Employee customer service training a value proposition?
Main Aim: To study the value of soft skills training in terms of attracting repeat customers and increasing company profits
Brief Review of the Related Literature
Crosbie (2005) has produced one of the most recent studies on the value of soft skills training; challenging the role of training as a single methodology for the development of personal and interpersonal "soft skills" for leaders. A design/methodology approach is used to make a case for the importance of soft skills development for leaders and then to explore the role of training, along with other critical elements, in helping leaders develop these skills. This is done through an explanation of the complex process of learning, concluding that learning soft skills takes significant time, and the learning of the complex personal and interpersonal skills of leadership takes even more time. Statistical analysis is used to support the recommended methodology outlined in this paper, and the practical implications are also examined. Organizations undertaking a leadership development initiative are encouraged to look beyond simply evaluating training programs, with success depending not only on effective training but also on such important elements as expert facilitation, contextual awareness, formal and informal support, real-world application, self-study, self-awareness, stress and celebration.
This paper tends towards the view that soft skills training may be an unnecessary expenditure of capital and training time for many organizations, however this view is strongly refuted by Ramsoomair (2004), who claims that soft skills are ignored because of an obsession with tactics at the expense of strategy. A key part of his argument is that, when pressed with immediate needs, firms put their emphasis on individuals who excel at primary or core skills: While they may grudgingly admit to some belief in the value of soft skills, it is falsely felt that these non-core skills are a priority that can be deferred. However, he concludes that once caught in the deadly embrace of over reliance on short term priorities in goal delivery, the cycle of hard skill emphasis becomes internalized. The full potential of strategy is consequently never reached, primarily because of a workforce that is either not fully equipped to do the job, or is discouraged to do so because their 'other' qualities are not valued adequately.
Kelly (2004) attempts to balance these two arguments, claiming that businesses are increasingly looking for business-literate IT professionals who can add value at a strategic level, and that as such, IT staff need to move outside their comfort zones and acquire soft skills, such as people and project management, to be certain of a secure future. However, she focuses on the fact that many IT departments are still under pressure to do more with less, and thus wonders how already overstretched IT professionals will find the time to invest in training, in addition to their core job functions. The 2004 annual Technology for Financial Executives survey, carried out by Computer Sciences Corp. and Financial Executives International, found that in many corporations IT remains as isolated as ever from the boardroom and overall business strategy, with only 7% of respondents claiming to have an IT plan fully aligned with business objectives (Kelly, 2004). As such, the literature supports the view that acquiring these skills could be the key to elevating the status of IT and its staff within businesses. In addition, they will provide IT staff with the knowledge and the business language to translate their IT solutions into business solutions in order to deal effectively with board-level staff and customers. (Journal of European Industrial Training, 2003)
The focus on soft skills in the IT context is a fairly new development, spurred by the e-commerce explosion, but as early as 1997, Civelli observed that as traditional structures began to disappear at an ever-growing rate, new roles were developing and new professionalisms are required, not only by markets but from society too. Big differences are also noticeable in large and small organizations across a great many markets, with requirements in human resource development approaches becoming very different, so he claimed that different tools from those of the recent past would be required. He reported that human resource development professionals were engaging in new approaches where culture, soft skills, communication and competencies are key factors. The impact of new technologies on organizations needs a different approach to traditional concepts of time and space. (Civelli, 1997)
The literature supports the view that, even in the commercial businesses in modern economies, where time pressures are everything, and new employees are often thrown in 'at the deep end', training and soft skills are increasingly important. Boomer (2005) explores the application of soft skills in the accounting profession, exploring some of the primary categories of soft skills, and steps that can be taken towards the proactive approach of changing the image of a firm, and differentiating it from other firms, both in the eyes of clients, and potential new recruits. Furthermore, Compensation & Benefits for Law Offices (2005) presents news briefs on law firm's training and professional development programs. Experts are quoted as believing that training raises the soft skills of employees, which, when added to computer and technical training, produce highly competent employees, and fills a gap by providing management training for law firms, which have seldom trained their managers and partners. Training is also claimed to raise productivity, which obviously results in greater profitability, as well as boosting morale and motivation, both of which create greater teamwork.
Buhler (2001) takes a slightly more basic, albeit useful, approach to the importance of soft skills, charting how the focus of management has been on hard skills for the previous few decades, with the emphasis centered on the technical skills necessary to effectively perform within the organization. The article claims that these skills tended to be more job-specific or more closely related to the actual task being performed, however as the world has changed, and the nature of work has changed, the skill set required of managers has changed. Thus, today, employers crave managers with the critical soft skills which tend to be more generic in nature, in other words, these are skills key to effective performance across all job categories. The skill categories are explored be the article, as are the reasons the soft skills have come to play an even more crucial role in management positions in today's environment, and how they fit into the complete package of the interdependent soft skill set vital to many modern managers.
