Training Program for Part-Time International Service Employees to Handle the Customers

The findings and analysis section attempted to answer the research questions.   The research focuses on the investigation of the barriers in the communication of service employees who are part-time international student employees and the role of management in improving the communication of these employees. The research proceeds in the investigative manner that attempts to attain a holistic view about the communication process of service employees in Sainsburys Richmond branch.

The investigation on the key issues like the major shortcomings in communication observed in international employees, the measures taken by the management in training the part-time international service employees, the managers’ role in improving the communication of part-time international service employees, the customers’ experience in dealing with part-time employees who are international students in comparison with the  customers experience with local employees, the challenges faced by part-time international student employees.

       Based on the findings, it is concluded that role of management is significant in improving the communication of  employees who are part-time international students. The training program provided by the management is observed to have a marked impact in improving the communication of part-time international student employees. This conclusion can be drawn based on the following evidence that is deduced from the following finding

“A three day training program is conducted to the part-time international service employees to handle the customers in the desired manner characterized by empathy, kindliness, friendliness etc. In the first two days, a special certified trainer is appointed to clearly deliver and explain the key aspects of communication process. In the first two days, a special CD is shown to these service employees that highlight the key issues in handling the customers.

The CD talks about issues like how to handle abusive customers, how to stay calm in customer service as a part of good communication process and how to empathize with the customers. The CD demonstrates that the communication process of service employees should not match with the angry tone of the customers. Moreover, the CD suggests the service employees to concentrate more on what you can do rather than what you cannot do. The CD talks about empathy in detail which defines that empathy means a deeper understanding of customer’s problem by focusing on what customers have to say.

This focus on others dialogue leads to a feeling of trust and reliability on the service employees which is a part of effective communication process. The aspect of staying calm in dealing with angry customers is dealt in more detail where the stress is rendered to the tone of the service employees when the customer is angry. The service employ can pacify the situation by maintaining a regular tone characterised by professionalism.

This automatically helps in reducing the tone and anger of the customers thereby easing the situation. Moreover, the importance of courtesy should not be undermined. This is hallmark of good communication skills. To be courteous is to talk to the people the way you wanted to be talked to. Another highlight of effective communication process includes helpfulness.

To be helpful, a service employee should be resourceful enough to clear the doubts of customers so as to provide the required information needed by the customers. Another important aspect is to follow up. A good communicator follows up regularly with calls. If a service employee makes any promise that is to be fulfilled in the next visit during the negotiation process, he should not fail to keep up the promise. Else, it is not advisable to promise the customer .”

The role of management in improving the communication skills of service employees is not only in the perspective of training but also in the direction of maintaining good relations with the service employees in an effort to involve employees in problem solving. Moreover, the emphasis on empowerment in improving the communication of service employees is highlighted from findings.

“I feel that recognition of employee performance also plays a key role in the betterment of his performance as a good communicator in the service context. I regularly review the performance of service employees to identify who is performing well so that I can encourage them to perform better. I focus on the identification of star performers so as to provide leverage in some issues in order to nurture problem solving skills. This is a sort of empowerment of service employees. I feel this exercise of empowerment of service employees reinforce self-efficacy which leads to self-confidence and the results can be reflected in their performance ”

The notable communication barriers in the communication of service employees are identified by examining the difference in the communication styles between local employees and part-time international student employees.  It is concluded that one of the communication barriers is the slang of part-time international student employees. Other notable communication barriers are related with the style of the service employees who are part-time international students that is generally affirmative, apathetic, impatient  and often perceived as aggressive and rude as indicated in the statements by Employee A?B? C?.   

I have been working as a part-time employee for the last six months. I am from India and I used to struggle to pick the slang of local customers initially. I used to ask some customers to repeat their words. This irked many customers and as a result of that I received negative feedback from the customers when they mentioned their views in the feedback form. However, I slowly improved with the time and now I am quite comfortable in picking the slang of local customers. In my early days I was shocked to see a customer complaining that I am rude. I was shocked because I felt that I didn’t speak in rude manner. When I spoke to my department manager, I was asked whether I missed some of the words like “thank you”, “hello”, “sorry”, “please” and “cheers” in my conversation. I came to know then that I seldom used those words. My manager explained the importance of such words in my communication style

“I have been working in the store for the last two months. I found my job challenging when i was put in a situation where I had to rush while dealing with customers. This hampers my ability to effectively deliver the intended service to the customers. Besides that, I had to tell lies at times to convince the customer in order to encourage buying. This is a kind of gamble as it carries the risk of attaining negative feedback if they spot out that I am lying. But if can convince them, my performance is enhanced in terms of the number of items sold per month”

“I have been working in the store for the last four months. At times, I had to face some tough situations when I had to incur the wrath of their anger. It is very challenging to stay calm so as to not match their turn”

Recommendations

The recommendations of this research were presented to the management. Although the research proved the effective role of management in terms of the training provided by the management and the involvement of managers in improving the communication of part-time international service employees, it is suggested that management use communication in such a way that they regularly interact with part-time international student employees so as to monitor their performance.

Besides that, the management should play a key role in nurturing the communication skill of part-time international student employees by providing a healthy work environment envisaging fair treatment of the employees and the management should find ways in improving the job satisfaction of service employees who are part-time international students. This makes the service employees passionate towards their jobs and facilitates them to learn new things in aspect of communication.

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