Implementing a Robust Customer Service Training Program

Customer service training session

Delivering a great customer experience is of utmost importance to any business, small or large, as it affects the profit margins and the company’s goodwill significantly.

A study published by Harvard Business Review found that customers who have a positive experience with a company are likely to spend as much as 140% more than average. Also, these customers tend to stick with a business six times longer than those who have had a negative experience from the same business.

Any business that wants to grow and succeed should always be working towards perfecting their customer experience and focusing on creating effective customer service training programs that provide the right incentives and motivation to their customer service team.

Customer Service Training

The quality of customer service training often ends up dictating the quality of the customer experience the business delivers. Without proper training, customer service reps lack the ability to provide an excellent customer experience.

It can be argued that customer service training these days suffer from a phenomena called the “Forgetting Curve” which causes retention of knowledge to steadily decline in the absence of continued exposure. In fact, as much as 50 to 80 percent of the material can be lost as soon as the day after the initial training and up to 90 percent is lost within 30 days.

How to Improve Customer Service Training

Customer care largely depends on the training the custom care team receives. More often than not, this training is insufficient leading to the team members not being competent enough to deal with real-life agitated customers and the problems they want resolved.

Good customer service starts with the foundation of the company vision which dictates the brand image and messaging. The customer service reps should have a clear idea of what the company vision is and how to embody it in the customer experience that they offer.

However, they should also be wary of balancing professionalism with personality and offer an experience which is devoid of any unprofessional behavior and follows some standard of decorum that is to be expected by the disgruntled customers. It is also a good idea to focus on constructive and active listening to provide a better customer experience.

Other factors such as strategic problem solving, proper management of time and effective communication must be worked on too, in order to provide a top tier customer experience.

Best Practices

Some of the best practices in customer service training include putting the customer service reps in a real-world training simulation where they can be accessed on how well they perform in situations that come up in real life situations.

You may also choose to base your training on character-driven real world stories so as to provide better simulation of customers and the problems they face so the customer service reps are more competent dealing with such complexities.

Further aid could be provided to customer service reps by arming them with “Just-in-Time” online resources which can offer them support anywhere at anytime. These include access to bite-sized online training tutorials (also known as content chunking), online presentations, demos and other online tools to enhance their knowledge. Such techniques are especially used for training customer service reps on compliance since learning success rates are critical in these instances.

The customer service team should also be privy to pre-assessments before their training so as to identify the areas in which the training should be focused on.

Other best practices include hosting a live webinar to enhance engagement, creating easily shareable company policy infographics and using customer feedback to improve the customer service provided online.

Badges, levels and leaderboards in customer service training programs gamify the system and provide learners with the right incentives to perform their best and in turn provide better customer service to the end consumer.

Online training certification courses are also offered as part of customer service training program in many organizations to instil a sense of accomplishment in the customer reps. This fuels the motivation and engagement of the customer reps and they perform to their best capacity.

Customer service is one of the main foundations of a good business or company. It is an important force which when harnessed properly, can yield great returns, both tangible and intangible. Every company should focus on creating an excellent customer service training program keeping in mind the best practices and methods available.

About the Author

Anand Srinivasan is a marketing consultant. You may reach him @ jibber.co/anand.

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