Some of the most recent training developments are reported in a recent Computer Weekly (2005) article, which mentions that the BCS Young Professionals Group has recently run two events to help its members develop the communication skills they need to be successful in a modern business/IT environment. The first event was held at the group's annual general meeting in London on March 5, 2005, with another meeting, conducted on April 14, which was dedicated to honing negotiating skills to boost career development. Although this article was written before the events, and thus could not report on them, it claims that the event was just one of a series, aimed to build up the soft skills which are now in greater demand from employers, offering more practical evidence that soft skills are becoming an increasing concern throughout the economy.
Finally, Thilmany (2004) addresses the profession long believed to have the least use for soft skills when compared to the hard, technical skills: mechanical engineering. The article discusses about how engineers can learn to become good managers, reporting on how Steven Cerri, who heads STCerri International of San Rafael, California, teaches what he calls soft skills to engineers who want to make the transition to management. The initial class is for corporate engineers who are thinking about a transition to management, with a second class is aimed at engineers who definitely want to manage or who are already leading people. Importantly, Cerri claims that, although the gulf between engineer and manager is huge, though spoken of infrequently, a lack of people skills is not only understandable, but also eminently correctable.
Aims and Objectives of Research
There are three main objectives to this research, based around the overall aim of the dissertation, and what has been revealed by the literature review.
Firstly, it will be necessary to determine the extent to which training can improve the soft skills of employees and managers alike, both independently of practical experience, and combined with said experience. In terms of being combined with said experience, it may be useful to study whether training before extensive experience of dealing with customers is more effective than training employees who already have significant experience. In other words, does customer exposure make employees more eager to learn how to placate and address customers, or does it make them more 'set in their ways'?
The second objective will be to determine to what extent employee and managerial soft skills can influence the tendency of customers to become repeat, and potentially loyal, customers. Again, soft skills will only be one potential factor influencing customer choices, and it will be necessary to attempt to determine the impacts of the other aspects of the marketing mix: price, promotion, place and product. It is hypothesized that there will be certain combinations of the various aspects that will have the desired effect; however this may vary according to customer demographics.
The third objective will be to determine the extent to which soft skills can be converted to company profits, as a result of gaining more customers, and repeat customers, and how this is affected by company training policies and expenditure. In other words, the data will be used to attempt to discover if expenditure on soft skills training actually produces significant rewards for a company.
Sources and Acquisition of Data
For the first objective, it will be necessary to contact a great many companies that have invested in soft skills training programs, and attempt to determine the perceived improvement in the soft skills of their employees. Unfortunately, it will be necessary to do a large portion of this by survey, and these results may well be skewed by managerial regard for soft skills versus more traditional hard skills. It will also be necessary to attempt to determine any bias across industries.
The impact on customers will again have to be measured fairly indirectly, using market data, such as that found on the Euromonitor or Factiva databases to determine the importance customers place on the soft skills of company employees, and the potential for soft skills to create repeat customers. Surveys could also be used, however they may produce even more skewed results, as many customers are unsure of their personal cues to buy and make repeat purchases.
Finally, the third objective will require surveying companies to determine their expenditure on soft skill training, both in time and capital, together with the success of these training schemes. Information on the increase in profits can be obtained from company's annual reports, but care must be taken to ensure that other factors, such as new product development, are accounted for.
Methods of Data analysis
Multiple regression analysis will tend to be the best method for analyzing the data, once potential bias has been identified and removed. Several models will need to be tried, as the relationship may not be simple, and the model that is found to be most accurate would have implications for the analysis of the third objective, as there will potentially be an optimal level of soft skill training, above which the rewards will not match any further increase in expenditure.
Multiple regression will often be the most apt form of analysis, as it will offer information on the explanatory power of certain variables, which will be useful when concluding whether training or experience are most important for soft skill development, the relationship between training and experience, and any potential significance of which of the two is acquired first. Also, for the second objective, multiple regressions can be used for both employees and managers, to determine whether it is the soft skills of employees, or of managers, that have more impact on the number of repeat customers a company receives.
Additionally, Gaussian, or other relevant, probability distributions can be used, and may prove useful depending on the form of the data. For example, if it can be shown that the tendency of customers to become repeat customers resembles a Gaussian probability function, this could provide evidence that the soft skills have little impact, and that some customers would tend to be repeat customers regardless, whereas others would seldom become repeat customers. Equally, significance tests can be performed on each result that the regression shows to be an explanatory variable, in order to determine whether or not it has a statistically significant effect on the customer tendencies and company profits.
