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customer service training

David E. Bowen


Firms that excel at delivering service quality (e.g., Disney, Federal Express, L. L. Bean) invest more time and money in training than their counterparts with lesser service reputations. The importance of training in achieving superior customer service is likely only to increase because of two trends: 1 customers' expectations of service continue to rise; and 2 demographics indicate that the numbers of new applicants who can provide high levels of service quality, particularly in the 18–25 years age bracket, will not meet expected demand. Firms, therefore, will have to take the best available of these limited applicants and train them. There are two approaches to customer service training ( Schneider and Bowen, 1995 ). Informal training deals with learning about the organization and the culture more than about the job. Much of this learning takes place informally, primarily among coworkers. Therefore, it is important for firms to manage which coworkers spend time with new employees ( see on‐the‐job training ). Formal training has to do with learning important job skills and often happens in the classroom. Organization‐sponsored training increases employees' motivation to serve (because they know the organization takes service seriously) and their ability to serve (because they learn service‐relevant skills). ( 1995 ). Winning the Service Game . Boston : Harvard ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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