Learning specialist Hemsley Fraser has helped customer-facing staff across five departments at Toyota Financial Services to convey clear and consistent messages, with a positive attitude, when dealing with customers over the telephone and when writing letters and emails.
In a two-day communication skills workshop, called One Voice, One Word, Hemsley Fraser trained TFS’s customer care team - which handles 9,000 incoming calls and 1,700 letters and emails from customers each month - as well as advisers from the new business team, the collections team, the customer sales team and the sales support team.
Karen Harris, Training & Development Specialist at Toyota Financial Services, said: “Although we have an excellent reputation for customer service, Toyota Financial Services follows the philosophy of Kaizen, which involves delivering innovation and continuous improvement. We wanted an innovative, motivational course to ensure our teams use consistent language and tone in their telephone calls and written correspondence with customers.”
Hemsley Fraser was appointed after a competitive tender. “They’re an approved supplier for soft skills and we’ve used them previously for management, communication and customer service programmes,” said Karen Harris. “They impressed us by creating an engaging and interactive workshop that met our need and brought our values to life. Their trainer spent time with our different teams beforehand, to understand the nature of the customer interactions they encountered and how these were handled.”
Hemsley Fraser delivered the facilitated workshop for three separate cohorts at Toyota’s training rooms in Burgh Heath, Surrey. The One Voice telephone skills aspect covered planning the call, projecting a positive image, establishing rapport, active listening, information gathering, questioning, building relationships and closing the call. It also covered managing difficult conversations, handling complaints and data protection issues. The One Word written communication aspect covered planning the message, using appropriate language, conveying the right image, gaining interest and creating a compelling ending.
Hemsley Fraser provided follow-up coaching for TFS’s supervisors, to help them cement the learning in their teams and ensure that the new language and tone were adopted in all customer interactions.
Toyota Financial Services recognises that improving the quality of the customer experience and encouraging customer loyalty will help the company to achieve its goal of being the UK’s most admired sales finance company.
“This workshop has helped us to be clearer and more consistent in our customer communications,” said Karen Harris. “That’s all part of providing a superior service and that’s what we need to do if we’re to continually attract and retain customers.”
Background notes: Established in 1988, Toyota Financial Services (UK) provides flexible financial options for Toyota and Lexus customers.
Hemsley Fraser (hemsleyfraser.co.uk), founded in 1991, provides managed learning services, in-company and customised learning programmes, consulting services and open training courses, in the UK, Europe and North America. The company is part of the Demos Group, a global provider of learning & development solutions.