Form of Presentation
The majority of results will be presented in graphical form, using Excel or some other spreadsheet program to demonstrate the correlations, if any exist. Equally, the survey results will be made available in the appendices, and the data charts themselves will be presented, together with explanations for any anomalous results or unexplained trends. More detailed explanations of the methods used, potential sources of bias and other relevant information that has arisen from the survey data will be covered in the main body of the report.
The company financial data will also be made available, in its complete form, through the appendices of the report, and the relevant data will be identified and explained, together with any other possible explanatory data, in the main body of the report. The final conclusions will be presented in verbal form; however they will be supported, wherever possible, by the relevant extracts from the basic data and analysis. Any potential sources of error or bias that may affect the final conclusions for the three objectives will likewise be covered in a similar way.
1.Boomer, L. G. (2005) Soft skills can mean hard dollars for your firm. Accounting Today; Vol. 19 Issue 6, p. 22.
2.Buhler, P. M. (2001) The growing importance of soft skills in the workplace. Supervision; Vol. 62 Issue 6, p. 13.
3.Civelli, F. F. (1997) New competences, new organizations in a developing world. Industrial & Commercial Training; Vol. 29, Issue 7, p. 226.
4.Compensation & Benefits for Law Offices (2005) Here's Why Training Still Matters. Vol. 5 Issue 4, p. 8.
5.Computer Weekly (2005) Young IT professionals get advice on 'soft' skills. p. 36.
6.Crosbie, R. (2005) Learning the soft skills of leadership. Industrial & Commercial Training; Vol. 37, Issue 1, p. 45.
7.Journal of European Industrial Training (2003) IT managers need more soft skills. Vol. 27, Issue 2-4, p. 202.
8.Kelly, L. (2004) Soft skills are key for future IT managers. Computer Weekly; p. 37.
9.Ramsoomair, F (2004) The Hard Realities of Soft Skills. Problems & Perspectives in Management; Issue 4, p. 231.
10.Thilmany, J. (2004) Going Soft. Mechanical Engineering; Vol. 126 Issue 3, Special Section p. 4.
