How to Create Effective Customer Service Training
October 10, 2022
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Every company wants to be known for its excellent customer service.
Helping others is not only rewarding but also a key differentiator. Eighty-three percent of customers agree that they feel more loyal to brands that respond to and resolve their complaints.
But excellent customer service is more than being polite and respectful over a chat window.
Customer service teams need to understand a product to provide proper care. They have to find answers quickly and develop patience when customers get angry. Reps who know how to find the best solution for a customer are more likely to build loyalty and get more sales.
Customer service training seems complicated, but it’s easier with the rise of digital learning software. By implementing training programs using a learning management platform, you can onboard reps faster, build their skill sets, and provide better support for your customers.
Discover the different types of customer service training and how to use an LMS to run them.
What is customer service training?
Customer service training helps reps improve support and customer satisfaction. An effective training program includes lessons on communication, crisis management, product knowledge, and other situations they may encounter when connecting with customers.
Customer retention and employee retention depend on how you train service teams.
Why is customer service training important?
Customer service is one of the most essential business operations for any organization, whether you’re a tech company or financial services firm. So let’s look at its impact on your organization.
More repeat purchases
Research from HubSpot found that 93 percent of customers will likely make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service.
Showing courtesy and respect and promoting a positive, helpful, and friendly environment will leave a great impression. A happy customer will come back and spend more with your company.
Ninety-three percent of customers will likely make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service.
Improves customer loyalty
Customer loyalty is the ongoing relationship between you and your customers. It’s the byproduct of excellent customer service and works to create trust between your organization and buyers. Nearly three out of five consumers report that good customer service is vital to feel loyalty toward a brand.
Resolves problems faster
It takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative one. Asking and answering customer questions correctly and listening well help handle complaints to satisfaction.
You learn about your product and service when you listen to customer complaints. It also helps your organization overcome any objections, whether it’s price, time, or product. A robust training program prepares reps to:
- Respond to conflict
- Identify and mitigate customer pain points
- Offers solutions fast
Shows high ROI
When done well, customer service can have a significant impact on your sales funnel and marketing campaigns. Putting a system in place with specific techniques and strong reps to manage challenging situations is key to improving ROI. On average, businesses can grow revenue between 4 to 8 percent above their market when prioritizing better customer service experiences.
Why? It’s easier to make a sale when customers feel supported. Customers who respect and value a brand will share their experiences with friends and colleagues, known as word-of-mouth marketing. Make sure you are making a strong first impression and showing customers respect.
Types of customer service training
Frontline employees have the most critical job of providing excellent customer service and making the experience fun and pleasant. But they are only as good as the training they receive.
Look at some effective ways to train customer service reps:
- Instructor-led training
- Ongoing training
Virtual instructor-led training (VILT) refers to a virtual environment where the learner and instructor are in different places. It helps an organization train and upskills support teams globally at a cost-effective price.
The VILT format offers flexibility and lets users access materials from any device. An instructor can conduct training synchronously (at the same time) or asynchronously (not at the same time).
Instructor-led training is best when:
- Your team is dispersed
- You want to train a large number of people at once
- You want to avoid travel and lodging costs
- You have a learning platform to deliver course materials
Whether virtual or in-person, instructor-led training can improve knowledge retention. Students are more engaged with the material, known as “active learning,” which is effective for retention. This makes the material more “sticky” and can help them recall course information in the future.
Some employees are introverts who won’t share concerns or ask questions, and that’s OK. That’s where webinar training comes in. A webinar is a live or recorded online seminar.
Companies use it to conduct training sessions, which can be for:
- Product demos
- General training
A webinar yields high engagement rates because it lets people watch a demonstration. Learners can apply and practice what they learn, producing quick and effective results.
You can run webinar training for any number of customer service training initiatives:
- Effective techniques for dealing with challenging customers
- Delivering practical online customer support
- What not to say to customers
- How to lead a customer service team
- How to provide customer service over the phone
Webinars are often profitable for companies with a large, global base who want to simultaneously offer a specific training program to many employees.
Learn more: Make eLearning Engaging in 7 Steps
Onboarding training gets new reps up to speed as quickly as possible. A strong onboarding program is a difference between an employee that thrives and one that falls flat.
