employees not doing what they already know how
to do. In other words, the true challenge is to find out those
factors -- personal and organizational -- that get in the way of
employee performance and inhibit their effectiveness. Training
programs seeking to impart customer relations skills must attend to
the attitudinal factors and values that influence individual
performance as well as skill development.
IPI's Customer Service course increases understanding of the
importance of the role of front-line employees in fostering
excellent customer service and influencing the perception the
public holds of the parking profession. Although specific skills,
such as communication techniques and problem-solving strategies,
are included in the curriculum, the course is primarily devoted to
raising awareness of how daily actions, attitudes and behaviors
affect the quality of individual performance, work relationships
and interactions with the public. This workshop provides
participants an opportunity to review basic skills, learn new ones
and begin a reflective process that should become part of their
daily routine -- to think about their values and attitudes
regarding their community relations responsibilities and to assess
ways in which they can improve their interpersonal
During the course, participants will:
- Examine their values and attitudes regarding the role of the
enforcer, cashier and maintenance personnel, and the impact of
these values and attitudes on their interactions with others.
- Identify their core role contributions and gain a better
understanding of the relationship of these contributions to the
overall parking management philosophy of the department.
- Explore the importance of communication skills in fostering
successful community relation practices.
- Discuss strategies for effectively resolving community relation
problems and minimizing negative interactions with the public.
- Determine essential community relations practices, assess their
performance against these performance elements, and identify
opportunities for performance improvement.
- Make a personal commitment to strive to engage in positive
community relation practices and to support the department's
parking management philosophy and community relations efforts.
At the conclusion of this training program, employees and the
organization will have developed the following:
- An employee-generated definition of "role contribution" for the
course participant's specific position, which reflects the
organization's philosophy. This statement can be used in several
applications, including new employee orientations, job descriptions
and performance standards, and as a tool for monitoring employee
performance on a regular basis.
- Characteristics (actions/policies/procedures, etc.) that
encourage the desired public relations behaviors and those which
appear to mitigate against those desired behaviors. This
information -- and management's response to it -- can be used to
reduce impediments to employee performance and build the trust
essential to sound management/staff relationships.
- An employee-defined set of role expectations regarding "public
contact" essentials. These documents can be incorporated into
existing materials, such as in new employee orientation,
performance expectations for supervisory roles, as well as
- A prioritized list of personal and professional development
needs articulated by employees. This information can be used by the
authority and the employee union to identify future training needs
and related interventions designed to demonstrate recognition and
support for the contributions associated with their role.
- A more "focused" and capable workforce, clear about role
expectations, armed with a greater sense of purpose, and equipped
with useful tools to better deal with the public and members of the
community. If supported by sound supervisory and management
practices, this training should result in enhanced morale and
self-esteem for front-line employees and better community
relations, as evidenced by fewer conflicts and complaints.