Have you been assessing your employee onboarding program and feeling a bit stuck? You’re not alone! It can seem overwhelming at times as there are a variety of ways to onboard new employees and a multitude of things to include. We’d like to help you with the overwhelm and break it down a bit by focusing on one part of onboarding – and how to include customer service into your training plans for new employees.
Of course, you need to consider the company culture you wish to foster, what priorities there are, and make a plan to preemptively address questions and correct problems before they arise. Additionally, as you formulate the best training plans for your new hires, it’s important that – in addition to orientation and general on-boarding that introduces the company mission and values, business processes, and product knowledge – both internal and external customer service is at the core of your new hire training program. Let’s go into why customer service is critical to your training plan for new employees.
Why Include Customer Service In New Employee Training?
Customer service as a part of your training plans for new employees is important because it relates to so many facets of your business, that may not be top of mind, like:
- Consumer research – Customer service has evolved as the leading differentiator when it comes to what consumers consider before making a purchase. Consumers research not only the quality of products but also the level of service a company provides when considering their options.
- Customer loyalty– Service excellence is the main reason customers are loyal to a company. Studies indicate that it can cost about five to eight times more to attract new customers than to retain existing ones. There is also a 70% likelihood that satisfied customers will return to make new purchases.
- Customer marketing – Delighted customers can contribute to your marketing efforts by providing positive ratings, online reviews, and word-of-mouth marketing that can help businesses strengthen and grow their brands. In fact, about 97% of customers will tell others about very good or excellent customer service experiences both offline and online.
- Business longevity and growth – Excellent service ensures the long-term success of a business. On the other hand, when a business does not provide excellent customer service, customers become frustrated and take their business elsewhere.
- Low employee turnover – Employees enjoy working for businesses that treat both employees and customers fairly. When people work for an employer that has a good reputation, they are happier and more engaged in their work. They not only take pride in their work and position, but they also become workplace brand advocates.
The list goes on, but this should give you an idea of why delivering memorable customer experiences are so important. So, implementing a training program that provides your employees with relevant customer service skills is essential if your goal is creating a customer-focused culture.
Customer Service Related Topics to Include in Training Plans for New Employees
Whether you build your own program or integrate a customer service training program from a reputed customer service training institute, it’s important to make sure it includes the following components:
- Customer research – First and foremost, it’s important to know the needs and wishes of your customers by knowing every step of the customer journey. Gaining in-depth insight into the minds and ever-evolving needs of customers is not easy. However, it is possible to observe and improve the customer experience by leveraging information that is acquired through established processes and by focusing on the key data points. The ability to collect and observe this information should be at the forefront of any customer service training program.
- Creating a customer-centric culture – Your training should also include a module on the importance of a customer-focused culture and why customer service should be a philosophy that is practiced by all employees. Your new hires should learn what your organization expects of them, and how their performance standards should line up with what customers expect.
- Developing great communication skills – Good communication skills are a crucial part of service excellence so your training should include training on listening, asking the right questions, conversational tone (both on the phone and in written communications) empathy, and body language.
- Learning problem-solving skills – The ability to swiftly and completely resolve customer service issues as they arise requires a high level of finesse, knowledge, and skill. Making sure your employee training includes conflict resolution will help prevent issues from escalating.
- Knowing how to measure and analyze – While this may not be anyone’s favorite part of customer service training, measurement is essential. This ties in with our first point, know your customer! The more information we have on the customer experience, the more we can improve internal and external processes to ensure a great experience. There are no shortcuts in the customer journey so collecting, understanding, and discussing customer data is the only way to do this.
Bottom line, making sure internal and external customer service is emphasized in your training programs for new employees will not only ensure a fantastic company culture in which employees thrive, but will also play a significant role in an organization’s growth and long-term success.