More than 70 percent of employees with exceptional onboarding experiences say they have the “best possible job.” Yet, only 29 percent of new hires say they feel fully prepared and supported to excel in their roles after onboarding.
A few ways to improve onboarding include:
- Develop core competencies early. Develop reps’ core skills within the first 30 days. These can be soft skills like empathy and patience, plus harder skills like product knowledge and tenacity.
- Build on each rep’s strengths. Training often focuses on identifying and developing a rep’s weaker skills. But don’t forget to evolve their strengths too. Strengths-based learning can result in up to 23 percent higher employee engagement and 73 percent lower attrition.
- Extend onboarding to 365 days. New hires can take up to a year to reach their full potential. An extended onboarding program provides ongoing culture assimilation and continuous learning opportunities to reinforce essential skills.
- Create career paths for new reps. A clear professional development plan makes employees 3.5x more likely to agree that their onboarding process was excellent. Discuss long-term goals with your new team members during onboarding and establish corresponding development plans.
Dale’s Cone of Experience is a learning model that incorporates several theories about instructional design and learning processes.
Based on this theory, learners retain more information through what they do rather than hear, read, or see. Playing a role helps learners understand a situation, devise a solution, and evaluate their actions.
You can act out customer service scenarios with two or more employees. It could be over the phone, live chat, email, or in person. Training like this helps employees practice their skills and makes it easier for them to remember. A rep will get a feel for what it’s like to work with customers before they are put into real-life situations.
There are some disadvantages to role-playing. First, it takes two employees to practice these skills together. Second, peer-to-peer feedback can be challenging if both employees are learning a new skill. Having an instructor or mentor during training is best to give proper feedback.
Here’s how to incorporate role-playing into customer service training:
- Simulate the real world by creating outlandish situations. Trainees will learn to handle difficult situations and solve problems.
- Use real locations. Role-playing should be realistic. Put trainees in situations where they’ll deal with customer complaints, like over the phone or on your customer support system.
- Have fun with it. It’s easier for trainees to step out of their comfort zone and fully engage when they’re having fun.
Ongoing training plays a key role in your customer service strategy. Since reps are expected to evolve and meet customer demands, ongoing training and resources make their lives easier.
Offer reps ongoing training and resources, such as:
- Online courses
- Self-service resources
Reps can use these resources when dealing with demanding customers. It’s easy to get basic information right when they need it and recall training information.
Learning management system (LMS) for customer service training
An LMS is the best way to share customer training programs at scale. This way, participants receive tailored training to their tastes, adding an element of personalization and improving engagement.
Developing customer service skills requires a learning platform. WorkRamp is an All-in-One Learning Platform that allows you to tailor training for individual learners, customize, and launch new training instantly.
WorkRamp features for customer service training include:
- Robust content creation: Create customer service training easily with a drag-and-drop editor and a variety of learning content objects
- Intuitive UI and UX: Clean, simple, and easy to use for admins, editors, and learners alike. Increase user adoption with a platform that makes learning easy to build and do.
- Breadth of learning types: With guides, product tutorials, Paths, Certifications, Events, Libraries, Challenges, and More, WorkRamp allows you to build comprehensive learning programs with numerous content tools to cater to multiple learning styles.
- Native reporting and data visualizations: Better understand (and grant others access to understand) learning activity, performance, and impact through robust reporting, analytics, and out-of-the-box visualizations.
- Automated alerts and notifications: Automate alerts for learners such as for assignments and completion reminders and notifications for managers to enforce learning activities.
With WorkRamp’s advanced reporting options, you can track course completion and determine how training impacts revenue. As a result, you’ll be able to drive the long-term ROI of your training programs and create a growth engine for your company.
Want to learn more about how to use WorkRamp to create effective customer service training? Contact us to schedule a free demo.
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Michael is a SaaS marketer living in Guadalajara, Mexico. Through storytelling and data-driven content, his focus is providing valuable insight and advice on issues that prospects and customers care most about. He’s inspired by learning people’s stories, climbing mountains, and traveling with his partner and Xoloitzcuintles.