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Sample Essay on Customer Service

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Sample Essay on Customer Service

Training, Design and Evaluation

The current changes in the business environment have made it necessary for organizations to train its employees and subject them to regular evaluation. Training has important effects on the organization and employees in general. Employee training is a very broad subject such that the trainer has to assess the need before designing a training program from the wide variety of choices available. There are different types of training through which people learn. They include workshops, courses offered in learning institutions like universities, distance learning, internships and industrial attachments, induction or orientation sessions, learning from peers and professional conferences (Schmalenback, 2005)

However, there are important issues the trainer has to put into consideration in coming up with the design. Firstly, know the people that require training and learn about them. Are they a group of employees from the customer service department? This is useful in determining their pre-training needs or the intensity of the training if it is varied from one individual to another and how they see you as their trainer (Information Resources Management Association, 2011). Secondly, assess and determine the needs staff offering services to the customers. It is the second step in learning about what to improve for employees to be trained in customer service. It entails determining the information and skills that trainees are required to know. This, however, does not hide the possibility that some trainees already possess a little knowledge about the topic while some are completely unaware. The trainer should, therefore, strike a balance between the two to ensure a successful training session (Ahmed, 2010).

Third, consider the extent of your organization’s needs and resources. Training requires quite an amount of resources including time and money. The organization should decide on the training plan while taking into account the urgency of the need and the resource available to ensure successful training.

Fourthly, develop specific goals and objectives of the program. The objectives should be clear and to the point and leave no room for ambiguity. This should enable the learners to understand and remember a large amount of content after every training session.

Fifth, come up with the content of the training session. This step entails the trainer’s source of information that could be used for existing materials, development of new training plan or a mixture of both. The aim of this step is the achievement of the set goals and objectives.

Lastly, there is trainee evaluation that usually comes in the form of a paper to be filled after every training session to ascertain whether the employees acquired the skills as per the set goals and objectives (Phillips et al., 2008).

From the above design, the organization can derive a lot of data and information. They include attendance of the training sessions derived from evaluation forms filled at the end of every session, mastery of content through subjecting the employee to practical and current performance of the employee.

Design and Rationale for the Design and Approach

Training programs aimed at helping employees who are new to the organization adjust to the place of work in a successful way. Training is one of the organization functions as it increases the knowledge and skills of the employee thus increasing productivity. When evaluating the design, the trainee attention should be paid to the design and decision-making process due to the increase in the need for the problem to be solved in any organization. It should also be considered that different people have different limitation to the working memory that handles and retains information from the training. Most employees prefer short-term thinking and applying knowledge than long-term thinking. Giving employees a hard time to retain what they learn so as to apply those skills in performing daily activities hinders them from capturing what their mind can handle in a given training session. Therefore, employees should be given an easy time to learn to ensure the appropriateness of the training. In that case, it will be easy for them to generate solutions to existing problems than trying to understand the problems (Schmalenback, 2005)

Instructional Customer Service Training Design

Instructional customer service training design involves concepts, procedures, facts and information, rules and processes design. We are now going to describe the design to apply while providing our clients with necessary knowledge and skills on accepted customer service techniques to allow them serve our customers to their requirements. Training is an important and required activity that employees are offered with to ensure effective performance. It is an organization activity carried out with an aim of impacting relevant details and instructions to employees to improve performance or to increase the level of his or her skills. The training director is involved in evaluating the people to be trained to ensure effective training and promote employee growth and development. The areas to conduct training on are established and the need to carry out training then the selected person with knowledge and skills in that area is informed when to conduct training.

Different approaches are used to design and conduct efforts of evaluating a training program. These approaches contribute to solving various problems existing in an organization. They also provide a situation to enable thinking while in the evaluation process. Evaluation can be done on the basis of the objectives of an organization. The director is involved in analyzing the set goals, the ones that have already been accomplished and those yet to be accomplished then training can be applied off the areas with targets that seem difficult to fulfill. The management information approach is used to evaluate employees in this case.

In other cases, specialists are involved in training the workers in a given firm. Managers and other important representatives of the organization are also trained. For small firms, practitioners from the human resource are used to help in conducting training.

Recommendation Plan

I recommend the instructional training program to be carried out in the organization. The program will be based on the customer service. The environment to conduct training program is prepared. This is the location from which the training will take place. Necessary materials are put in place. Trainers are identified at the same time. The time schedule constructed and specific time allocated when the training will be conducted. The trainees are then registered. This analysis how many employees will be attending the training. The objectives of the customer service training programs are the set. The goals are always specific. The training was aimed at increasing the overall performance of employees on offering customer service to the customers. (Barnett, K., and Mattox, J. 2010).

 

Customer Service Training Design
Training Goals

These are the aims we wish to attain after the training program is implemented. They are the outcomes of the training. The results such as the improved customer service by providing them with the required skills to allow them provide the expected level of customer service.

The other objective is to determine the categories of customer service available. Various types of customer service exist; therefore, it is important to learn some them. Training on customer service will also be carried out to determine ways of dealing with nuisance customers who cause disturbances to our clients. Different techniques will be formulated to allow fair treatment of each party without causing risks such as the occurrence of arguments and fights in the organization. Clients will be expected to learn their behavior and how to control their feeling and emotions when dealing with these customers.

