In the modern business landscape, customer feedback and suggestions play a massive role in bringing improvement to operations and logistics. While it’s impossible for people who make business decisions to stay on top of these reports, companies can still opt in to construct their own feedback and reporting system. Though, of course, none of that would be as productive and as genuine as having you own customer service team leading the way.
In most cases, companies have dedicated departments that provide customer support and maintain a line of contact between the customers and the management. Since communication matters so much to modern businesses, it’s extremely crucial that people who are tasked to take feedback on behalf of the company to have undergone appropriate training. After all, along with its products, the company’s relationship towards its customers will always be among its biggest selling points when driving conversion.
What is Customer Service Training?
For many companies, the satisfaction of their customers is their biggest competitive advantage over other players in the industry. This is supported by a study that suggests 81% of businesses doing better than their competitors identify their customer service as the reason for their success. Hence, it is crucial that any employee of the company that directly deals with the customers has the training that makes them capable of handling such a massive responsibility.
The training is primarily about developing core competencies in employees that will make them more capable of handling different kinds of customers and situations that they would have to face on duty.
A good customer service training program will educate students in identifying the different types of customers and how they can effectively communicate with them. It will also teach them professional behavior that is required to deal with conflicts and complaints that they may receive over the phone.
On the whole, it will teach them how they can handle the various types of customer interactions they will come across over their careers.
Why is Customer Service Training Important?
Good customer service not only helps a company build its image, but also saves it a lot of money in terms of customer retention. To make new customers, a company would have to market its products, grab the attention of the audience, and educate them, before they turn into customers, let alone loyal ones.
Therefore, it is better to try and retain the existing ones. If a business invests in these people; that is by investing in customer service training and improving their products, there is a greater chance of them buying from the company than someone new.
It is advisable that besides putting the effort in making new people aware of the product, businesses should invest a share of their resources in improving their customer service as well. Trained customer services will provide a better experience to buyers, and will earn more satisfaction in return.
Satisfied customers could, in turn, help the business in spreading its name. This will strengthen the brand and help the company make new customers.
Improved customer service is also likely to result in a sharp decline in a lot of other problems faced by the business. When customer feedback and complaints are heard and implemented more quickly, there will be an eventual decline in returns and demands for replacements, which could save the business quite an amount on aggregate.
The improved product with designs as per the needs of the market will result in better reviews and more referrals, and the brand image will therefore, improve.
Top 5 Customer Service Training Ideas
While there are numerous methods to train a workforce, it is important that the method you choose is not only comprehensive, but also practical and easy to grasp for the trainees. Besides the more common ways of training, we list some other tactics that can help you achieve that.
Practice helps in bringing perfection to the craft. While a trainee cannot come in direct contact with the actual customer for this purpose, mock exercises help immensely in this regard. This is where you can role-play with the trainees based on the company’s record of customer interaction and prepare them in terms of what to expect on the job.
As mock customers, you can ring the trainees with common problems faced by the clients, and the trainees could try to solve them based on their basic training. This is a good practice to prepare your customer service representatives in advance for what they will face when dealing with actual customers.
2. Role Reversal
This is where customer service representatives are put in the shoes of actual customers and are asked to identify the problems with the product or services of the company. They are then asked to complain about it as customers. For instance, they can use the company product and see for themselves the typical issues a customer may face after using them.
This practice will help them empathize with the customers and also come up with more personalized solutions to the issues. The personal touch is crucial in building long-term relationships with people.
3. No Saying ‘No’
In this exercise, customer service representatives are bound to not say ‘no’ to customers. They instead have to resort to other responses. Instead of saying ‘no,’ the representatives can start by empathizing and then gradually proceed towards a careful explanation of the problem.
Not only will this make the customers understand the position of the company better, it will also not add to the anger they may have brought-in with their complaints. Other ways include genuinely solving the issue or at least assuring them that you will provide follow-up on the complaint within a specified period.
4. Lunch and Learns
This program employs the method of learning from the experiences of coworkers. It is an informal way of training that involves listening to the work related experiences of different coworkers over lunch and learning from it.
For example, senior colleagues can educate juniors by telling them their experiences on how they successfully handled a particular situation or a customer complaint. This will not only save the company a lot of resources but will also provide the trainees with solutions that are homegrown and relevant to the business and its customers.
Since most training courses are more general in their design, it is a possibility that they may have a lot of solutions that are incapable of being implemented in the company. But this kind of direct learning helps the trainees in learning from the experience of other coworkers and therefore teaches methods that are a lot more useful for the business.
5. Online Courses
While all these methods are great and even practical, a customer service representative still requires basic education to understand the art of satisfying customer complaints. They need to understand the ins and outs of the business before they interact with customers.
It is, therefore, essential to pass the trainees through a course that provides them an in-depth knowledge of the job and instills in them various skills that will be of their benefit in the practical world. Most of these courses are typically available online and can be provided to trainees without investing a huge amount of company resources.
Customer service will continue to play a crucial role in the long-term success of a business. From gathering useful feedback to improve on future products and services to providing meaningful solutions to customers’ issues, the customer support department can definitely become the foundation of a business’ culture, while also serving as an advantage against competitors.
Customers’ feel more valued when their issues are being addressed at a timely manner. It’s something that all of us can relate to, since we’ve all been a customer ourselves. Being good in this area should come as a second nature for most companies, and adopting this practice shouldn’t be all that hard too, especially now that organizations have most of the tools they need conveniently accessible online.