Hawaii Hires YoungWilliams for Customer Service Training
The Hawaii Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA), Office of the Attorney General, recently awarded a contract to YoungWilliams to provide customer service training to its two hundred employees. Vice President, Mary Ann Wellbank, and Virginia Training Manager, Terri Richardson, will conduct the training at several locations throughout the State.
The training program, based on YoungWilliams’ “Go the Extra Mile (GEM)” training, is specifically designed for child support professionals who deal with challenging and complex issues on a daily basis. The program incorporates the best practices YoungWilliams has acquired from its own operations, and those it has studied over the years. Inherent in the training is the recognition that customers must depend upon child support employees to help them navigate through the complex laws, regulations and policies governing the program, and that the facts surrounding each case and each customer are unique.
YoungWilliams’ attention to customer care has contributed to three federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) awards for exemplary customer service shared by YoungWilliams and its partner states of Virginia and Nebraska. In 2008, YoungWilliams modified its internal customer service training program and began offering it externally as a new line of business.
Some of the modules of the training program include:
- Conveying empathy for customers in difficult situations
- Recognizing the underlying factors causing customer anger or frustration
- Setting realistic expectations
- Dealing with customers who are angry or upset
- Nurturing positive, long term relationships with customers
- Seizing opportunities to educate customers
- Relieving stress
- Increasing customer satisfaction
- The training also encompasses role play exercises and other activities.
Wellbank explained YoungWilliams’ underlying philosophy with respect to customer service: “Child support workers who are skilled in customer care will be able to convey confidence, empathy, courtesy, objectivity and knowledge through tone of voice and choice of words. Over time, these positive interactions help build the customer’s trust, and encourage the customer to view the agency as a resource.” She added, “Children are the ultimate beneficiaries of great customer service.”
Since customers may be involved with the child support agency for eighteen or more years, both the agency and the customers benefit from positive, productive, lasting relationships. Research has shown that parents, employers and other parties who have positive relationships with the child support agency are more likely to cooperate, provide information, and seek help when needed.
The Hawaii contract also includes computer-based training and consulting.