员工的客户服务培训的价值主张？ 主要目的：学习软技能培训的价值，吸引回头客，并增加公司的利润 的相关文献的简要回顾 克罗斯比（2005）最近期的研究软技能培训的价值之一，具有挑战性的角色，作为一个单一的训练方法的发展，个人和人际交往的“软技能”的领导人。一个设计/方法论的方法是用来做的情况下，软技能开发，领导者的重要性，然后探索培训的作用，以及与其他关键要素，帮助领导人培养这些技能。这是通过复杂的学习过程中的解释，得出结论认为，学习软技能需要大量的时间和复杂的个人和人际关系的领导技能的学习需要，甚至更多的时间。统计分析用于支持本文推荐方法概述，并且还审查的实际影响。组织开展了领导发展的主动权被鼓励寻找超越了简单的评价培训方案，成功不仅取决于有效的培训，同时也对这样的重要元素，作为专家的便利，上下文意识，正式和非正式的支持，现实世界中的应用，自学，自我意识，压力和庆祝活动。 本文倾向于认为，软技能培训可能是不必要的支出，对于许多组织的资金和培训时间，但这种观点是强烈驳斥Ramsoomair （2004年） ，他声称被忽略，因为战术的痴迷，软技能策略的费用。他的论点的一个关键部分是，当按下即时的需求，公司把重心放到个人谁擅长小学或核心技能：虽然他们可能会勉强承认一些软技能的价值信念，错误地感到，这些非核心技能是可以推迟的优先。然而，他的结论是，一旦陷入过分依赖短期优先目标交付的致命拥抱，周期变成内在的硬技能强调。战略的全部潜力，因此从来没有达到，主要是因为员工要么是不完全具备做这项工作，或不鼓励这样做，因为他们的'其他'的品质是不充分的重视。 凯利（2004）试图平衡这两种说法，声称，越来越多的企业正在寻找商业识字的IT专业人员可以增加价值在战略层面，因此， IT人员需要将自己的舒适区之外，掌握软技能，如人，项目管理，确定一个安全的未来。然而，她专注于事实上，许多IT部门仍然是少花钱多办事的压力下，因此怀疑已经捉襟见肘的IT专业人士的时候就会发现，投资于培训，除了他们的核心工作职能。 2004年度财务执行官的调查技术，由计算机科学公司和国际财务执行官组织开展发现，在许多企业中， IT仍然是孤立的从会议室和整体业务战略如初，只有7％的受访者声称有一个计划完全符合业务目标（凯利，2004年） 。因此，文献支持认为获得这些技能可以提升企业内的IT和其工作人员的状态的关键。此外，他们将提供IT人员的知识和业务语言翻译成业务解决方案，以便有效地处理与板级员工和客户的IT解决方案。 （欧洲工业培训杂志，2003年） 将重点放在软技能在IT方面是一个相当新的发展，刺激了电子商务的爆炸，但早在1997年， Civelli观察，传统的结构在一个不断增长的速度开始消失，新的角色开发和新professionalisms ，不仅需要市场，而是社会太。很大的差异也明显跨越了大量的市场，在大型和小型组织与人力资源开发的要求，方法变得非常不同，所以他声称，最近将需要不同的工具。他报告说，人力资源开发专业从事文化，软技能，沟通和能力的新方法是关键因素。新技术对组织的影响，需要时间和空间的传统观念不同的方法来。 （ Civelli ，1997年） 文献支持认为，即使在商业企业在现代经济中，时间压力是我的一切，员工和新员工往往扔在深结束' ，培训和软技能变得越来越重要。临时工（2005）探讨了应用程序的软技能，在会计专业，探索一些软技能的主要类别，并朝着积极的方式改变一个公司的形象，可以采取的步骤，并从其他公司区别，无论是在客户眼中的和潜在的新的新兵。此外，律师事务所的薪酬与福利（2005）律师事务所的培训和专业发展计划的新闻简报。引述专家们认为，培训提高员工的软技能，当计算机和技术培训，生产高度称职的员工，律师事务所，很少训练他们的经理和合作伙伴提供管理培训，并填补了一项空白。培训还声称，以提高生产率，这显然会导致更大的利润，以及提高士气和积极性，这两者创造更大的团队。 布勒（ 2001）采用一种略微更基本的，虽然很有用，方法的软技能的重要性，指明如何管理的重点一直在苦练内功，在过去数十年间，重点集中于必要的技术技能，有效地履行在组织内。文章称，这些技能往往有更多的就业特定或实际正在执行的任务的关系更为密切，然而世界已经变了，工作性质已经改变，技能设置所需的管理人员发生了变化。因此，今天，雇主渴望经理的关键软技能，这往往是比较通用性的，换句话说，这些都是有效的绩效在所有工作类别的关键技能。技能类别正在探索是的文章，因为是软技能都来发挥一个更关键的作用，在今天的环境中管理职位的原因，以及他们如何适应到完整的包相互依存的软技能设置许多现代至关重要经理人。 一些最新的培训发展报告在最近的电脑周刊“ （2005年）的文章，其中提到， BCS的年轻专业人员集团最近已运行两个活动，以帮助其成员开发他们所需要的沟通技巧是成功的现代企业/ IT环境。第一个事件是2005年3月5日，集团的年度股东大会在伦敦举行另一次会议， 4月14日进行，这是致力于磨炼谈判技巧，以提高职业发展。虽然这篇文章是写事件之前，因此不能报告，声称该事件只是其中的一个系列，旨在建立软技能，现在雇主的需求更大，提供更实际的证据表明，软技能，整个经济正在成为越来越多的关注。 最后， THILMANY （2004）解决了行业长期以来一直认为，有至少使用软技能硬，技术技能相比：机械工程。