The Learning Objectives:

After the training on customer service, clients will learn to keep the communication with the customers on the track through controlling the emotions. This will save time spent on handling a particular customer and reducing the explanation of irrelevant details to the customers that can be a way of chasing them.

  1. It will help the clients to learn new ways of communication that they can apply in various situations of customers.
  2. The training should be able to help the clients learn the different methods of responding positively to a customer.
  3. The program should allow the trainee to understand how to ask customers questions to enable him or her understand their needs.
  4. The trainees should also be able to provide elaborated points to the customers to avoid giving ambiguous responses that the customers cannot understand.
  5. Training will also allow employees to present the company they are working in a best manner.
  6. The training should assist the employee to sell extra products by making the customer more comfortable.
  7. Customer service training should be able to assist the employees in ways of forming long-term contracts with the customer.
  8. Finally, the conducted training on provision of customer service should allow the customer to gain from the purchasing process and feel free to come again to the company.
Methods of Training
On-The-Job Training

This is a least expensive technique of training an organization uses to train clients in the customer service. The employees acquire the skills of performing a particular task while working. This is a training program that allows workers to know how perform by performing systematically. It impacts the necessary skills to employees in a simpler way. This kind of training program provides suggestions and feedback to employees on how to perform and to provide them with necessary advice from their fellow workers or specialist trainers the site of work. It involves a new employee being trained by the experienced employee. The activities like making an analysis of the work and skills an employee be expected to learn and preparing for the equipment to be applied by the employee in training are done before the training program starts.

Role Playing

The employee being trained in this method performs various functions in a team of workers to gain knowledge on how to tackle different situations. The trainer is involved in creating a setting that the trainee is supposed to follow and perform a particular activity led by the trainer. When the tasks are done, the trainer provides the trainee with the feedback to allow him or her improve in the next activities.

 

 

Self-Instruction

This a method of issuing instructions to the trainee to facilitate learning of skills and procedures of performing tasks. The employee handles the whole process of acquiring knowledge and skills. The learning opportunities are made available by the trainee he or herself. He or she also must have an interest in those opportunities. Employees are trained by this method with feedback they receive from the learning. (Information Resources Management Association, 2011).

Building Team

This training program involves employees forming groups and setting targets that they work towards a common unit. It is used in an organization to ensure those giving customers services inadequately work in a team offers it effectively. Difficult situations are made possible by this technique by the efforts of the many workers.

Materials and Resources Needed to Develop the Training Program

The phase has its sole objective of acquiring the resources needed for conducting the activities for the training to progress. The facilities to be used in training are put in place. These facilities may also be provided with documents. Time is also a factor to consider. Scheduling of time can be done in that case. The trainer should also have an analysis of the cost of training. The cost of facilities is calculated, and a budget is arrived at. The trainers can also carry out documentation of the relevant documents likely to be used in training.

Concepts for Evaluating Design

Before deciding on what design to take, the firm should first analyze the scope of the work. This is the extent of work to be performed after the training is complete. Furthermore, you should also think about the resources available and those required in conducting the training. (Arizona Grantmakers Forum, 2011). This very important because you cannot train people to operate machines you do not possess. For example, training security guards on the use of biometrics that you do not have will be a waste of time and resources (Phillips, 2010).

When evaluating the design, it is important to consider the sources of information. Have different sources of information so as to enable you make alternatives when selecting the most appropriate one to apply. The data available must be accessible to the concerned parties especially the trainees and the trainer. The goals also should be determined for the training. The firm should have a defined goal of the training design before implementing its application

Training Design Evaluation Levels
These levels form the matrix model that includes the following:
  1. Reaction- The reaction measurement is necessary to show how the trainees and trainers react to the training process. Training is evaluated at this first level. The reaction shows the responses of the trainees after the training program. It shows whether they like the program. It also indicates areas where training can be improved.
Principles of Reaction Level
  1. Defining what you what to find out.
  2. Designing an evaluation system used to quantify reactions.
  3. Encouraging written down comments
  4. Acquiring immediate feedback as a whole.
  5. Developing acceptable standards.
  6. Measure the responses against the principles.
  7. Learning – learning can take place through understanding new methods, concepts and rules that they are taught. The trainees can improve the level of their skills and change their attitudes through acquiring information. When assessing learning, the specific goals of the training program should be aimed and be applied in evaluating the other programs.
Guidelines for Program Evaluation
  1. Measuring the skills and knowledge in the beginning and the end of the training.
  2. Apply a paper-and-pencil test for testing knowledge and attitudes.
  3. Using a performance skill to evaluate skills.
  4. Receive responses from everybody.

Whenever possible, ensure, you use a control team that has not been trained to compare with the one that you are training. In this case, I will apply the employees from procurement department who have not gone through any training program as a control group. This group shows that the trained employees on improving customer service will have a higher productivity and high effectiveness as compared to the way the procurement department (Stone, 2011).

