Businesses lose approximately $41 billion a year due to poor customer service. This proves that businesses can’t afford the cost of bad customer service, irrespective of its size or nature. To ensure that customers retain your business, it is imperative to introduce customer service training tips for your support team. With the right customer support training program, your team can focus more on delivering better customer experience and higher engagement rates.
No matter how great your product is or how dedicated your staff is, one of the things that customers are most likely to remember is the direct interaction they have with your company. So the bottom line is your customer service team is the frontline of your business.
The quality of support your customer service team offers defines the customer success and experience. This is where good customer service training comes in.
Significance of customer service training programs for businesses
Customer interaction be it the first one or the final one directly impacts the bottom line of the business. Delivering a great customer experience gives businesses a competitive edge and a solid reason why they should invest in the right customer service training for their employees.
Gartner says customer service is a competitive advantage in a world where 89% of businesses compete through the level of customer experience they are able to deliver.
When you offer customer service training courses to your employees, it adds extra value to the customers giving a strong competitive advantage. Below are the three main benefits of customer support training tips for both employees as well as customers.
- Customer retention – Good service pays back. When you deliver good service to your customers it improves the satisfaction rate. Happy customers tend to retain your brand for a long time.
- Brand reputation – The first interaction of the customer with your business builds the first and everlasting impression. With top level service, you create a better brand rapport that increases your consumer base and annual revenue.
- Word of mouth – When customers are satisfied they become loyal to your brand and advocate your brand by sharing their success stories and experience with word of mouth.
Top crucial areas of customer service training for employees
Good customer service training eventually pays back to your business. When you trim your employees in the right direction, by imparting the knowledge of using appropriate customer service training techniques, it is obvious that you increase your customer satisfaction and base.
Let us jump into the key areas where customer service training for employees is important.
1. Make product as the main part of customer service training courses
Customer service training programs act as a long term investment for the growth strategy of your business. So, it is vital to introduce your core products and services is the main part of customer service training courses for employees.
Generally, it is part of onboarding new customer service hires. Product training of employees ensures that ready to communicate your brand message with your new as well as loyal customers.
Here are some key benefits of having in depth product knowledge:
- You empower your customer support team to answer complex questions with great ease and confidence.
- Your customers have to trust your brand, product and the person they interact with. Product training helps to build that trust.
- With product knowledge you not impress customers in first interaction but make an everlasting impression in this competitive time.
LUSH Cosmetics, a company renowned for its excellent customer service, values product knowledge as a way of creating empowered employees and delivering an exquisite consumer experience.
LUSH cosmetics took product training seriously as their customer service training tips.
- It organizes interactive training programs for new hires, where they learn about a range of products and their properties.
- It helps them to recommend products and provide customers exactly what they want.
2. Focus on customer service etiquette training for employees
It sounds simple enough to say that service must be given with a smile, yet how often does it really happen? It is very important to ensure that support agents should have customer relations training to acquire the right skills for handling customers’ needs.
But what skills should you be looking for in a customer service rep? Some major areas of customer service skills training are discussed below:
Have clear communication
Ensure you convey to customers exactly what you mean. You don’t want your customer to think he’s getting 50% off when he’s actually getting 50% more product. Use authentically positive language, stay cheerful no matter what and never end a conversation without confirming the customer is satisfied.
Understand customer psychology
Customers expect to be valued, listened, cared about their problem and want assurance that the same won’t be repeated in the future. By understanding the psychology of customer service, you can have a big impact on customer relations and satisfaction levels. This can allow your brand to better understand customers and provide a higher level of intuitive support.
Use positive scripts and phrases
Designing customer service scripts is basically formulating messages according to the different scenarios when agents have to address customers. Positive chat transcripts and phrases can help to deliver the faster response and consistent brand experience.
Work ethics and adaptability
Customers appreciate agents who handle their problem through to its resolution. At the same time, you must have good time management skills and not spend too much time handling one customer while others are waiting. Stay focused on your goals to achieve the right balance.
Set the right expectations
Saying “yes” to everything whatever your customer demands can lead to disastrous situations. You should not be over promising to your customers, the things that you cannot fulfill. Saying ‘yes’ to everything that your customer demands leads to dissatisfied customers when you turn out.
So, as a customer support team lead you should train your agents to be realistic and say yes to only the practical demands of customers. This leads to the right expectations and hence makes the customer experience better. Your live chat agents may also have to say no to customers but it should be such that you don’t lose them.
3. Outline your key metrics and KPIs of your business
It is vital to define customer service KPIs for your business and measure it regularly. The metrics are the performance measurement used by the support teams to monitor, analyze and take necessary actions to enhance customer service success.
Here are some important customer service KPIs and metrics:
- Average Response Time (ART): It measures the time between the customer initiates the chat and the agent responds to it. It is a very important KPI for customer service to consider for performance evaluation as it is one of the main customer complaints.
- First Contact Resolution (FCR): FCR measures the efficiency of your customer support team to fix and issue on the first call. It indicates how capable your agents are in understanding and resolving the issue in the first touchpoint.
- Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): It is crucial for your business to track this KPI to get insights about your customer perception with your products and services. CSAT surveys include a question asking customers how satisfied they are with a certain service, product, or interaction with your brand.
- Number of touchpoints – It measures the total number of returning interactions made by the customer to get the right solution for the same issue.
4. Enhance your customer interaction skills
If your staff has the necessary skillset, that’s a good start. But they still need to relate to your customers. Here are some customer service training tips for employees for strengthening interaction with customers to be thorough and well received:
Practice active listening
Research by allbusiness found out that 60% of business problems can be attributed to poor communication. Listening is the main ingredient of great customer service. And how well you listen has a great impact on the effectiveness of customer support.
