Why is customer service training so important?

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Written by Flow XO on 24 July 2018 in Features
Features

Flow XO tell us why the quality of your customer service is so important. 

Your staff are usually the first people customers will interact with. They act as a lasting first impression of your brand or business. 

As a business you should have a defined standard for your customer service levels, and processes in place that can help your staff either reach or maintain this level while they work for you. But what should this include? And how should you set out your training?

What makes great customer service?

Great customer services hinges on two key points:

  • Business knowledge
  • Product knowledge

Your staff need to have an understanding of your business and its products, this is at the core of all of their dealings with customers.

Role playing allows you to identify areas of weakness and can help you prepare staff members for how to cope in situations they might be less comfortable in. 

The effectiveness of this knowledge comes from how it is applied. There are important traits to observe when it comes to customer service, these include:

  • Approachability
  • Patience
  • Empathy
  • Assertiveness
  • Politeness

These provide the framework for your staff to be able to approach, understand and recommend the right products and services to your customers. Having staff that can use these traits also allows you to help solve problems or deal with any complaints staff might have.

Building skills through training

Your customer service training should be focused on building confidence in dealing with customers while also ensuring staff fully understand the products they are dealing with and the business they work for. 

This allows you to split your training into distinct, but complementary sections. 

For example, if your staff are taking over from an automated service, such as a chatbot platform, they need to understand from a business perspective what information that customer will have already provided and be able to use that information to help them further. 

From a training perspective this sort of interaction can be improved through role play. Having staff deal with different scenarios and customers issues and offering suggestions on where they have done well or where they might need to improve. 

For example, you might have a staff member who is fantastic at dealing with customers and is really personable, but their product knowledge lets them down. Or a team member who is perfect until they deal with a customer with an issue or complaint which can cause their confidence to waver. 

Role playing allows you to identify areas of weakness and can help you prepare staff members for how to cope in situations they might be less comfortable in. 

Ideas for training

Aside from role playing (which can also be a key part of your recruitment process) there are other methods which can help you to train your staff to improve their levels of customer service. 

Shadowing

New staff, or staff who have shown a need for improvement could be paired with a staff member who is shown to have particularly strong customer service skills. Shadowing them allows one staff member to learn from the other, taking on board the way in which they approach, engage with and assist customers.

This peer-to-peer learning allows you to not only help improve the skills of staff members but also motivate other staff by highlighting the faith you have in their customer service skills. 

Process

One way to ensure staff don’t forget different elements of your customer service offering is to turn it into a process. All of the information you need to gather, or topics you need to cover become a process that staff can run through and tick off. 

This can be assessed through interactions like a mystery shop or call centre contact which assess and score the level of service a customer received. This allows you to start at an employee level and check if there’s an issue or to go further and look into whether or not something is missing from your service which is preventing you from offering perfect customer service and amending this accordingly. 

Refresher courses

Throughout the year, such as in the run up to a peak trading period, it can be worthwhile to hold refresher sessions. 

These allow staff to recap what is expected of them and their customer service levels. Doing this allows you to sharpen up skills and ensure team members stay on top of their game, which is integral to maximising on the potential for extra footfall or customers making contact with your business during a particularly busy period. 

It is vital that your customer service offering is consistent, which is why frequent training and assessment are useful. They allow you to make sure everyone is working to a similar level and that customers aren’t missing out on important aspects of your business offering. 

Taking the time to define what your customer service should look like, then finding the right ways to ensure your staff have the skills and knowledge to execute this properly can reap major rewards for your business.

From staff that make a fantastic first impression and represent your brand, to extra sales caused by superb product knowledge and recommendations, to repeat business from customers impressed by the level of service. 

Finding the right training options enables you to ensure this level is constantly met, meaning the potential for increased revenue and growth is constantly present within your business. 

 

About the author

Flow XO is a leading chatbot platform

 

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