  1. Behavior- evaluation of behavior ensures changes in the way of performing thus performance improvements. Evaluating behavior can be done by getting the responses from all parties involved in the training process. Remember to reward employees after a positive change in behavior.
  2. Results- this measures the training program appropriateness. It shows the outcomes from the training. Return on investing should be evaluated to decide whether the training is of any benefit to the organization (McGaughy, 2011).
Training Design Evaluation

The process of evaluating training design starts after implementation of the training program. This process involves accessing the success of the training design. It provides information on whether the program has been able to meet the desired objectives. In addition, the assessment of what the employee is receiving in terms of the expected skills and knowledge is done. If these skills are not offered, there should be an explanation of why one is not receiving them. Finally, training programs can be evaluated on a timely basis. It involves investigating the time spent in training employees and the efficiency (Kirkpatrick & Kirkpatrick, 2012).

Data Used to Evaluate Training Programs

The organization must have information to carry out training evaluation. The information must be correct. The information should be measured easily. One of the information to be measured is the cost such as cost changes and variations and expenses of sales. The outcomes of the produced units should also be found (Praslova, 2010).  The other data could be on the quality of work, for example, the reported cases of customer complaints and errors encountered. Qualitative data is also used to evaluate design-training programs. The attitudes of people in an organization on training programs are used to evaluate those programs. The feedback from employees is still important information to apply while evaluating these programs (Werner & DeSimone, 2012).

Limitations

The analysis of the whole data is not possible. From these facts rules and procedures, we have only personal opinions. These facts only help the employees who are being trained to understand the basic theories but cannot be able to put such knowledge into practical applications to perform a task. The knowledge is complex and changes from time to time thus it causes challenges in understanding the ideas alone without being show the practical of it. There is a low prescription to gain the knowledge. Instructional design has a high analysis of context with low prescriptions of the subject matter that is more of importance when it comes to creating ideas structure. It is also a time-consuming program design.

It does not allow much planning of the strategies of the organization. This organization of strategies is not present and thus the instructions given forms hierarchies. These instructions are just theories with systems, which have been closed. Therefore, there is no ways of putting the acquired knowledge into expertise. There is now the development of new knowledge thus instructional design program does not incorporate new discoveries.

In the instructional design, the objectives of every stage are still the inputs used in the next phase. Therefore, it provides interaction during the development of the knowledge. Different tools are applied, and thus different ideas are generated. This does not provide directions on how changes in one phase should cause iteration in another phase. It fails to ensure integration of ideas development. It does not show how to analyze the tasks in the organization. This design does not show any connection or link between the tasks and the knowledge acquired to perform those tasks. The instructions given are less interactive as they provide more of passive ideas. The trainee mind is less involved (Stone, 2011).

Conclusion

Therefore, training being one of the critical activities of the organization, the company manager is involved in making decision on who needs to be trained, the extent of the training and the budget of training. Organization trains employees on an instrumental topic such as customer service. The move is aimed at bettering employees in terms of performance and productivity, which will lead to profit of the organization. Before the organization arrives at the decision to conduct this training program, it must have seen the importance to conduct it. Training is carried out to prepare the organization in advance to avoid risks likely to occur such as producing low quality products or offering low quality services due to employees failing to perform effectively. Thus, a training program design should be prepared showing these training details mentioning a few like show the reason for the training that is the training objectives, budget and training resources, the group of the organization that conducted it, to whom it was conducted to, the methods of data collection, sources of information, training design evaluation, the problems likely to occur and its benefits and finally the implementation of training.

 

References

Ahmed, I., Nawaz, M., Usman, A., Shaukat, M., and Ahmed, N. (2010). How organizations evaluate their trainings? An evidence from Pakistani organizations. Interdisciplinary Journal Of Contemporary Research In Business, 2(5), 162-179 

Arizona grantmakers Forum. (2011, June 9). Evaluation Design: Key Concepts [Video File]. training. Journal Of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 14(2), 28-44. making training evaluations more effective. T + D, 66(9), 56-61. 

Kumpikaite, V. (2007). Human resource training evaluation. Engineering Economics, 55(5), 29-36. 

Phillips, et al. (2008). The ROI fieldbook: Strategies for implementing ROI in HR and training by Patti Pulliam Phillips, CPT, Jack J.

Phillips, P. (2010). ROI for people who think they hate ROI. ROI Institute. 

Phillips, P. P. (2010). ASTD handbook of measuring and evaluating training. American Society for Training and Development Press.

Phillips, Ron Drew Stone, and Holly Burkett, CPT. Performance Improvement, 47(1), 45-47. 

Praslova, L. (2010). Adaptation of Kirkpatrick’s four level models of training criteria to assessment of learning outcomes and program evaluation in higher education. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 22(3), 215-225.

Praslova, L. (2010). Adaptation of Kirkpatrick’s four level model of training criteria to assessment of learning outcomes and program evaluation in higher education. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 22(3), 215-225

Schmalenback, M. (2005 )Training evaluation. What’s it all about? 

Stone, R. (2011). ROI is like a box of chocolates. Chief Learning Officer, 10(1), 36-39. 

Tamra McGaughy. (2011, February 3). Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Evaluation [Video File]. 

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