文章论述了有关工程师们可以学习如何成为优秀的管理者，史蒂芬CERRI ，谁负责加州圣拉斐尔， STCerri国际，如何教他所谓的软技能的工程师，谁不想使过渡到管理的报告。初始类是谁工程师一定要管理或已经导致人们都在思考一个过渡管理，第二类是针对企业的工程师。更重要的是， CERRI声称，虽然工程师和经理之间的鸿沟是巨大的，虽然说话很少，缺乏人际交往能力是不是可以理解，但也突出可纠正。 宗旨和目标的研究 这项研究有三个主要目标，围绕论文的总体目标，已经揭示了文献回顾。 首先，这将是必要的程度来确定，培训可以提高软技能的员工和经理的一致好评，无论是独立的实践经验，并结合上述经验。在与上述经验相结合方面，它可能是有用的研究无论谁已经有显着的经验比员工培训，培训前与客户打交道的丰富经验，更有效。换句话说，客户接触，使员工更渴望学习如何安抚和满足客户，或让他们以自己的方式更多的“设置”？ 第二个目标将是确定到什么程度雇员和管理软技能可以影响客户成为回头客的倾向，潜在的忠诚客户。再次，软技能只会是一个潜在的因素影响客户的选择，这将是必要的尝试，以确定营销组合的其他方面：价格，促销，地点和产品的影响。据推测，会有一定的组合的各个方面，将有预期的效果，但是这可能会有所不同，根据客户的人口统计。 第三个目标是，以确定的程度软技能可以转化为公司的利润，争取更多新客户的结果，和回头客，以及如何影响该公司的培训政策和支出。换句话说，数据将被用于尝试发现，如果软技能培训的支出实际上产生显着回报的公司。 数据来源和收购 对于第一个目标，将是必要的联系很多公司已投资软技能培训课程，并试图确定在软技能的员工感知的改善。不幸的是，它将有必要通过调查做了很大一部分，这些结果可能被扭曲了管理方面的软技能与更传统的硬技能。这也将是必要的，尝试确定各行业的任何偏差。 对客户的影响将再次有相当间接测量，利用市场数据，如发现Euromonitor的Factiva公司的数据库，以确定客户对公司员工的软技能的重要性和潜在的软技能，以创造重复客户。也可用于调查，但他们可能会产生更加扭曲的结果，因为很多客户都不清楚其个人购买和重复购买的线索。 最后，第三个目标需要测量公司决定开支的软技能培训，无论是在时间和资金上，这些培训计划的成功。利润增加的信息可以从公司的年度报告，但必须小心，以确保其他因素，如新产品开发，占。 数据分析方法 多元回归分析往往会是最好的方法，用于分析数据，一旦潜在的偏差已被确定并除去。几个车型将需要进行审判，可能不能再简单的关系，被发现是最准确的模型，会影响分析的第三个目标，将有可能是软技能培训的最佳水平，以上的奖励将不会匹配任何进一步增加开支。 多元回归分析往往是最贴切的形式，因为它会提供有关某些变量的解释力，这将是非常有用的结论，无论是训练或经验是最重要的软技能开发，培训和经验之间的关系时，获取的第一和任何潜在的意义，其中的两个。此外，对于第二个目标，多元回归可以用于员工和经理，以确定它是否是软技能的员工，经理，公司收到的回头客的数量，产生更大的影响。 此外，高斯，或其他有关的概率分布可以被使用，可能证明是有用的，这取决于数据的形式。例如，如果可以证明，客户的倾向，成为回头客类似于高斯概率函数，这可能提供的证据表明，软技能有多大影响，一些客户会倾向于无论是回头客，而其他很少成为回头客。同样地，显着性检验，可以对每个结果进行回归显示的说明变量，以确定是否有一个统计上显着的影响，客户倾向和公司的利润。 形式呈现 以图形的形式将存在的结果中的大多数，使用Excel或一些其他的电子表格程序，表现出相关性，如果有的话。同样，调查结果将在附录中，将数据图表本身，连同任何异常结果的解释或原因不明的趋势。更详细的解释，所使用的方法，从调查数据的潜在来源已产生的偏见和其他相关信息将被覆盖在主体报告。 该公司的财务数据也将被提供，其完整的形式，通过该报告的附录，有关数据将被识别和解释，连同任何其他可能的解释数据，在报告的主体。最终结论将会以口头形式提出，但他们将尽可能支持，基础数据和分析的相关摘录。任何潜在的错误或偏见的来源，可能会影响到最终结论的三个目标，将同样被覆盖以类似的方式。 参考文献 1.Boomer ， LG （2005）软技能可以为您的公司意味着硬盘美元。今日会计。 19 ，第6期。 22。 2.Buhler ，下午（2001年）在职场软技能的重要性日益增加。监督。 62 ，第6期。 13。 3.Civelli ， FF （1997）新的能力，在发展中世界的新的组织。工商培训。 29日，第7期。 226 。 4.Compensation律师事务所的优势（2005年）在这里就是为什么训练仍然举足轻重。卷。 4，第5期。 8。 5.Computer周刊（2005年）年轻的IT专业人士获得“软”技能的建议。第36。 6.Crosbie ， R. （2005）学习软技能的领导。工商培训。 37 ，第1期，第45。 7.Journal欧洲工业培训（2003年） ， IT经理需要更多的软性技能。卷。 27日，第2-4页。 202。 8.Kelly ， L. （2004）软技能是未来的IT经理的关键。电脑周刊，P 。 37。 9.Ramsoomair ，F （2004）软技能的严酷现实。管理的问题与展望，第4期，第231。 10.Thilmany ， J. （2004）场地湿。机械工程。 126第3期，特别P节。 4 。