Syd Strike

Customer Service – Boxes ...

BOXES - to be used to facilitate discussion on customer care and handling complaints.

Trainer Guidelines – Boxes

Purpose

This is a short exercise designed to facilitate discussion about customer care, and in particular about handling complaints effectively.

Procedure

1    Ask the staff to split into groups of three or four and explain the rules of this exercise

2    Issue each team with the appropriate materials:

            10 x templates
            1 x stapling machine (full)
            1 x felt tip pen
            1 x pair scissors

3    Read the ‘Brief to delegates’

4.   Begin to time the exercise.

Stop at the end of the time.

During the exercise answer any questions that are asked and record any comments made.

Apply pressure and complain about any dissatisfaction regarding the product, delivery, quality, time etc.

Trainer Behaviour

1    The aim of the exercise is to draw out learning about providing a quality service and handling customer complaints.  Therefore, it is important that you do not engage yourself in lengthy debate about details.

2    Ideally, staff should consult with you at all times during the exercise.  However, this may not happen.   DO NOT PROMPT THEM.   It is their problem.

Brief to Delegates

(Trainer reads the brief, quickly and in ‘parent mode’ (refer to notes on transactional analysis)

Rules

1       I want you to produce a box to hold business cards.

2       To make it attractive I want five stars.   These must be on the four vertical surfaces, on the outside and one on the bottom of the box, on the inside.

3       There must be two staples at each end on the inside of the box to hold the box together.

4       You have five minutes to produce ten boxes.

5       The materials you have are 10 templates, 1 staple machine, 1 pair of scissors and 1 felt pen.

The following information should be given only upon request:

6       Extra templates will be issued on request to replace damaged templates.     

7       Extra time will be allowed to any team admitting that there may be a late delivery.

8       Each team should stop any action at the end of five minutes, unless you informed me of late delivery and this has been agreed.

9       There should be no rough edges to the boxes.

10     Staples at each end should be neat with the rough edge on the inside of the box.

11.    Staples should be placed in the centre of each end of the box, one at top one at bottom.

I am available for questions during production.

If requested a copy of the full brief sheet may be given to delegates.

 

Full Brief Sheet for Delegates
(Given only upon request)

Rules

1       I want you to produce a box to hold business cards.

2       To make it attractive I want five stars.   These must be on the four vertical surfaces, on the outside and one on the bottom of the box, on the inside.

3       There must be two staples at each end on the inside of the box to hold the box together.

4       You have five minutes to produce ten boxes.

5       The materials you have are 10 templates, 1 staple machine, 1 pair of scissors and 1 felt pen.

The following information should be given only upon request:

6       Extra templates will be issued on request to replace damaged templates.

7       Extra time will be allowed to any team admitting that there may be a late delivery.

8       Each team should stop any action at the end of five minutes, unless you informed me of late delivery and this has been agreed.

9       There should be no rough edges to the boxes.

10     Staples at each end should be neat with the rough edge on the inside of the box.

11     Staples should be placed in the centre of each end of the box, one at top one at bottom.

I am available for questions during production.

 

Trainer Guidelines – Deliver the Exercise with Confidence

If questions are asked for which you are unprepared, use your judgement.

Have a go at producing the boxes yourself when you are preparing for the course.  It will help.

After the exercise, examine the boxes and make comment, especially about the "good" ones.   After all they will have worked hard to produce them.   If you can, add an element of fun here!

Facilitate the learning according to the information provided.

Facilitating the Learning

Considering that you (the trainer) are the customer, how did the staff perform?

  • Did they ask your opinion of design?
  • Did they ask your opinion of quality?
  • Did they ask about standards?
  • Did they ask your opinion when the first box was completed?
  • How did they present the finished products to you?
  • Were they on time?
  • What about quality?
  • Was there any interaction with the customer before/during/after?
  • How friendly were they?
  • How did they handle your complaints?

A reasonable question to ask the staff in any situation is "Do situations like this arise at work?"  The answer is nearly always "YES".

Whenever a "NO" is offered for an answer, ask the question "WHY"?

The aim is not to have set answers, but to challenge each person to think about the situation of ownership and quality.  In particular, assumptions should be challenged; especially the assumption that what is being done cannot be improved.

 

Why Were Poor Quality Boxes Produced?

Ask the delegates the question.

Answers will include statements like:

  • Not enough time.
  • Pressure
  • Attitude of the customer.

 

LESSON:  If we get it right first time we avoid complaints.

 

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