employees taking online customer service training

Customer Service Training: 4 Reasons Why You Need It for All Departments

In today’s saturated market, your company is likely to be competing with hundreds – if not thousands – of others. It is now a well-known fact that in these times it’s simply not enough to have a great product or affordable prices. In order to stay competitive, companies need to provide consistently superior customer service. However, while some companies may have invested in customer service training for their frontline employees, not every company has understood the importance of providing it for every employee – in every department.

Customer Service Should Not Be a Department

To quote the late entrepreneur and Zappos founder Tony Hsieh: 

“Customer service should not be a department. It should be the entire company.” 

To rephrase this, customer service should be part of the onboarding and training for the entire company. An unambiguous customer service philosophy is at the core of Zappos employee orientation and training, regardless of their role in the company. Some examples of how customer service training can benefit all departments include:

  • Increased soft skills such as kindness, empathy, and listening
  • Improved communication skills 
  • Ability to resolve problems and prevent escalations
  • Positive internal and external customer experience
  • Shared values, morals, and ethics
  • Employee satisfaction, team spirit, and company pride
  • Company longevity and success

How Service Excellence Training Benefits Different Departments

Let’s take a deeper dive and explore how customer service training would benefit employees in 4 different departments. 

1. Human Resources

Human resources employees are responsible for employee engagement, development, and success. They should serve as an internal version of a customer service professional since they deliver the important programs and services that ensure employee satisfaction. However, not all human resource employees understand how their role also affects the overall customer experience. So, providing training will help them:

  • Understand the connection between happy employees and satisfied customers
  • Provide better services and programs to employees
  • Encourage a customer-focused company culture 
  • Include and improve customer service training programs for all employees as part of their onboarding process

2.   Finance and Accounting

You may wonder why those responsible for crunching numbers and collecting data would need this kind of training. These professionals have mastered accounting skills and can easily communicate with other co-workers in their department using their unique numbers jargon. On the other hand, the accounting team may be required to explain financial terms or reports to managers, co-workers, customers, or other non-experts. That is where customer service training comes in. It will help them learn:

  • Softer, more “human” communication
  • Ability to convey complex concepts in simpler ways
  • How to communicate between departments 
  • Improve connection with other employees
  • Provide better internal customer service 
  • Avoid misunderstandings or frustration

3.   Operations

People who work in operations are experts in logistics, systems, processes, and getting things done. Their priority is to make sure things run smoothly and efficiently. Sometimes this efficiency can happen at the expense of the human touch. As a result, we may sometimes feel more like herded cattle in airports, stations, government facilities – even amusement parks! While efficiency is important, customer service training can help an operations department:

  • Understand that customers are just as important as their processes
  • See things from the customer’s perspective
  • Become aware of the customer journey
  • Work to improve the customer experience at every touch point
  • Be kinder and more empathetic

4. Sales

Gone are the days when the sales division could separate itself from other departments and believe their only task is to make a sale or land an account and move on! Most sales professionals understand the importance of a great customer experience if they wish to attract and retain customers. Even so, they may not receive the same level of training as customer service employees. This is doing the organization a great disservice since it is often a sales representative who is the first point of contact with a customer. Studies show that first impressions are lasting impressions when it comes to a customer’s perception of a company. To sum it up, the service experience begins with sales. Customer service training can help sales employees:

  • Embrace the importance of long-term customer relationships
  • Develop in-depth knowledge of company products or services
  • Improve their communication skills
  • Maintain honesty and integrity at all times
  • Learn problem-solving and conflict-resolution skills
  • Better understand and appreciate the work by other departments

There are of course many other departments or divisions that we could include, but this should convince any business owner or leader of the importance of customer service training for all employees. It’s also important to keep in mind that customer service will need to evolve with the needs and preferences of customers. In other words, it is a continuous “work in progress”. In conclusion, make the customer experience the best it can be –with ongoing training for all employees – and you will always be the company that stands out from your competition!

Additional Resources:

Benefits of Becoming a Certified Customer Service Organization

6 Ways to Include Customer Service in Your Training Plans for New Employees

The Benefits of Online Training Courses

The Importance Of Supplementing Employee Orientation with Customer Service Training

Tips To Take From Zappos’ Customer Service

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Customer Service Institute of America