The Most Amazing Customer Service Training Ideas- Tried & Tested
Nowadays, markets have become highly competitive as well as volatile and that is why employers are searching for result-driven Customer Service Training Ideas for bringing their staff up-to-date with the latest practices. Quality consumer service holds the ability to making or breaking your business’s brand image. The task of customer service training might seem like a difficult one, as this field is wide-ranging and comprises a lot of different facets. Now, the question arises is that – how can you prepare the team members for responding to every situation when the problems will naturally arise which you could not conceive of? As per the reports by Microsoft, globally, more than 50% of all the consumers accept that they have higher consumer service expectations as compared to the last year.
Well, the good news is that there is no need for you to account for every possibility. What holds more relevance is creating an amazing foundation of service culture that will inform each interaction the employees have with your customers. Please note that it is necessary to take a break as well as have some fun for keeping your team members engaged. There is no denying the fact that customer service is a tough job to perform but the role’s expectations are highly clear i.e., about guiding and helping customers for solving their issues and answering their queries. However, when it comes to doing it, things become a bit complicated.
Starting with the strong training and educational foundation is extremely important. For retaining your clients and keeping them happy so that your business can grow effectively, you are required to prioritize the employee training so that they are well-equipped for doing that. According to the latest reports by Microsoft, 67% of the people, across the world, believe that consumer service is getting improved entirely.
Below is the list of top 11 useful training ideas which will help the employees in fostering an environment that not only supports the service goals but also offers a knowledge and experience base for your employees to ensure that they respond and anticipate effectively.
- Initiate the consumer service training protocols on the first day of employment – At most of the jobs, the first week is full of routine tasks like filling out the paperwork, meeting the representatives from several departments, and touring facilities. Although each one of them has their value, you can accomplish them at any other time as well. It is essential to set the right tone for your client service expectations from the very beginning.
In case you put the customer service training after the other administrative tasks, you indirectly convey the message that the needs of your customer can come after you are done with what you intend to. According to Kolsky, 75% of the brands report that though they are measuring consumer engagement, they are unable to define the same. (https://www.huffpost.com/entry/50-important-customer-exp_b_8295772)
If you send the new hires into an entire week of rigorous client-focused training activities before they are given the chance of performing any job functions, it shows that you are dedicated towards your commitment to the service as the core value.
- Practice the exercise of “stepping into your customers’ shoes” – Ask the newly hired Live Chat Agents for identifying their customers’ key groups and then for stepping into their shoes. Encourage them to think about the particular customer, for establishing their needs at the process’s every stage. This will start from the point of making initial contact with the agent, through to the bought product or service, and the final departure as well as after-sales service.
The fact that 33% of the consumers who abandoned the business relationship previous year did so because of the lack of personalization is enough to state the importance of effective customer service training. (https://www.accenture.com/t20180219t081429z__w__/us-en/_acnmedia/pdf-71/accenture-global-dd-gcpr-hyper-relevance-pov-v12.pdf#zoom=50) Capture the suggestions and learning for change to pass them on to the management team for the potential implementation. Also, ask your staff for identifying ways through which they can demonstrate “going to that extra mile” for helping the customer. It will help them to commit personal change with the help of this exercise.
- Say no to the ‘No’s’ – This will teach the support representatives on how to always be helpful even if they are unable to provide the answer required by the customer. The only rule is, never say ‘no’ and it includes all the ‘no’-oriented phrases and words, such as “our company doesn’t do that” and “I don’t know”. It is the popularity of customer service that while asking the consumers about what impacts their trust level with an organization, giving exceptional customer service was ranked as Number one.
For instance, in case a consumer asked for the discount that the support representative was unauthorized to provide, say something like this rather than saying no – “If you wish to reduce your CRM’s subscription cost, I can help you in consolidating the database to under 1000 contacts. Would you like to proceed with that?” Practicing this exercise will challenge the agents for reframing the interaction with the client when, in reality, the actual answer is ‘no’. Always remember that when the customers are frustrated or upset, it would not prove to be helpful to answer the request with only a ‘no’ and also might serve for aggravating them leading to the end of the discussion.
