November 05 - Training Update
Service 'moments of truth', Forced choice techniques, Useful presentation blog, How to promote your training calendar, The entrepreneur's '6 fingers', A-Z of Alcohol, Certificates of Achievement, Real coffee training...
Personalising customer service training
Ron Kaufman's latest newsletter talks about his 'one day of experiences' flying home and using a hotel - he takes 10 'moments of truth', both good and bad, and draws lessons from them. It would be an easy training technique for a group to use to build their own 'service truths'.
Immigration was fast and polite. How nice for America's official representative to greet us in such a friendly fashion.
Rule #2: First impressions are lasting impressions. Make yours count!
The luggage cart had wheels in disrepair. Most of them were like that.
Rule #3: Smiling service is not enough; your product must work well, too!
Contained in Newsletter #86 - he would email it to you if requested. His business model is interesting - based in Singapore (he's an American) and working primarily in SE Asia and the Middle East. Away from the crowded consulting spaces of his home country...
Forced choice technique
I ran a 'forced choice' discussion during the week - all potential employees on the short-list were suitable and each group had to decide who they would choose? Great discussion and thoughtful comments, with participants questioning (and a little concerned) why their organisation would be a better 'fit' for one rather than another. Here's how it went...
You have 4 people short-listed for a new position of Function Organiser (no previous Function position at your club). Who would you choose?
> Karen (29) - only hospitality experience was café work as a teenager. She has 8 years sales experience in real-estate and very good references. Has always wanted to work in hospitality. Great personality.
> Andrew (28) - has worked at the club for 6 years and is well-known and liked. He is responsible for setting up function rooms and organising meals/refreshments/AV etc. Quite shy but very obliging. Keen to learn.
> Darren (32) - moved to the area 2 weeks ago. Has 10 years banqueting experience and very strong references from Function Centres and the Intercontinental Hotel interstate. Very outgoing and enthusiastic.
> Tara (24) - a local. Just completed her Event Management Diploma and has worked for 3 years part-time at Function Centres and corporate boxes at the Football Stadium. Friendly and has strong admin/typing/IT skills.
Great blog of presentation ideas
Found PresentationZen blog - full of useful ideas, and it leads back to the author's excellent Presentation Resource list - very generous. He highlights Guy Kawasaki's way of using 'Top 10' lists as a way to do punchy presentations. Not only does it keep the presentation tight, but it gives the audience a sense of how soon it will be over (!). I'm also going to experiment with the Takahashi method of using one or two words of
'6 Fingers' works well
I presented the 6 Fingered Hand concept of entrepreneurial development to a group of club managers. I thought they would be fairly unresponsive, especially as there had been a long and jolly dinner the night before. They loved it - totally involved and responded with examples for every digit - it works!
A-Z of Alcohol or whatever...
Angus at Alconomics has put together an A to Z of Alconomics. Not hard to see that this was not done over a cold typewriter early in the morning - and a great technique for warming up a group that's working on product knowledge. He does a regular and slightly inebriated newsletter, and I've seen him display his demo bar technique and talk in passionate detail about the skills required. Bar skills, like coffee skills, are the sexy new topics for training. Trying to wake up a group that doesn't want to know about training? They could be your way in...
The list starts like this:
* A is for Atlantic Bar Grill, which according to tonight's London Evening Standard has just closed.
* A is for Antigua Rum: the 5 year old is a top drop and just scored 92 in the BTI ratings mmmmmm.
* B is for Belvedere, a mixed drink of rum, milk and cinnamon.
* C is for Cops Bottle: the cheapest hooch in the house (to be given to cops free when they visited).
* D is for Drak the name for a mojito made with crushed ice.
You get the idea...
Promote your Training Calendar
Upcoming.org is a free and easy way to put a training calendar on your site or in your Blog. It's just been bought by Yahoo - another of their community-building tools. If Yahoo is behind it, this puppy will not stay small!
Upcoming details show up in a box on your site (different formats available), fed by the information you add to the personal diary page you keep online. As well, the events are publicised on a group calendar for your city.
A smart trainer who's just starting could have a web presence for free with a Blog, Upcoming and Flickr to show off their training pictures.
Certificates of Achievement
Certificates of Achievement or Attendance are no big deal for me (but I do keep them). For many who attend courses and workshops, they ARE a big deal - in the era of short-term work, a good CV may be one of the few things that stands up and speaks for you.
So do them with style - Success Certificates have a neat service with hundreds of different templates to create stylish certificates online, ready to print. Low cost for a one-week membership, and the Word and JPEG templates are reusable. On the left, from the archives - an old Coffee Training Certificate from my cafe - long before we even knew what a barista was!
Real coffee training
The Club Cafe Workshop run by Profitable Hospitality is 'niche' for sure - how to turn the old-fashioned 'Coffee Shop' in large clubs into a vibrant, contemporary cafe serving a great product at speed. Nothing too revolutionary about that!
It covers everything from business plans and profit margins to design issues and machine selection. And staffing, of course. Creating speedy, happy and efficient cafe staff had the groups brainstorming the elements of a practical training programme that would hold interest and build skills quickly. Activities could include...
- Coffee machine use
- Understanding ratios - different cup sizes will produce different strengths if the coffee dose is not altered accordingly
- Texturing of the milk and understanding temperature issues
- Understanding beans and different roasting methods
- History of coffee and countries of origin (and no harm including a few trade issues relating to third-world countries)
- Tastings and comparison of different types of milk (while cold and hot)
- Food safety issues with coffee preparation (warm milk sitting around...danger!)
- Speed training for handling constant orders (with a stop-watch test)
- Multiple order taking and memory skills
- Setting up the machine (again with a speed test)
- Machine cleaning and sanitation
- Comparison visit to a local cafe that has a good product and atmosphere
- Handling special requests 'extra weak', 'extra hot', 'half-and-half decaf with low-fat soy' etc
- Upselling and add-ons - cakes and treats to add to a simple coffee order
- Quiz to test knowledge
- Coffee Trivia Contest
- ...any more? Your suggestions welcome!