Mary Gober’s Clinic – Using 1:1s to drive customer focus
How consistent are you in conducting your regular 1:1s? Are they positive, lively and motivational conversations that hone skills and shape the right attitudes for excellent performance and achievement? We all know how vital 1:1s are to keep the coaching and performance tracking channel open between managers and every individual on their team.
I suspect you use your 1:1s to review performance against measurable objectives and to give an individual feedback against your organisation’s values, and behavioural competency framework.
Why not spice up your 1:1s!?
As a leader, part of your job is to continuously cultivate, monitor and shape customer service attitudes and behaviours. This creates the cultural ethos and norms of acceptable, even extraordinary behaviour, in your organisation.
So, in addition to (or in place of!) your standard agenda, why not have an interesting ‘customer’ topic in every 1:1. This will help you learn more about how your team member is thinking about customers. You will also gain some valuable insights into how they perceive their own abilities to excel at engaging with customers. Here’s how …
Below are 12 questions that you can use in your 1:1 meetings to prompt a valuable discussion. Ask each employee to take 1 question a month and prepare to discuss their answer with you:
1. What is the most satisfying customer or colleague service situation that you have dealt with this month? What
happened and what did you do to make it successful?
2. What is the most frustrating customer or colleague service situation that you have dealt with this month? What
happened, what did you do and what was the outcome?
3. What is the worst thing a customer or colleague has said to you this month? How did you respond and what was the outcome?
4. Describe your greatest success in handling a customer or colleague complaint this month?
5. Identify a customer or colleague service situation this month where perhaps you could have improved the way
you handled it? What could you have done differently and what outcome would you have liked to have seen?
6. Describe the most difficult customer or colleague enquiry you have to deal with?
7. Identify an area where you are an internal customer. Can you think of any areas of service improvement they
could develop to give you a better service?
8. Who are your primary internal customers? Assess the level of service you give to them.
9. What aspect of the service you give to external customers are you most proud of? Why does it make you
10. Which services that you give to external customers would you like to improve and why? What could you do to
11. Are there any customer or colleague service situations that you encounter where you do not feel you have the
required information or authority to respond positively? Where could you find the information that you
need and who do you need help or authority from?
12. Are there any aspects of service that you give that you are uncomfortable with or concerned about?
What is your job while your employee answers the question? You’re spot on if you said – listen and learn - gauge where they are on their evolving route to becoming masters at service. Let your new or confirmed insights guide your coaching and mentoring so each of your team members continue to grow in confidence and skilfulness at engaging with customers in a consistently superior way.