In this brief guide to customer service training, Ellen has broken the process down into three simple steps.
Step 1 – Prepare your materials and tools
Be as detailed and specific as you can when composing materials for customer service training. It is imperative that your employees understand what you think good customer service should be. Give them concrete examples of acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Provide them with a list of do’s and don’ts to remember.
Secondly, help them understand why offering good customer service is important to the business and how it will ultimately affect them as well.
Employees will be more motivated to improve their customer service skills if they believe that doing so is beneficial to them as well.
Prepare scripts for common customer service issues. This will ensure that your customer service team will be able to deliver a speedy and uniform response to your customers. Determine your desired response schedule and make sure that the training materials are designed to help them comply with the desired response time.
Step 2 – One step at a time
Focus on one lesson at a time and don’t progress to another level until you’re sure that they’ve mastered their lessons. It is a good idea to hold periodical tests to ensure that they continue to retain knowledge from your previous lessons.
Let them take a gradual approach to their new set of responsibilities. Have them start with something small and relatively easy like handling routine customer service calls. Always clarify their job duties and the level of authority they’re working with before allowing them to interact with the customers. Remind them to consult your FAQ section before delving in to more complicated processes of resolution.
For employees that quickly master their job requirements it is important that they are given the option to progress their career.
One example is giving your best employee an international assignment, a great opportunity for them to experience different ways of working and can help accelerate their personal growth. To help them prepare to move overseas and make the transition easy, you can work with companies experienced in providing a global relocation service.
Step 3 – Monitor performance
Subject your employees to scheduled and spontaneous simulations to give you a chance to evaluate their response in critical situations. Make sure that you provide them feedback afterwards, identifying their strengths, weaknesses and offering suggestions for improvements.
You may even consider developing an incentive program to further motivate your employees and encourage them to always be on their best behavior when interacting with customers. It is also important to evaluate your employee’s customer service abilities on a regular basis.
Last but not the least, always be prepared to make changes with how you run your customer service team. Remember they’re the ones that
are directly interacting your customers, so your team, policies and training must be flexible in order to respond quickly to a customer’s needs.
About the Author
Ellen Goodwright is a freelance writer and customer service raving fan. You can find more tips for improving your customer service at her website, Customer Service Basics.