“6 SECRETS ABOUT CUSTOMER SERVICE TRAINING THAT WILL BOOST YOUR TEAM’S RESULTS”
If you are looking to improve your company’s customer service training, this article is for you.
While training and preparing your employees is clearly the first step taken by a good management team, it is nevertheless advisable to focus on what type of training they need and how to implement it. Below we will give you 6 secrets that will help you improve your customer service training and provide a significant boost to your business.
1) Train ALL your employees:
Customer service is something that interests and concerns the entire company, not just a single department. In one way or another, the work of all your employees resonates with the end customer. For this reason, it is essential to provide customer service training instruction to your entire staff: not only will they be prepared to meet (or exceed) the expectations of users, but you will also be transmitting a consistent message across the company regarding the importance of customer service.
2)A coherent message: the customer comes first
While customer service training could include numerous technical aspects and personal skills, the essential message should be loud and clear: the customer comes first. These few words should waft throughout the organization as if they constituted a religious mantra. If your training is built upon this principle (which should be repeated until exhaustion), the foundation you are laying will help everything else run smoothly.
3)Practice, practice and continue practicing:
If you want successful training, you have to commit to practice. Numerous studies confirm that experiential learning and learning by doing increase brain activity and the ability to memorize knowledge. Have your employees practice everything that they are learning so that they will never forget anything.
4)Exercise attitudes, positivity and empathy:
Many customer service training programs forget to teach the basics: kindness, empathy, positivity and courtesy. While many of these skills could appear naturally, the reality is that they must be reinforced and fostered throughout the company. Make sure that your courses drive home the need to be positive, smile, refer to the customer by name, remain calm, have patience and walk in our users’ shoes. Never assume that your employees are capable of doing all this in their day to day tasks.
5)Personalize your training:
Every company is its own universe, and every customer support service is different. For this reason, if your company has some particular processes that you want to implement (welcome greeting, presentation of a product, packaging, closing a sale, returning an article, etc.), it is worth investing time into personalized training that satisfies the needs of your company and business.
6)Ongoing training: reinforce, reinforce and continue reinforcing:
Customer service training should be a never-ending learning experience. Running a course during a month or two will neither significantly impact your staff nor improve your business’s figures. Employees (just like everyone else!) forget what they have learned and easily fall back into their old habits. It is thus essential to hold regular training courses (e.g., changing formats) to continue shoring up all the new knowledge and skills learned.
The ultimate guide to improving customer service in your company:
Before we begin, let us clarify what we mean by customer service. The term refers to the way a company interacts with its customers, and encompasses everything from the initial contact, presentation of a product, closing of a sale, provision of a warranty and the handling of complaints and problems. Whenever there is direct contact with a customer, we are talking about customer service.
While this is the basic definition, the fact is that the concept has much wider implications for the whole company. In recent years, the term “customer experience” has become a buzzword; it refers to the entire customer journey and the creation of a unique experience in their relationship with the company. A host of companies all over the world are striving to enhance this experience in order to build their reputation, increase customer loyalty and drive sales. Indeed, when asked about the company’s main competitive advantage, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was quick to define it as:
“Creating a customer experience superior to anything my competitors can create.”
6 invaluable tips for creating a successful customer service strategy:
Wanting to place your customer at the center of your business sounds easy, but it is much harder than you think. For years, companies have been developing a specific company culture and have pursued a set of priorities that are difficult to change. Very often, putting the customer first means relegating shareholders and employees to second place. So, how can we bring about this transformation? Here are six strategies that will help you to achieve it:
1)Demonstrate that the customer is important:
Many of your co-workers (and even your boss) will tell you that the customer is the number one priority, yet two seconds later they are making decisions that do not take the customer into account. To really change the culture of a company and the reasoning behind important decisions, you have to prove to the entire company (without exception) that the customer is the lifeblood of every business.
There are a host of arguments you can use: it is the customer who pays everyone’s salaries, awards bonuses at the end of the year and even serves the shareholders. Good customer service has a direct impact on the company’s bottom line. A company is nothing without its customers; they are its most important asset. Repeat these techniques over and over again (for example, begin each meeting by talking about a particular customer) and provide numerous examples to demonstrate that this is true.
2)Establish fast and user-friendly customer service processes:
Many companies have spent years building barriers and bureaucratic hurdles in customer service. If you want to make the customer the real boss in your company, you have to knock down all these walls and make communication as smooth as possible. Ensure that customer service is fast (no customer should have to wait more than 30 seconds on the phone), set up different touchpoints (telephone, chat service, email, face-to-face contact, etc.) and processes that allow you to deal quickly with product returns, customer complaints and inquiries.
3)Hire professionals that care about the customer:
If you want to create a customer-centric company, bear this in mind when hiring staff. Ask candidates about their experience in customer service (even if they are never going to see a customer!), take advantage of the interview to tell them about the company’s values and look for people who are empathetic, friendly and good communicators. If you want to provide the best customer service experience, you have to hire the best.
regarded as the guru of customer service, never tires of repeating this: employees should have the freedom and power (empowerment) to make quick decisions for the benefit of the customer. Very often, employees dealing with the public are obliged to check with their supervisors or seek their approval for product returns. In Tschohl’s opinion, this is one of the greatest bottlenecks of customer service. Employees must be empowered to make decisions at top speed, on the spot, and always for the benefit of the customer.
5)Use new technologies:
While face-to-face contact is always important, when you have hundreds, thousands or even millions of customers you are going to have to invest in technology. And we are talking about technology developed specifically to enhance the customer experience. This might include a live chat service 24 hours a day, automatic options for product returns (with a simple click), online warranty services or free delivery. The goal, once again, is to ensure that your customers enjoy your service (and become fans of your brand).
6)Measure, measure and measure again:
If you want to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your customer service, you will have no choice but to measure, measure and then measure some more. This exercise will help you to understand the importance of the customer and the huge impact they have on your organization. To do this, assess basic indicators such as the Net Promoter Score (NPS, or recommendation rate), use the mystery shopping technique, measure the number of complaints, average waiting time, number of interactions needed to resolve a problem and the key performance indicators. This will not only help you to enhance the customer experience, but also to raise awareness of the “cult of the customer” throughout the organization.
Take it seriously:
Get training. Many people think that customer service is something that comes “naturally”. At the end of the day, we all deal with people in our day-to-day life. However, this attitude is a big mistake that could cost your company millions of dollars. Customer service is far too serious and important a business to be left to chance; your employees need to take it seriously, receive the appropriate training and learn.
The first customer contact is about what the customer has to tell us. They may be interested in a new product, have a problem that needs solving or demand that their money be returned immediately. We should always pay close and careful attention, and listen calmly and attentively so that we don’t miss a detail. You’d be amazed by the number of people who constantly interrupt the customer or let their minds wander during the conversation.
We all like to be treated like people, so don’t speak like a robot. Always ask the customer for their first name and tell them yours, whether you are behind a counter or at the other end of the phone or online chat.
While you are probably not to blame for your customer’s complaint, that is irrelevant: as the company representative, it’s your job to apologize. A company that apologizes is a company that cares about its customers. Don’t blame others and don’t be afraid to say the words “I’m sorry”… it’s often the best way to calm down a customer and show empathy before sorting out their problem.
Solve the problem:
The customer needs and wants you to solve the problem, not make excuses or bombard them with technical explanations. Focus on finding out what they need and offer solutions (offer a number of alternatives if possible). If you can’t help them, find someone who can. Always look for a solution.