Ollie is a new customer service team manager. One of his first projects as manager is to overhaul the team’s current training program. He asks the customer service representatives for feedback on their training experiences and receives three common responses: they weren’t engaged with the information, they didn’t feel prepared for difficult conversations, and it failed to include team-building activities.
Most customer service managers face a similar situation to Ollie’s. As a team leader, it’s their job to ensure reps are properly trained and prepared to handle just about any situation. The following customer service training activities offer hands-on and engaging learning opportunities for customer service teams.
Here are a few customer service training ideas that can help you get started:
1. The “No” Word
The word “no” is a trigger word that is known to evoke negative emotions in customers. Because of this connotation, it is the one word every customer service rep should avoid using unless absolutely necessary.
To help your customer service team practice this principle, divide them into groups to come up with different ways to say “no” without actually using the word “no.” When done, ask the teams to come back together to compare answers. Collectively, eliminate any answers that may still have a negative impact on the customer. The team with the most effective answers remaining “wins” the exercise.
2. Who Are You?
The ultimate goal of this customer service training activity is to get everyone in the group to work together and realize their similarities and differences. Knowing one another’s differences helps customer service reps know who they can turn to in challenging situations.
To do this, make four sets of signs with the following words written on them:
- Set 1: Competitive, Compromising, Collaborative, Accommodating
- Set 2: Caring, Caregiver, Cared For, Cared About
- Set 3: Talkative, Quiet, Outgoing, Watcher
- Set 4: Tired, Confused, Happy, Eager
Reveal each set of words separately with prompts such as “Are you competitive, compromising, collaborative, or accommodating?” Once each rep decides which word they relate to the most, ask them to stand next to the appropriate sign. Then, have one person in each group explain why they relate most to the word selected. Continue this process with the next three sets of cards.
This is a great icebreaker to integrate new customer service representatives with the team. It also helps individuals clearly understand their own characteristics.
3. Ridiculous Complaints
This activity helps customer service representatives handle complaints from customers that may or may not be a bit ridiculous. To play the game, make a list of nonsensical complaints that reps have encountered in the past—or may encounter in the future. Examples include:
- “My meal was too hot, it needed to be served after it cooled down.”
- “I bought this jacket from a friend to discover the zipper doesn’t work. I want to return it to your store since it’s your brand.”
- “The item I ordered came sooner than I expected.”
Then, discuss each scenario as a group or during one-on-one training sessions through role-playing activities to show how each representative would address each hypothetical situation.
Customer service managers are well aware of the importance of great customer service and delivering a great customer experience. These activities are just a sampling of how to ensure representatives receive training that equips them with the skills needed to avoid bad customer service.
Provide consistent customer service staff training
Steady and detailed customer service training is vital to every customer service team. Use our free customer service training manual to create a simple and effective training plan that will result in superior customer service, time and time again. Or, take a tour of Lessonly and see how our online training software drives better customer service training.