We don’t mind repeating this well-known mantra: Customers expect prompt, convenient, and high-quality customer service. If they don’t have a great experience, they won’t hesitate to take their business elsewhere! Studies show that after a negative experience, 61% of customers will switch to a competitor. Some might even share their bad experience online via reviews or social media, which can do a lot of damage to a company’s reputation. This is where the importance of organizational training comes in.
Since most customers research a company before doing business, the only way to attract new customers and retain current ones is to create an exceptional customer experience. Providing your employees – especially anyone in a customer service role – with excellent organizational customer service training is essential. Let’s briefly define customer service training and why it is crucial for a company’s profitability and success.
What is Customer Service Training?
Hubspot offers a great definition of Customer service training:
“Customer service training is the coaching that employees receive with the goal of improving support and satisfaction among customers. A strong customer service training program includes exercises for improving interpersonal communication, product knowledge, conflict resolution, crisis management, and more.”
Why is Customer Service Training So Important?
Customer service training is vital because it provides employees with the best practices, techniques, and tools to care for customers. Providing this training allows your teams to communicate effectively, provide swift service, handle problems so they don’t escalate, and – last but not least – create customer delight. Hiring people who are already great at providing customer service would be ideal. However, not every employee has this natural aptitude. So the best strategy is to provide organizational training that transforms all employees into phenomenal service providers that benefit your brand.
Important Components to Include in Organizational Training
As defined earlier, customer service training should always include the following:
- Customer service protocols
- Interpersonal communication skills
- Conflict resolution skills
- Company-specific product knowledge
- Measurement and analysis of customer satisfaction
Let’s look at some of the components that would be important to include – especially for those in Customer Service Management roles:
- Customer Service and Business Growth – Giving employees a birds-eye perspective on the importance of customer service for business prosperity and growth helps them understand the importance of their role. They should also understand the financial cost of bad customer service and the long-term damage it can do to the reputation of a business.
- The Customer Journey – Understanding the complete customer journey, aka buyer journey, during all stages of a customer’s interaction with a company – from marketing to sales to purchase and beyond – should be a main component in any customer service training program. This overview also helps employees know their particular role in the customer journey so that they can contribute to a great experience.
- Customer Service Strategy – A blueprint for customer service protocols and procedures is often outlined in a company’s customer service strategy, typically documented for employees in a customer service handbook or manual. Training should include awareness of the overall customer service strategy and how it applies to each touchpoint in the customer journey.
- Customer Experience Feeback and Analysis – Excellent training programs include methods to collect customer feedback via conversations and online surveys so that a company can gauge customer satisfaction. In this way, teams can analyze the data and improve or modify customer service protocols as needed.
- Customer Service Leadership – Employees in customer service management roles need a higher level of leadership training that supports the complexity of their roles. They lead by example and provide crucial one-on-one mentoring to supplement organizational training programs. They also contribute to strategy, lead customer service teams, and often play the “customer advocate” role – conveying customer needs and preferences, satisfaction trends, and any issues to upper management. They also initiate programs to ensure customer delight and work with sales and marketing teams to establish customer marketing campaigns.
These are just a few examples of components to include in your training programs. Other course modules will vary depending on your company’s particular sector. Bottom line: Organizational customer service training will improve your leadership and team performance and establish a company culture that takes the customer experience to the next level!