Practicing For Profit: How to move your company's service experience from good to great

By John Burwell Jr., Service and Sales Coach

We all know by now that training our people well is critical to their success and the success of the business. We also know that effective training is required if we want to create a good service experience for our clients. And now I want to look at how we can take that service experience from good to great. Hint: The title of this article is a key part of that answer.

Two Layers of People Development

1. Training: Often leaders see the act of training as someone standing at the front of the room lecturing on a technique, service, or product with the expectation that the information will be understood by those in the room. You may have even been to a training meeting where the trainer closes with “got it, good, now go and do it!” The fact is, this method of “training” is incredibly ineffective. Research indicates that less than 30% of all learning is done by hearing alone. 70% of learning is done by seeing it and practicing.

2. Practice: As the next layer of development, practice allows technicians to fully learn and understand. This action leads to confidence and competence. Practice may include role-playing, demonstrations, scripting, teaching others or group discussion. As technicians begin using the new information and demonstrating new skills the learning retention skyrockets.

Practice also allows you as the trainer or leader to assess your effectiveness. If the learner is not able to demonstrate understanding you must first look at your delivery. If no one understands, it’s time to reinvent your training or hire a professional to train for you. (Not everyone is born to be a trainer. And that’s alright. Just know that ineffective or bad training can be incredibly costly to your business.) Practicing will yield results – make certain it’s the results you want. Practice behaviors that have proven positive results.

Here is a simple training process to follow as you develop your next service or sales training session or your training plan for the year. The percentages indicate the time and focus given to that step.

  • Prepare content (25%)
  • Prepare delivery including practice activities (25%)
  • Practice (40%)
  • Coach (10%)

You can use this simple process to create a development plan for the entire year or for a short training session. You might start with a plan for the month. Prioritizing the plan by getting specific with what content can impact the service experience most, making it great. As you can see practice is given the most focus. Coaching affords us the opportunity to give our team the praise they deserve when applying the practice and guidance for continuous improvement.

The Big Picture

  1. Assess the actions or behaviors that will move your experience from good to great
  2. Build effective training content to teach those behaviors
  3. Identify ways to incorporate practice of those behaviors
  4. Execute and make time for practice
  5. Coach for continuous improvement and praise

Do this and you're building a culture of practicing for profits.


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