Customer service is the lifeblood of a business—no matter the industry. The better your service, the higher your profits, all things being equal. So, naturally, you’d want your employees to deliver epic customer service. Giving your team the right customer service training is a sure-fire way to ensure they do.
According to American Express, 68% of customers believe the key to great customer service is the attitude of the agent they talk to.
Besides constantly doing customer service training in your company, your team needs to have certain customer service skills.
Formal customer service training can be costly. And if you’re a small business, you may lack the funds to invest in customer service training. But you don’t have to let a limited budget stop you from training customer service staff.
There are a lot of cost-effective ways you can train your customer service representatives without breaking the bank. But first, you need to define what is good customer service.
Defining customer service serves as a baseline for employees regarding what epic customer service is. Plus, they’ll know what the expectations are. Also, look for ways to show employees exceptional customer service. These examples hammer home the principles of good customer service.
Below are some proven tips to help train your CSRs:
Listening allows employees to deliver excellent customer service. So, train them to be active listeners. Active listening includes techniques like letting customers finish their sentences before responding and repeating back to customers what they say their problem is. It makes them feel like they’ve been heard.
CSRs often get angry, frustrated difficult customers, so teach them how to handle challenging calls—especially your frontline staff. If you lack the budget for it, check out online training courses. They can be a cost-effective way to teach employees critical phone and communication skills.
In addition to using online training courses, you can download helpful articles on customer service and distribute them to your CSRs. Then discuss key points from the articles at staff meetings. Also, discuss how you might incorporate these ideas into what you do to meet customer expectations.
Hold monthly luncheons where you give your customer service agents a chance to present to other staff members. That lets you take advantage of the expertise of seasoned CSRs that have developed over the years. Shared learning also teaches your team to become adept at solving problems and increases their knowledge.
Sometimes all it takes to help a customer is knowing who to call or talk to at the company. Great customer service agents know the company inside out. An excellent place to start the transfer of company knowledge is during onboarding. Use this time to inspire customer support teams to strive for a deep understanding of your company.
A great way to keep workers informed about what’s happening at a company is to introduce them to other employees outside of their department. Cross-functional teaming does that. So does scheduling tours of other areas of your company. You can also have workers from other departments present during a staff meeting or a lunch and learn.
Provide external material that helps to provide effective customer service. Not just customer service, but expand their knowledge on logistics software, CRM, etc. Your customer support team can benefit from the tools provided and help them process the customer query faster.
Incorporate the human element of working within customer service teams. Teach them to walk in your customers’ shoes. Your customer service agents must care for your customers. They should always have an empathetic attitude when they are talking with the customers.
The main portion of your customer service training should clearly communicate the expectations you have from your customer service employees. Show and explain what success looks like and how you will judge it. In other words, you should identify your objectives and explain how you will measure them through your teams’ efforts and results.
By involving the top-performers in your training, you will not just reward them and motivate them to keep going, but also motivate the rest of your team to keep improving so they can become top-performers. Also, by including the best performers, you leverage their experience.
The people inside your customer service team should have near impeccable communication skills. They should be able to speak fluently, know the industry´s language, and know how to treat the customers. They should also have proper grammar and spelling.
Showing a positive attitude is essential. No matter if the agent is having a bad day, all teams should always show a positive and energetic attitude when speaking to customers. The customer will more likely buy your products or services if they encounter a positive attitude rather than a negative one.
To improve your customers’ experiences, it is essential to implement a rapid response policy. This policy will prevent your agents from keeping your customer on hold for a long time and giving them a prompt response.
Customer service training programs should be fun and engaging. If you are not engaging with your team, you are doing it wrong and need to change dynamics. An example of how you can do it in a fun way is to role-play challenging situations.
Gather common real-world situations and different scenarios to use as examples. This will also help them know what to do if they receive a similar case. Once they have had a similar case in their training sessions, they’ll know how to provide customer satisfaction when faced with something similar on the job.
As you share your successes, also share the failures. Your agents and your entire team can learn from the failures they have experienced. Failures and unhappy customers are always lessons on how you can improve and what needs to be fixed.
One caveat about training customer service teams. Training employees to provide epic customer services isn’t worth much if you don’t empower them to solve problems independently. So, empower your CSRs and give them some guidelines on what they can and can’t do.
You also should give them the leeway to provide creative or alternative solutions to thorny problems when guidelines don’t work. Just limit the solutions to a certain amount or specific promotions. That way, your CSRs don’t give away the store when helping customers.