I cannot stand poor customer service. How about you? You don’t have to think very long to come up with examples of poor customer service from your everyday life. For example, I had a doctor’s appointment about four months ago and I received a bill for a charge that was incorrect. So I called my health plan and requested some assistance. After five telephone calls to both my health plan and my doctor’s office, and four months of waiting, I finally received a resolution. Everyone involved made mistakes and no one kept me in the loop. Needless to say I have less respect for the people who were involved in this situation. In the future, I will deal with both parties with skepticism.
As professional instructors, we can put our credibility in danger like this as well. We need to be aware of our reputation with our learners and enhance it whenever possible both inside and outside of the classroom. Why you ask? Well, in short, if our learners do not trust us, they will not be open to learning from us. So, what can we do to boost our credibility?
There’s certainly more ways than five but here are some of my favorite techniques for boosting credibility:
1. If you put someone’s question on a “parking lot” during class and promise to get back to them, do it as quickly as possible and be sure the information you give them is accurate.
2. If you need to communicate to a learner that their tardiness to class is problematic, do it in such a way that you maintain their self-esteem while still addressing the behavior. Do not embarrass them in front of their peers.
3. If you have the time, let learners know that you can spend time with them before or after class if they need extra help.
4. If you are teaching a new group of learners who do not know you very well, greet them at the door with a smile and a handshake to make them feel welcome.
5. If someone gives an incorrect answer to a question, instead of saying, “You’re wrong!” say something like, “That’s an interesting response; can you explain why you think that?”
If you apply these five tips regularly when you train, you will boost your credibility. Remember, credibility must be earned and then maintained both inside and outside of the classroom. Oh, and don’t forget to keep your reputation in mind at all company parties!
What do you do to enhance your credibility with your employees?