Customers hold the power to make or break your brand. And especially in today’s ultra-competitive world where people are constantly bombarded with options. One small mistake and they have moved on to the next company offering a similar service. That makes customer service training an investment in the very foundation of your business.
But what does it entail and how can you incorporate it if at all? In this blog post, we’ll delve into the critical aspects of customer service training, including what should be included, why it’s important, who should be involved, and the key topics to cover.
What Customer Service is NOT
We all know what customer service is. But what a lot of us often get wrong is what it is NOT. So here’s a quick look at some of the things that are often thought of as customer service but are untrue.
A Scripted Performance: Customer service is not about robotic responses or following a script to the letter. While guidelines are essential, your team needs to have some flexibility and empathy to have genuine interactions with the customers.
Only for Customer Support Teams: Every employee plays a critical role in ensuring that your customers have a positive experience. Therefore, every team member should ideally have some form of customer experience training.
A One-Time Event: Effective customer service is not a one-time event; it’s an ongoing commitment. It’s not just about solving today’s problems but building relationships that last, ensuring customer loyalty in the long run.
Exclusively Digital or Phone-Based: You know that call center image that comes to mind when you think of customer service? It’s only one type. In-person encounters, emails, messages, even deliveries and any other touchpoint between your business and its customers counts as customer service.
About Fixing Problems Only: While solving customer issues is crucial, customer service is not just a reactive process focused on addressing complaints. It also involves anticipating and preventing problems and delighting customers with outstanding service.
A One-Size-Fits-All Approach: Each customer is unique, and their needs vary. Customer service is not about applying the same solution to every problem. It’s about tailoring your approach to the individual customer and their specific situation.
So now that we have a more holistic idea of customer service, let’s look at what needs to be included in the training.
What Should Be Included in Customer Service Training?
Customer service training is dependent on your specific business needs, but here are some must-have areas for a successful learning program. You can use the list to tick off areas that your team has been trained on and those where there hasn’t been enough or any training at all.
- Product/Service Knowledge: Your team also forms your brand’s ambassadors. That means that they need to be equipped with in-depth knowledge about your products or services. The more they know, the better they can assist customers.
- Communication Skills: Focus on effective verbal and written communication. Because a failure in communication can create a problem out of thin air, or escalate an issue. But, good communication can be used to handle different situations. So training that looks at active listening, empathy, and clear articulation is crucial for better customer experiences.
- Problem-Solving Techniques: Employees should be equipped with the skills to identify and resolve customer issues effectively, even in challenging situations.
- Emotional intelligence: Training on customer service needs to include how to handle different emotions, both their own and those of the customers. You don’t want your employee shouting at a customer or hanging up on them out of anger.
- Customer Service Technology: If you use a certain technology, then ensure your people learn how to use the tools effectively to streamline processes and enhance customer interactions.
- Company Policies: Ensure staff are well-versed in company policies and procedures, especially related to customer interactions. This would come in handy especially when employees are new as part of the onboarding package or later on if policies are updated.
Apart from these, there are some more specific areas that must be covered to ensure your customers have a great experience, and that your team maximizes customer interactions:
- Difficult Client Handling. This is one of the key areas that most customer service representatives and other customer-facing employees struggle with. What do you do when the customer is extremely rude or unreasonable? How do you handle conflict amicably or de-escalate issues?
- Customer-Centric Approach: Your team needs to learn about putting the customer at the center of every interaction.
- Understanding customer needs and expectations: To help them identify and anticipate customer needs so they can deliver proactive and personalized service.
- Cross-selling and upselling: Your team is best positioned to make more sales from already existing clients. But, they need to acquire the skills to do so, without being too salesy or pushy.
What’s Important When Training Customer Service Staff?
As you get your team trained, some things are very important.
First, ensure that there is consistency in the training. All members need to receive the same training so that they offer a uniform experience. To help with this, playbooks and Standard Operating Procedures especially regarding company-specific items like brand personality, problem escalation processes and such come in handy.
Second, utilize interactive learning. Gone are the days of learning only theory through pages and pages of plain notes. You can use role-playing, real-life scenarios, and a mix of video, audio and downloadable worksheets to get your team involved in the learning. This helps them grasp the concepts and even try them out for themselves, increasing their chances of success.
Remember to ensure that the training is ongoing. They will need refresher courses, coaching opportunities, and access to resources that ensure they stay up-to-date with market needs. For instance, if your team speaks to your people mainly via WhatsApp, then call center training would not be of help to them.
Lastly, measure and evaluate the effectiveness of training: Track metrics such as customer satisfaction scores, employee engagement, and customer retention to assess the impact of training and identify areas for improvement.
Zydii’s Customer Service Training Programs for Your Teams
If you’re looking for effective affordable, accessible training, Zydii might just be the solution for you. You can choose between ready-made courses through the learning platform and more tailor-made training where your team gets a live virtual session with a trainer from our bucket of over 40 experts.
Talk to us to share more about your particular needs so we can help your team get the training they need to provide excellent customer service.
When your team is well-trained and capable of providing outstanding service, customers are more likely to return, refer others, and become loyal advocates for your brand.
In conclusion, customer service training is an investment that pays significant dividends. By incorporating the right elements, focusing on essential skills, and involving the right people, your organization can build a customer service dream team. Remember, exceptional customer service isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s a fundamental part of a successful business strategy.
So, why wait? Get your team started on their customer success training journey today and watch your customer satisfaction and business growth soar!