As businesses, we’re constantly looking for ways to push forwards, improve our productivity, raise our profits, and invest in new systems and innovations that are going to continually drive us to greater success. One of the best ways to do this is through consistently developing your team’s skill sets, particularly where professional services are concerned.
Professional services are in many ways the most fundamental aspects of any business, yet they are frequently overlooked in favour of flashier or more technologically-driven solutions. While there’s a lot to be said for the benefits of improving the digital skills of your workforce, professional services represent the backbone of your business.
A solid foundation in core areas like business administration and customer service will ensure all other efforts to develop your team and grow your business are as successful as possible. Beyond that, effective administrative and customer service training is essential for maximising both productivity and profit. Here’s how to do both...
Outstanding Business Administration For Productivity And Profit...
When it comes to the most powerful resources your company has on its side, your administrative staff are right at the top of the list. The right hand of every manager and solid foundation of your entire company, quality admin staff are like gold dust.
Despite this, admins have a long history of being the most under-trained, under-utilised, and misunderstood members of any team. Huge numbers of admin staff are self-taught, learning everything they needed to know for their roles in their own time, without any support or training from their organisation. It’s not unusual for admin to be excluded from Continued Professional Development (CPD) budgets entirely.
Investing in effective training for your admins has potentially enormous benefits when it comes to both increasing productivity and boosting profits, while creating more dynamics between managers and their assistants. And yet many organisations are still resistant to the notion, largely due to the fact that admins do not (usually) directly impact the income level of the business, and as such the return the company receives on that training investment can’t be quantified.
Yet when the administrative side of things runs smoothly, everything else falls into place. All departments benefit from the increased productivity that comes from working as part of a well-oiled machine. The more productive the company as a whole becomes, the more profitable it grows.
While this makes sense as a concept it’s still important to pin down exactly how effective business administration training can improve your productivity and profitability.
Too Long Working, Not Long Enough Time Training...
The role of business admins is increasingly demanding, with a workload that seemingly increases exponentially and becomes increasingly complex, as managers delegate more and more. This leaves admins overworked, but severely under-trained, and largely unable to tackle the issue of their knowledge gaps due to a lack of time to do so. This is a status quo that many organisations have slipped into, and it must be shaken up if they want to remain relevant and competitive in an increasingly complex working culture.
It can seem counterintuitive to take time away from what work admins are doing in order to teach them how to complete work they’re already doing. But there is a huge difference between struggling to keep up, and being an effective force within a business.
Even a day of training that has been specifically designed for admin staff can make a huge difference. It may be a day they’re not spending on work, but it will make every subsequent workday infinitely more productive.
The Changing Role Of Business Administrators...
The role of business administrators saw a massive shift in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and has continued to evolve ever since. Team members who previously played relatively minor roles now act as project managers and shoulder an unprecedented level of responsibility. Despite this change, many businesses are still trapped in the traditional view that admins do not require training and have continued development in the same manner as other forms of employees. However, having properly trained admin is more vital now than ever.
Investing in effective training for your team, either by hiring a new apprentice dedicated specifically to learning professional services, or upskilling existing staff members, is a great way to keep pace with the changing face of business administration. A professional apprenticeship will ensure your team member excels in creative thinking, evaluation and teamwork, as well as communication, problem-solving and the use of new technologies.
Improved Job Satisfaction And Staff Retention...
Another great benefit to ensuring proper training for your admin is a marked increase in job satisfaction. The happier your staff are, the more likely you are to retain them, and the less need there will be to waste time, money and resources hiring new people and showing them the ropes, only to have them leave, and the whole cycle to begin anew.
It’s easy to suppose that a salary bump will make your staff happier, and actually end up being cheaper than investing in continued training and development. Yet job satisfaction has been consistently seen to be of greater value to employees than a salary increase that forces them to continuously struggle in a role they are ill-equipped to complete.
Why spend money increasing salaries without improving job satisfaction, when you can spend the same money on effective training that not only boosts staff retention, but provides your team with additional skills and knowledge?
Training gives your team a sense of ownership in your business, increasing feelings of loyalty as leadership has demonstrated their belief in the abilities and talents of their employees. You are valuing them, and so they will value you.
Exceptional Customer Services For Productivity And Profit...
The other essential aspect of your business that can’t be underestimated is your customer service. Like administrative roles, this is a professional service that has the power to massively increase both productivity and profitability. Unlike admin, it’s a little easier to draw a clear line between the investment made in customer service training and the return you receive. Your team are usually the first point of contact between your business and potential clients. The impression they make will last and has a huge impact on your brand.
It’s important, as a company, to have a clear standard when it comes to the level of customer service you offer, and to put effective process in place that are capable of helping you to both reach and maintain that level in everything they do.
What Makes Customer Service Great?
Exceptional customer service hinges on comprehensive business knowledge and product knowledge. It’s essential that your staff have a full understanding of both, as every aspect of their interactions with your customers will revolve around at least one.
But knowledge alone isn’t enough. Its effectiveness comes from the manner in which it is applied, and for this reason, it’s important your team have a clear understanding and handle on the key concepts of:
Having these skills allows your team to effectively problem solve as they deal with customer queries and complaints, ensuring a swift, effective and positive resolution to any issues. As such, it’s important to spend time training your team in all of these areas, as well as the best possible ways to interact with your customers.
Easily Up-skill Your Workforce With Professional Services…
Now that you’re sold on the huge business benefits of ensuring that your team are properly trained in both administrative skills and customer services, you’re likely wondering how best to go about providing that training.
There are two options depending on whether you’re looking to hire a new employee or up-skill existing members of your team. The introduction of the apprenticeship levy means that levy-paying businesses can now access a government-funded scheme granting them fast and easy access to funds for covering the cost of online apprenticeship training.
This provides you with a great way to reclaim funds that would otherwise be given to another business, and use them to train your staff in core areas like customer services and administration. Our online apprenticeship in professional services is available to both newly hired apprentices and as training for existing staff members, providing the perfect way to boost both your productivity and profitability.
Get in touch now to learn more about how a professional services apprenticeship can supercharge your business.