- Encourage your employees – An important facet of modifying consumer service experience is to encourage and maintain high morale among the agents. After all, 48% of the customers expect specialized treatment for being a good customer. (https://www.accenture.com/t20180219t081429z__w__/us-en/_acnmedia/pdf-71/accenture-global-dd-gcpr-hyper-relevance-pov-v12.pdf#zoom=50)
- Lead the employees with a positive attitude and motivate them for doing their job well.
- Design the reward system as per the performance system like “Employee of the week”. This is the best way of acknowledging their efforts. Moreover, employees also feel cared for and valued through the same.
- Give them a weekend treat by offering activities for team building. These activities motivate employees and boost their morale to serve and perform better.
- Train the team on the correct usage of online tone – In this era where most of the business interactions take place over chat, email or any other textual medium, nobody can deny the importance of online communication. The usage of emoticons, words, colloquialisms, and punctuation marks can be understood by the consumer either negatively or positively. As per studies, more than 60% of the customers give preference to the casual tone, but again there is a fine line between too casual and casual.
Whether you opt for live chat outsource or already have an in-house team of agents, keep it in mind that the customers prefer a formal and more serious tone at the time of their request’s denial. It is significant that the team of customer service in your company understands the same and includes the right procedure of training on how to satisfy the customers by using the correct tone of voice.
- Utilize Role Play for motivating employees to do better – Sustaining a great service cannot be done without empathy. This is what permits us to internalize the other person’s situation and experiencing emotions from their perspective. Empathetic people genuinely wish to help others as they understand how annoying some problems can turn out to be. As per the reports by Harris Interactive, 89% of the consumers have switched to doing the business with the competitor after going through poor client experience.
Exercising empathy is an important skill for all the consumer service employees out there as it permits them to view a situation from several angles. While a lot of people might believe that one is either born empathetic or he struggles with it, there are aspects of empathy which can be learned as well as practiced. Regarding the same, role-playing exercises are the best for this. Make the trainees practice sensitive scenarios from the organization’s and the customer’s side.
- Go for the exercise of “Bad and Good consumer service experiences” – Split the staff into trios or pairs during the facilitated group session. The aim is to recognize at least a single example of a time when they have experienced amazing customer service. In addition to this, also ask them for citing another example, when they have gone through poor consumer service –
- While instructing the groups, ask participants for actually thinking about what made them view the services as either poor or excellent. Give them 5-10 minutes for thinking about the same.
- When the group is coming up with examples, note them down onto a flipchart. Use the heading of “Excellent Service” and “Poor Service”.
- After 10 minutes, ask small groups for returning to the whole group and share the examples. Then, every group must share their examples of customer service. Along with this, also write down the particular factor that every group recognizes as being the major reason for the experience of poor or excellent customer service.
- Now, share all or some of these experiences. Ask the group for reviewing flipchart and inquire about the common themes coming through from their service experiences.
Please note that as per Dimensional Research, 52% of the consumers’ state that they have also made the additional purchase from an organization after experiencing positive customer service. (https://d16cvnquvjw7pr.cloudfront.net/resources/whitepapers/Zendesk_WP_Customer_Service_and_Business_Results.pdf)
- Product Demonstration – The best final test for the new support representatives to undergo before actually handling the live chat platform is the product demonstration and deep-dive to ensure the fact that they are well-aware of the service or product inside-out. The agents must be tasked with offering a 10-15 minutes demonstration and presentation of the product i.e., walking the prospective “client” through everything they should know for successfully starting to use it themselves.
You should never underestimate the relevance of customer service as according to the reports by Bain, the 5% increase in consumer retention can produce 25% more profit. (http://www2.bain.com/Images/BB_Prescription_cutting_costs.pdf) Managers must listen for the agents’ ability of clearly and succinctly explaining complicated topics and for making sure that they know how to use as well as explain every aspect of the product, app, or its site, as well as its features.
