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Anyone have any customer service training...

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by imagep, May 11, 2010.

  1. imagep

    imagep Active Member

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    documentation specifically for the graphics industry? I am going to have to hire a new csr soon and would like to try to put together some sign (and screen printing and offset printing) customer service training info before we actually bring anyone in.

    Like any customer service flow charts, lists of questions to ask, list of answers to give, or anything else like that?

    Any tips or paperwork would be appreciated.

    Thanks
     
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  2. imagep

    imagep Active Member

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    Thanks Craig for that. It is at least a starting point.

    I posted the same request on another graphics forum and several people basically bashed me for asking for such - explaining how either someone has customer service ability or not and that you cant train for such.

    Those people missed the point. My intent is not to train someone to be a great csr, it is to train them to be a CUSTOM MADE GRAPICS csr. So I am not so much looking for generic people skills materials as I am specific graphic sales skills materials.

    Every franchise has a csr training manual that includes a customer service work flow, lists of specific questions to ask about specific products and corrisponding answers. Sure, csr's need to be able to think on their feet, but when someone is a new csr in a very complicated field (such as graphics), they need a starting point to build on. What I am looking for is that starting point.

    For that matter, to actually have a business, as opposed to just being self employed, you have to run your business like a franchise. Sure, you can have lots of employees but still not have a business. A business is something that can operate without the owner being there. A business is something that can make money while the owner is gone. To have a business you have to have a system for training new hires, you have to have certain predetermined products, you have to have very specific and repeatable production methods. It's exceptionally difficult in the graphics field because each product is unique, but it is possible to pigeon hole each general product catagory and different options withint that catagory. Regardless, until we start runing our businesses as if they were franchises, it is virtually impossible to have true businesses. Most of us are just self employed.

    So I guess what I am looking for is the CSR section out of a graphics company operation manual.
     
  3. BROWNDOG

    BROWNDOG Member

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    I understand your point, i am always trying to find a way for my employees to think on their own, or think like me. lately i've been taking notes on every situation i come across, hopefully i'll get some time to put them in my own manual, i considered hiring a secratary type person to shadow me and put together a manual.
     
  4. imagep

    imagep Active Member

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    I have started making a detail operations manual a half dozen times but never got too far. Last night I pulled up several partially completed attempts and kinda put them together on the same document.

    It's my hope to be able to spend some time during the next few weeks filling in some of the blanks and organizing it. But it's very to come up with a format that also serves as a training manual for csr's. Part of our problem is that we are a very small company but yet we offer a lot of products. We have just one sign maker, one screen printer, and one offset printer. That works out ok on the production end because each production person only needs to be an "expert" in that one field. But the CSR has to know about all of it, maybe not all the really technical stuff, but which process is best for which job and how to price the jobs, and what we can use for artwork and what we cant, and when to farm out a job and when we can do it in house, and which jobs we just dont want at all.
     
  5. WhiskeyDreamer

    WhiskeyDreamer Professional Snow Ninja

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    have the csr shadow your production guys...a week with each...sounds like the easiest way to solve the problem...no matter what you do though, the new csr won't be able to answer any question thrown at them...as long as they have a good base and can answer the basic questions prompted by customers....they'll learn the rest along the way
     
  6. imagep

    imagep Active Member

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    Thats a great suggestion. My screen printer is leaving us in a few weeks, what we were planning on doing was to replace him with a csr to take over some of my duties and I would screen print. When my screen printer came in this morning he brought in a friend who was interested in the screen printing job (no experiance though). My first reaction was to totally reject the guy - because we want to hire a csr not a printer. But after I talked to the guy I think he would make an excellent csr. His last job was working for his families mortgage origionation company, but that folded due to the economy.

    The guy "shadowed" my screen printer for several hours this morning just to get an idea of what the work was like. He seemed really enthusiastic, and is taking computer science classes at night at a local college. I'm wanting to think about it a few days but I think I might call him in and talk to him about the csr position.
     
  7. grafxxx

    grafxxx Very Active Member

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    Agreed:thumb:
     
  8. Just Another Sign Guy

    Just Another Sign Guy Very Active Member

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    i have worked with the majority of the franchises in various capacities, with one franchise we helped them to create a manual documenting the process from initial contact with a client through the ordering process into the production job process, delivery or installation, billing procedure and follow up.

    but i have yet to see anyone or any employee utilizing it as anything other than an introduction and overview of how things should work.

    what most of them utilize is a creative brief (even if they don't call it that, it is what they are using) it is a form that a csr has that makes sure that they ask the correct questions and collect the correct information. many of these creative briefs then become the work order or the initial creative brief is used to fill out a work order and the initial creative brief is added to the customer file.

    Dan Antonelli has a great setup that works for his business I don't think it would work for every business and most wouldn't work for every business I think this is something that should be customized for how you choose to deal with clients and manage your ordering process and workflow.

    I have helped many businesses implement workflow processes, usually because they are having growing pains or they are simply fed up with being disorganized and realize that they could handle the processes much more efficiently and reliably..these processes can save you a TREMENDOUS amount of time. Start by documenting your processes, identify the information you need to collect, write down teh questions you should be asking and create a creative brief. depending on the nature of your business your creative brief can be modified to become a work order..if you are a design firm versus a production shop you will most likely require a separate work order.
     
  9. imagep

    imagep Active Member

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    Makes good sense to me. And yes, simply fed up with being disorganized.
     
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