Customer support is a critical interface with a huge impact on customer satisfaction and customer retention and, thereby, on business performance and profitability. It is therefore important for all businesses to ensure that customer service training equips teams with the tools, skills and competencies to consistently delight customers.
More and more companies are turning to online customer support training solutions to complement or even replace traditional training methods and to hone their customer support capabilities and culture. Here are a few fundamental must-haves for any prospective online customer service training solution.
The best solutions are extremely content-friendly and help simplify and accelerate the process of course development and content creation. They facilitate multilingual content development and support the latest industry standards in content interoperability. They also support content development across a range of different test formats and question types. Users are able to build courses using existing presentations or videos as well as connect to other online content sources and marketplaces. And these solutions help reduce administrative overheads by enabling batch processes and automated actions.
Customer service training solutions should be able to scale content and design across different device types, including native applications for mobile devices. They must allow for blended learning, where users are able to customize training modules by combining e-learning with instructor-led training in a live classroom or via video conferencing.
The solution must also support the delivery of customized training sessions that are designed and delivered to specific training needs of customer service reps at a particular training location. The software has to include integrated communication capabilities, including videoconferencing, messaging and discussion boards, that enable users, instructors and program leaders to interact and collaborate.
Gamification has become an almost integral part of every learning and training program. Most best-in-class customer service training solutions already include a gamification engine that helps improve productivity and retention through gaming elements like badges, points, levels, rewards and leaderboards.
And finally, these solutions must be able to integrate with popular payment gateways so custom developed content can be monetized.
An integrated system for measuring and reporting key metrics is mandatory for every customer service training solution. After all, simpler and more granular measurement of engagement and effectiveness is one of the biggest advantages that a digital model has over traditional methods. The reporting system must be able to generate actionable insights about the performance of both learners and instructors as well as the effectiveness of the course content.
Program leaders must be able to drill down and analyze e-learning related data from the context of any variable or set of variables to understand how the program is performing and how it can be improved. For instance, course designers could decide to orient a particular module more towards multimedia if user data shows a preference for that type of content.
A data-centric reporting solution also generates valuable feedback that can be used to reassess the course content itself. For instance, a consistent pattern of below-average scores in a particular section may indicate that the course material needs to be simplified or changed. Ultimately, the reporting capabilities of a training solution must provide program managers with the relevant insights required to align performance with desired outcomes.
The capability to integrate with other platforms and third-party applications can significantly enhance the value and the functionality of an online customer service training solution. For instance, a solution that integrates with an integration service called Zapier opens access to over 3000 other services. Solutions with native integration capabilities allow users to connect a range of services like CRM, HRM, analytics, ecommerce, and communications to name a few. Such integrations can improve user experience, introduce new features, automate certain activities and make administration much easier.
Online customer service training solutions have to go beyond product training tutorials to expose users to interactive real-world scenarios that build practical experience. In addition to providing a comprehensive breadth of functionality in terms of content creation, delivery and measurement, they also have to give users the power to customize the solution to their employees training needs.
Today, companies looking for a fully functional as well as a fully customizable solution also have access to whitelabel solutions that allow them to tailor the system to their precise needs. They can add their own domain and logo, align the look and feel with their corporate identity and configure the solution to their unique needs and preferences.
About the Author
Anand Srinivasan is a marketing consultant. You may reach him @ jibber.co/anand.