Customer service can make or break your company. Therefore, if you are not having regular customer service training, you could very well be harming your business. Your customers expect customer service to assist them in a time of need. Will your customer service team stand out to your clients, or will they just be viewed as another “person who can not make things right” with the customer?
What is customer service training?
Customer service training is the process of training your employees to improve customer support in the best way possible. When a client reaches out to customer support, their experience should be the best possible. No one should dread contacting a company for fear of conversing with an employee who is not the most pleasant.
So who in the company should receive customer service training? Anyone who deals with your clients should be at the top of the company list. This should not be limited to customer service representatives. Think about all employees in your company that deal with those outside of your company daily. This can include marketers, managers, supervisors, the CEO. No one in your company is “too big” for customer service training. All of these people are representing your company, so, therefore, they need to have excellent people skills.
If your company does not have exceptional customer support, chances are in the future, your company will suffer for it. All customers deserve to be happy, and when they are happy, they will let others know. Likewise, when they are upset about a product or service, they will also tell others. But if there is excellent customer support and the issue at hand is fixed, the client will likely tell others how customer support fixed the issue.
Essential customer service training skills
There are various customer service training skills that should be looked for in every individual that performs any customer service job. Many of these skills can be taught, however, many of them are easier for some than others.
One of the most important skills a person needs for a customer service job is good communication. You can usually tell if they have good communication or not just by asking them a question. If they are not able to respond quickly, or stammer, they may need some assistance in the communication department of customer service.
The great thing about communication is that many techniques can be used. One can improve their communication when brushing up on these skills.
When it comes to customer service, emotional intelligence is a must. Are your customer service employees able to listen to the problems that others are experiencing at any given moment? Do they provide thoughtful insight on what the issue at hand could be? Or do they brush off an issue that they do not feel is worth their time?
Anyone that does customer service needs to be able to listen to others no matter what issue they are facing. It may not be a huge deal to you, but to the customer, it could be bigger than you know.
When providing customer service, a good agent will be very empathetic and understanding.
If your customer support does not know anything about your product, the support they have to offer is not going to be worth anything. They need to know more than just basic information as well because anyone can find that information. To create the best customer support, a company needs to train their employee’s support team to know the ins and outs of the product or service.
When doing customer service, an employee will need to take initiative to find out an answer. If a question is asked to them, they should never respond with an “I don’t know”. If they are unsure of the answer, they need to be honest and say they do not know, but then say “I will look into this for you.” This is where being resourceful comes in handy.
Does your employee have a passion to help others? If so, then customer service could easily be the type of work that they would be good at. When an employee is passionate about their job, they are more likely to go above and beyond.
It is also helpful for your customer service employees to know and understand your company’s mission and values. This will allow employees to have something to reach for while doing their jobs. All conversations had with any client should also embody the mission and values of the company.
Frequency of customer service training
Customer service training should not only be considered a one-time thing. It needs to happen more frequently so your employees can be up to date on the newest skills while refreshing their memory about other skills that have been learned.
The first time an employee should receive their customer service training is when they are a new hire. When an employee is trained properly through onboarding, they will have much more success with your company.
During this customer training time, you will be able to find out what skills your employee has and which ones they may potentially need to work on. During this training, they will be able to acclimate to the new job and get to know more about the company and culture.
You may wish to do quarterly customer service training to keep your employees up to date on techniques, issues, and more. Critical things that you may wish to work on with the employees are skill check-ins and team building. By performing skill check-ins, you can keep an employee on their toes so they maintain the knowledge that is needed to perform their job successfully. And team building keeps all relationships between employees in good condition so all employees can focus better on their jobs.
There are times when emergency training is needed for customer support. This may occur when a product has been recalled. During these training, employees will be filled in about the issue at hand, and how they can best assist the clients they are servicing.
Onboarding procedure for customer service training
When new employees start, they must have an onboarding procedure that will assist them in learning the best practice for customer service.
Slow and steady
New hires will be very overwhelmed if you provide all information for customer service training right away. The best way to complete an onboarding process with customer service training is to add bits and pieces as you go along. It may make sense for you to limit the areas where the customer service can be done by a new employee until they learn all aspects of the product or service.
Train for their support channel
Let’s say the new employee will be working strictly in chat customer service. Focus on the chat support channel during training instead of training them for all the support channels. It is fine if over time they pick up on how to learn other channels, but first and foremost, allow them to train on what they will be using.
Mentors are a great idea to have for new hires. This mentor can stay with them for six months to ensure that they are being trained properly. Mentors can be within their team or on another team to help the new employee meet more employees.
Consider blended learning so all training is effective. Blended learning can be completed in a variety of ways:
* Simulation will allow an employee to work through a situation without taking any risks.
* A lunch and learn will allow for social training.
* Job aids, such as spreadsheets, infographics, and posters can be provided to be used by employees as needed.
* Videos can be provided as a means of training to be watched when the employee has a few extra minutes.
* Emails or newsletters can be sent out to provide new and interesting tips.
Implementing customer service training
When implementing customer service training into your company, there are a few things that you should take into consideration.
* Tracking progress- By tracking progress, you can be sure to see what milestones your employees have all accomplished. This is a great way to motivate the employee as well.
* Encourage and motivate- When you encourage and motivate your employees, you can see huge leaps and bounds. If you see an employee struggling, use motivation and encouragement as a means to assist them in getting back on track.
* Reward system- A reward system is a great way to allow employees to stay motivated and have something to work towards. This reward is much appreciated by your employees and can make an employee strive to do better.
Customer service should never be an afterthought for any company. Your customers are your bread and butter, so if you are not willing to have extraordinary customer service, you might as well just toss your business aside. It is imperative that your business provides customer service training to employees as your customers will always be your best form of advertising.