Graham Hurdle's blog: 19 August 2010 - Mr Men: Do they work for you?
19 August 2010
Graham Hurdle is managing director of E-Training World
The other day I had an interesting conversation with a friend who works as a customer service trainer. She was telling me about a company that had recently gone out of business, because, she believes they had a total lack of customer care skills. This might be a little exaggeration, but she lives and breathes customer care.
The company she described was a dinosaur, they hadn't invested a single penny in their staff and any contact with the company was a night mare! When you called you got Mr Grumpy, when you received a delivery it was brought by either Mr Clumsy or Mr Forgetful. Often the company van was driven by Mr Dangerous, which portrayed the worse possible image.
You would have thought all those dinosaurs would have died out long ago, but as I look around, companies even the large well-known ones, display examples of Jurassic thinking. Companies who know they have Mr Men working for them are simply putting up with it, or at best pay for a couple of hours of tuition and expect that all will be right.
If your company has staff driving as part of their duties, you have probably read about your duty of care, and like many companies may have done nothing about it. Well if you don't believe you will ever be prosecuted if one of your drivers is involved in a fatal crash, that's your choice! But don't you owe a duty of care to your company to provide the best customer service? That means not having Mr Grumpy visiting clients.
So how do you stop Mr Grumpy being grumpy? Well it just might be that he is getting stressed whilst he is driving to those clients. The answer to this problem is of course driver training. I would say that, I'm in the driver training business... However, I would not recommend you waste your budget on driver training if you are not prepared to look at everything, for example what's the point in spending money on driver training to help Mr Grumpy with his stress, if the dispatch manager gives him so many deliveries to do, that he has to race around breaking speed limits, pushing his stress levels through the roof.
A culture of change needs to be encouraged to ensure that the Jurassic period comes to an end and we enter the modern age, where companies view driving as a skill to be nurtured just like other skills within a company such as sales and marketing.
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