Client skills

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1. The woes and whoas of dealing with clients 2. Definition of a client  Internal/external clients  Clients are people who need your assistance.  They are not an…
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  • 1. The woes and whoas of dealing with clients
  • 2. Definition of a client  Internal/external clients  Clients are people who need your assistance.  They are not an interruption to your job, they are the reason you have a job..
  • 3. Definition: What describes GOOD service and BAD service? Good client service is taking that extra step to help without being asked! It’s all about attitude and skills.
  • 4. What attitudes assist in providing good service?  Enjoy helping people  Handle people well  Care for your clients  Give fair and equal treatment to all  Be understanding of people with special needs
  • 5.  Know about your organisation  Learn the technical parts of the job  Communicate well  Be consistent  Be organised  Know your place in the team and be a team player
  • 6. The purpose is to create and maintain a welcoming environment - how can we achieve this?  Be attentive, acknowledge a person as soon as they appear, even if you’re busy  SMILE!  Establish eye contact  Tell them your name  Ask how you can help  Give the client your full attention  Be polite and courteous
  • 7. What does good rapport feel like? Practice greeting someone Make the client feel comfortable Make the client feel important and valued Use empathy
  • 8.  How can you find out what people want?  If you can’t help, what should you do?  Offer alternatives if possible  If they have to wait, how would you handle it?
  • 9. The Communication Equation Whatyou hear  Toneof voice  Vocalclarity  Verbalexpressiveness 40%of the message Whatyou seeor feel  Facialexpression  Dressandgrooming  Posture/BodyLanguage  Eyecontact  Touch  Gesture 50%of the message WORDS…….. ONLY10%of the message!
  • 10. Active listening = Attending skills (being ready) Attend to immediate needs (if you need to finish something before giving your full attention) Being available Eye contact Attentive posture Concentration
  • 11. This opens the door to further communication Invitations Questions Encouragement Empathetic Silence
  • 12.  Open Questions  Closed Questions  Paraphrasing  Check for Understanding
  • 13. Do you:  Become loud when angry or upset  Speak faster when nervous  Speak slowly when tired or bored  Have a cheerful voice  Have a tone of voice that is warm and understanding  Find it easy to talk to people you don’t know  Control your tone in most situations  Sound bossy, weak or unsure  Have a clear and easy-to-hear voice  Speak in a very formal or very trendy manner? Think about how you might modify your voice in certain situations
  • 14. Brainstorm some examples of good body language Smile Introduce yourself (if appropriate) or wear a name badge Shake hands if appropriate Lean forward Be aware of cultural differences
  • 15.  Know how to use the phones  Speak clearly and slowly  Smile (you can hear it in your voice!)  State your name and organisation  Write down the caller’s name and use it  Don’t say rude things while someone’s on hold  If they’re explaining something use words to show you’re listening (umm, yes …)  Have pad and pencil ready to take notes or messages (check spelling and message content)  Don’t eat or drink while on the phone
  • 16.  Write clearly and concisely  Refer to their letter, date and query  Be friendly without being too informal (Dear Aunt writing style)  Check your spelling and grammar  Make sure you’ve answered their query or request or explained why you can’t  Be timely or apologise for any delay in replying
  • 17.  Leave a positive impression, smile  Check clients have everything they need  If you’ve said you’ll follow-up, do so  Tell them something that may be useful to them later  Say goodbye
  • 18. First impressions count and will affect the interaction. People make judgements in the first 30 seconds. Golden Rule – You only have one chance to make a first impression!
  • 19.  Take a look at your organisation through the eyes of a client.  What are the first things you notice?  What has the organisation done to make you feel welcome?  Does anything make you feel uncomfortable?  How could you feel more at ease? Form small groups and discuss different methods used to help people feel welcome. One person from each group to present back.
  • 20. Does your Organisation have a policy on presentation?  Uniforms, badges, etc  Personal hygiene  Clothing – appropriate to the situation  Hair – cleanliness and style  Accessories – jewelry, earrings, watches, tattoos,  Expression – facial expressions  Tone of voice  Body language  Surroundings (Can they see a messy desk? Dead flowers in the vase? Eating your lunch?...)
  • 21.  Saying ‘I don’t know’ without offering an option  Saying you don’t know where a colleague is  Leaving people on hold for a long time  Ignoring people if you’re busy  Treating people unequally
  • 22. How can you contribute to the development and maintenance of service standards in your volunteering organisation?  Read and understand your organisation’s policies and procedures on client service  Be prompt and efficient  Ensure services are delivered in accordance with legislative or statutory requirements  Maintain accurate records  Ensure any special needs of clients are taken into account
  • 23.  Reliability  Confidence  Responsiveness  Efficiency  Organisation  Acceptance of and adherence to policies and procedures
  • 24.  People for whom English is not their first language  People with disabilities  People from other areas who may not be familiar with the way things are done here  People with limited mobility  Unaccompanied children
  • 25.  Recording procedures (when are your busy times)  Reporting procedures (meeting organisational/ funding/ legislative requirements)  Observe and report client needs  Be proactive in improving service  Market your organisation  Have processes and procedures for dealing with difficult situations BEFORE they happen and make sure staff are trained.
  • 26.  Ask closed questions  Limit the time available for them to interrupt (don’t have long pauses)  Provide minimal response  Smile and be pleasant, but don’t encourage them
  • 27.  Listen carefully without interrupting so you understand the problem  Empathise  Stay calm and remain polite  Don’t escalate the problem  Don’t take it personally, be defensive or blame others  Propose an action plan and follow it  Seek support if you are scared, if you can’t agree on a solution or if the client asks to see “whoever’s in charge”
  • 28.  Acknowledge what they say  Compliment them on their research  Be generous with praise  Don’t put them in their place no matter how tempting  Don’t try to be smart – you can’t win!  Ask them questions and use them to improve your knowledge
  • 29.  Find out what they really want  Ask them for the options  Reflect back to them what they’ve said  Assume control gently and point out the best course of action from what they’ve told you they need  Confirm a plan of action with them  Maybe even put it in writing
  • 30.  Establish your credibility  Ensure you know your product or service  They will try and catch you out so don’t guess or tell them something you’re not sure of  Be careful what you say  Be polite  Don’t take it personally, they don’t trust anyone!
  • 31.  Label the behaviour, not the client  Listen  Don’t get defensive  Don’t take it personally  Find out what the client wants  Discuss alternatives  Take responsibility for what you CAN do  Agree on action
  • 32. In pairs, one person takes on the role of a client and one is the volunteer  Use your own scenario if you have one  Swap after 5 minutes
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