Lights, Camera, Oops

17 November 2020 in BLOG

Lights, Camera, Oops

It’s certainly no understatement to say that Covid-19 has revolutionised the way we work. Nothing reminded me more of this than a Zoom training session I was running for a client last week.

We are all familiar with the phrases of the year such as ‘can you see me?’, ‘can you hear me?’ and ‘you’ve frozen’.  However, last week things took on a whole new angle, quite literally.

I was all set for a 9.30am start so opened up the Zoom meeting at 9.20 to ‘virtually’ welcome delegates. First to appear on my screen was a young man who for comedy purposes we shall call Austin Powers because he was certainly acting like an ‘international man of mystery’.

As I strained my eyes I could just about make out the shape of a head in the Zoom screen. A head with rather unkempt hair. Very Mr Powers.

‘Hello’, I said ‘It looks very dark where you are’. To which the response came ‘I’ll put the light on’. At least I think that’s what he mumbled.

As the duvet wafted into the air and the light was switched on it became very clear that Mr Austin Powers was still in bed. Yeah Baby!!!!! You did read correct, in bed.

I could barely believe that the first person to arrive at a Customer Service Training course had failed to  adopt the most basic principles of customer service ie at least look like you care.

When I asked the million dollar question (or the bleedin’ obvious)  ‘Are you in BED?’ I was told he was ‘sitting’ in bed which is clearly much more acceptable and at which point he adjusted his camera so that all I could see was the ceiling and a mop of hair. In some ways this was a good thing.

I don’t think I need to expand on how the rest of the day went but you can probably imagine I had to think on my feet to prevent the company from suffering embarrassment amongst the other delegates who were from other local organisations.

Fortunately, hopefully, Austin Powers is young enough to be moulded and in some ways I have to wonder what level of workplace induction he had been given when starting his apprenticeship role just one week earlier.

So, the moral of the story, if there is one, is to remember that good customer service and good communication don’t happen by accident. Any organisation, no matter how small should have a professional code of conduct when it comes to dealing with customers and we’d all do well to remember that everyone is a potential customer, advocate or critic.

Of course, strange times such as this can make people behave in strange ways but with the right aim, attitude and approach we can ensure that only applies to our customers and not to our staff.



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