Active listening is about giving full attention throughout the conversation keeps the entire focus on the customer words and ensures that the interaction proceeds with their needs. Listening to customers helps to know the problem to offer effective solutions. Apart from the quick resolution, it enhances the customer relationship with the brand.
By developing your active listening skills your communications will offer your listeners greater clarity. When active listening is practiced rightly it provided three positive results
Be polite and Empathetic
Studies say that almost 42% of consumers are put off by rude, unhelpful employees. Everyone has dealt with the employee who never smiles and seems to care less about what happens. This sort of attitude is impermissible in your staff and must be thoroughly addressed in your customer service training sessions.
Customers may be of many kinds. Some may be irritating, some may be full of questions whereas others might just be chatty. You must know how to handle all of them and provide the same level of service every time.
5. Involve top performers in your customer service training programs
As a customer support team lead, it is your responsibility to reward your top performers and motivate the other team members to perform well. By including your top performers in the training session you can boost their morale and give them a chance to share their experiences with others.
The newly hired employees can gain ample knowledge and tips from these customer service training sessions, which would help them to implement practically. Also, it motivates the other agents to perform better in order to be seen as knowledgeable.
Here are some elements that you need to consider:
- Knowledge sharing – If you have good performers with experience, knowledge and defined principles, include them in the employee training programs to share their wisdom with the team.
- Do it on a regular basis – Organize the training sessions on a regular basis so that your employees stay updated and motivated.
- Monitor and improve – You have to monitor the team performance based on the training sessions and improve the areas that lack efficiency.
6. Allow your customers’ channels to provide feedback
No matter how proactive you are, you’ll never be able to deal with every customer issue. In order to determine customer success, you should create easily accessible ways for customers to give feedback.
Whether it’s a phone survey at the end of a service call, an email survey sent directly creates a way for your customers to give feedback. It allows you to know what are the areas that need improvement.
But finding out what customers think about your service is very important to deliver them the best customer experience. Thus customer feedback acts as a catalyst to adjust your business to fit customer needs more accurately.
Customer feedback plays an important role in different business functions:
- Improve the quality of products and services
- Measure the customer satisfaction level
- Enhance your customer communication standards
- Deliver a better customer experience
- Build customer loyalty and retain customers
Whatever steps you choose to take, remember feedback’s importance to customer satisfaction.
7. Define internal processes
Everyone has a different role inside the organization. Just think! if you ask a technical question from a logistics person, will he be able to answer it? Of course no. It is therefore very important that the right questions to be asked to the right person or team.
During the customer service training sessions, you should educate new employees about the advanced chat routing feature and the different rules that can be followed to route a chat to the concerned department or team.
Your customer support team should know how to transfer the call to the right team in order to deliver faster answers to the customers. The chat routing feature helps in reducing the query resolution time and improve customer experience.
Best practices for your agents to follow:
There should be a well defined process that your agents should follow under different scenarios to save time and improve customer satisfaction:
- How to escalate the issue to the right department inside your company – Transfer the chat requests based on their nature like sales, marketing, support to the right department to handle it effectively in the first contact itself.
- Define various levels of customer service – Keep the customer service levels clear to the agents. Based on that the services will be offered such as new customers, premium customers.
8. Use of right tools
A practical customer service training technique of using different tools is very important. You should include all the tools used by your business to strengthen customer support. While the agents may learn the product and services transparently, practical training on how to use the tools for customer conversations helps to a greater extent.
Understanding the key features and the best practices develop a high level of comfort in your agents to perform their best.
- Live engagement tools – In order to make your live chat conversations interactive, you can use visual engagement tools such as co-browsing and video chat to deliver faster solutions and guide the customers by sharing their screens via personalized conversations.
- Chatbot – You can automate your business with AI chatbots to engage customers 24×7 to answer their common queries and easily scale your customer support without additional costs.
- Help desk – Businesses can adopt help desk solutions to boost their customer service. The key elements of these tools are automation, ticket management, and reporting & optimization.
- Social media management– Social media platforms help businesses to grow by boosting brand awareness and marketing of products/services. Monitor your customer’s activities and promptly respond to their positive and negative posts.
9. Develop a comprehensive content hub
From the moment prospects stumble upon your website, and long after you sell your products, you need to be available. A customer service content repository is like a directory where you can store all the important information about product, service or any specific topics.
How does a centralized knowledge base act as a powerful customer service training tool?
- Delivers proactive customer service – A knowledge base is one of the only customer-facing support channels that is constantly available from any device. This means there’s no need to put clients on hold – the answers are right at their fingertips.
- Improves team productivity – One of the significant hurdles to productivity in customer service is the time it takes for a support agent to search for answers. In fact, they spend 20% of their time searching in their inbox and other platforms. By creating a centralized hub of knowledge for your employees, you’ll significantly reduce the amount of time seeking answers.
- Leverages employee engagement and collaboration – No matter, if you have a dedicated team of support agents, creating content shouldn’t be a one-person job. It’s essential to collaborate in order to create the best content that will internally serve their needs.
10. Consider every customer touchpoint
Bad customer experience at any touchpoint in the customer lifecycle can ruin your relationship. You need to ensure that the right skills are demonstrated to your employees during the customer service training sessions.
Note: Make sure that they are being demonstrated consistently.
For that, you need to understand your target audience and identify the key touchpoints. When you pay attention to the touchpoints you have a full view of the customer experience. As a customer service manager, you have to train your agents to be active over the channels.
It is now evident that good customer service is a must for your business. There is no way any business can compete with bad customer service. Hence, investing in customer service training programs is just like investing directly in your business growth itself.