What does charades have to do with teaching customer service?

by Dawn Tedcastle - Friday, June 28th, 2013
This post is in: Customer Service

Being part of the Marketing Team, I don’t often get to see what goes on in any of the tutorials so when asked if I was interested in visiting another department I jumped at the chance. I contact the customer service department quite regularly; if any leaflets need printing and delivered they are the first port of call. All it takes is a phone call and they are on to it straight away. But what goes on in the background and what methods are used to teach customer service? So that is how I came to be in the Customer Service department one morning.

On my arrival, the customer service Tutor, Christine Williamson, introduced me to David who told me all about the duties and responsibilities of the receptionist. Firstly, they have to look smart and be polite. Secondly, they have to record the names of the customers they deal with on a visitor’s log as well as the jobs they have completed. Thirdly, how they deal with my request of leaflets, which involves the students liaising with the Business and Administration department. The first time I had met David was at enrolment and it was great to see how David’s confidence had grown since starting College. So how does Christine manage to instill this confidence in the students? That is what I was about to find out.

After David’s introduction, I was to join the students in a training session that was all about building communication skills and students are encouraged to participate as much as possible. Christine asked everyone why it was so important to be able to communicate with people. All the students offered reasons that included, to get to know people, knowing what jobs needed doing and asking how to do something. We then moved on to reading other people’s emotions and how this helps to deal with people in different situations. For this, we took part in what could be described as something very similar to charades! Christine handed us all a slip of paper with a situation to enact for others to guess. At this point I was wondering how I got in to this but I couldn’t not take part! So off I go out the door and come rushing into the room in a panic and they all guessed correctly that I was ‘late for work’. Everyone got involved with this activity and we all had great fun! Christine later explained to me that she tries to include as much of these group activities as possible as a way of building confidence not only within the group but also in their everyday lives.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the customer service department and when I call up about needing leaflets I’ll know I’m in good hands. It was great getting to know the students and becoming more aware of how tutors not only teach vocational areas of study but also build the life skills of the students.