- Incorporate the improvisation games for developing quick-thinking skills – Serving the consumers well often needs the skill of quick-thinking. While there might be many things you can be prepared for, there are some situations which will essentially arise proving that you cannot anticipate everything. So, the most effective contingency is to train the team members on how to reply while encountering events which are outside the norm.
As per the recent study by Ameyo, 67% of the customer churn can be prevented if the firms successfully resolve issues just after the first time they take place. (https://www.ameyo.com/blog/customer-experience-statistics-which-will-impact-your-business-in-2016) As far as consumer service training games are concerned, they prove to be useful in honing the specific skill of the effective dealing of the most unexpected situations, particularly improvisation games.
There is a reason why improvisation has been used even in the acting classes as well as other communication-based training situations as it motivates participants for coming up with the creative solutions. It is helpful for those people who directly work with consumers, as the word “no” is often perceived as a negative impression in most of the situations.
- Chat Review – Be it Customer Care Outsourcing or employing your in-house team of support representatives, getting appropriate feedback is the best way to ensure exceptional customer service. Chat reviews are the most common practice among successful consumer support teams. Periodically, teams must gather for reviewing the chat with a client and talk about what was good, and what is the scope of improvement. Real chats can offer you an insight into the realistic expectations, and the input from the team members can offer a unique point of view for helping out the representatives in constant improvement.
Moreover, reports by Harris Interactive suggest that 79% of those consumers who shared the complaints about poor online customer experience had the complaints ignored. By reviewing the chat, the scope for modification will be greater and the chat agents will be able to do a better job next time.
- Teach the techniques for stress reduction – Any person who has faced an unsatisfied customer can understand the kind of stress it brings. Needless to say, your team members for customer service will face situations which frequently increases the stress level and that is why you need to rely on the best consumer service training ideas for teaching them how to relieve that stress. Furthermore, HubSpot suggests that 70% of the consumer’s journey depends upon how they feel they are being treated. (https://blog.hubspot.com/service/customer-service-stats)
Activities like meditation and yoga etc. can teach the employees how to manage the stress level during the trying situations. The major idea behind this exercise is to help them learn how to stay focused on the big picture while they are engaged in an unpleasant situation.
- End the training session on a positive note – The training participants will be more encouraged after their successful completion of the training program. You must identify their time and effort during the training session. Never forget that 90% of the clients rate an “immediate” reply as vital or extremely vital while having a client service query. (https://blog.hubspot.com/news-trends/live-chat-go-to-market-flaw)
- Show the appreciation for your employees’ hard work. It will remind them of their important role and the value they hold to your company and team.
- Take feedback from them as this will help in updating and refining the training program design and content.
There is a reason why 73% of the customers like the brand and remain loyal to it because of the friendly consumer service representatives as they make a brand’s first impression on the minds of the consumer. (https://www.slideshare.net/RightNow/2011-customer-experience-impact-report/5) The above-mentioned customer service activities, exercises, and ideas will help you develop the program for consumer service training that keeps all your team members actively engaged.
Efficient consumer service training will make your employees a better leader in any field specifically when you create the culture of the consumer-centered core values, introduce the new consumer service technologies, and provide customized consumer interactions throughout the client journey. The right training ideas will help you win customer service with sheer ease and comfort as well as will offer amazing benefits to your company. In case you wish the company to deliver impressive customer service, employing the right ideas will assist you to instill some major attitude changes and skills that are relevant.
Not only the small, but even the large organizations need to adopt the best techniques for delivering the best client service. After all, customers are willing to spend 17% extra more on an organization that has amazing customer service. Engaging, gamified training has become a necessity for the contemporary workplace. With the help of these ideas for customer service training, you will be able to help out the customers more effectively leading to the company having a good repute in the market.