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CASE STUDY 6

Training for the Leadership Team and Customer Service Team of a Municipal Public Utility

Situation:

The new CEO and new Customer Relations Manager of the city’s public utilities provider contacted me regarding the desire to improve the interpersonal skills of their leaders and customer service reps. While there were no major issues occurring, due to lack of skill in this area, since the CEO and Director had come from organizations where a large emphasis was placed on such skills, both recognized the huge opportunity to take the dedicated team to an even higher level of performance by introducing these new human interaction, problem solving, conflict resolution, management and leadership skills.


Intervention:  

Influencing Skills® training was conducted, as part of the CEO’s over-arching improvement initiative, for all Customer Service managers and staff, the Manager of Operations, and the CEO and his full leadership team.


Results: 

Leaders and Customer Service team members learned a model for influencing with ethics and how to create a strong foundation for influencing. They learned how to build trust, even during brief encounters, by delivering high levels of respect, empathy, genuineness and specificity. They learned how to be empowered to ask for what they wanted or needed, effectively deal with "no," and create buy-in and commitment using personal power, thereby decreasing defensiveness and improving versus damaging the overall relationship. They also learned how to facilitate problem-solving and problem-ownership, and confront undesirable behaviors without conflict or guilt.

Specific feedback from participants included:

“Thanks so much for the influencing skills training you provided to our team recently. The participants are telling me that they immediately began utilizing the skills they learned and are becoming more and more effective in dealing with co-workers and subordinates as a result of your training. The case studies and materials you provided were very easy to use and will be an excellent reference tool for us in the future.  I look forward to working with you again. I will be recommending you with complete confidence to my HR peers.” - Connie W. Frisbee, PHR, UHR, Manager Human Resources

“Having just hired into an organization as their new customer service manager my initial priorities were on team building, enabling employee empowerment, and changing the culture to become more customer-centric (increasing customer satisfaction).  “Influencing Skills” training is what I needed help establish a common vision, language, and common behavior expectations for my team, in order to drive these initiatives. Everyone one of my team members, including myself, participated in the training session. It was hugely successful and was well received by everyone. A number of my CSR’s commented that they were able to apply the skills immediately when interacting with customers. We may not always get it right but we now have a standard that guides our daily behavior when interacting among ourselves or with customers that has really made a difference. I can’t say enough about the quality of the training, material, and Rhonda as the trainer. She is excellent. I highly recommend Rhonda and Influencing Skills to anyone leading a team.” – Carmen Lichty, Customer Relations Manager 

 “I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your class.   I used "my powers" for good Friday. I asked [my supervisor] for a chance to go on a training trip for our computer system! I have a long way to go, I know, however, WHEN I master it I will make a great "poster child" for the success of your teachings.” – Susan Allen, Customer Service

“Just a quick note to let you know how much I enjoyed your training session.  Already [my co-worker] Diane [says it] is really working on her daughter! You did a great job!” – Sandra Calfee, Customer Service


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