Businesses are reinventing themselves as our world adjusts to new norms. Now more than ever, customer service is playing an integral role in the ways companies do business. No one, not even the corporate behemoths, can afford to have a negative customer service persona. How do CS leaders ensure their support is the best it can be? With customer service training software.
The idea of learning customer service through training software isn’t novel, but the way it’s presented is rapidly evolving. Think back to your most recent workplace training. What did your managers have you do? Was it interactive? Were you bored or excited about the material? Was it a recap of what you already knew, or was new information presented? How was the information presented? These are important questions to consider when building a customer service training manual.
So, what should be included in a customer service training manual doc? While there are a lot of ideas to consider, we like to start with the 7 essentials to excellent customer service. These are the bases of customer care.
1. Add variety.
You’ll want to include different types of customer service training; training that’s a blend of initial and ongoing, in-person and digital. For instance, your initial training might be in a large group, but ongoing training may take place departmentally in small groups or online. You might be asked to watch customer service training videos or to research topics on customer care. You may be required to provide your team with special certifications in things like First Aid or CPR, so be mindful of your team’s needs and deliver this training in a way that makes the most sense for them.
2. Learn from other industries.
In the education community, teachers receive tons of ongoing training and professional development, which is better known as PD. As an educator of 11 years, I’ve attended workshops and seminars, been put into small groups for specific studies, taken online classes and refreshers, and the list goes on.
3. Use a variety of methods.
Similarly, in the service industry, some of the best customer service training I’ve had has included all the methods above, among others that were specific to the industry. For instance, I’ve completed book work, taken in-person and online classes from the ATF, and even attended a self-defense workshop when I worked at a local sports bar. Our owner really invested in us, and that made us always want to do our best. She came to the class and learned how to defend herself right beside us. Needless to say, I worked for her as long as I could.
4. Lean on a template.
But sometimes all of those options leave you wondering where to start, which is why it’s great to have a manual to lean on and use as a template. Keeping all of your customer service training ideas together in a manual where employees can reference all policies and procedures is key.
5. Make it accessible online.
While a physical copy should be on location, it’s best to have your entire manual available online and easy for employees to access. Not only will you save the trees, but you can be sure all of your hard work in compiling the handbook is safe in a cloud somewhere.
6. Start small and consider your options.
If you aren’t sure where to start for your employees, there are free customer service training programs as well as local customer service training seminars to help you get started. Easier still are the resources available to you online to explore and learn from. Consider the advantages here— is at-home training something that would work well for your employees? Could you save the company time and money with this approach, or by at least integrating it somewhere as a break from real-time, in-person training?
7. Invest in your agents.
Customer care isn’t just limited to your customers. Your employees are the ultimate customer, and great management starts with caring for them. The ripple effects of investing in your employees will be seen in the thoughtfulness and pride they put into their work, and the enthusiasm with which they spread your company’s mission.
When my school invests in me by sending me to a PD workshop, taking care of travel accommodations, and then asking me to present findings at a group event after my return, it makes me feel like I have renewed purpose. That type of enthusiasm is catching. It also speaks volumes that they invest in a substitute teacher for the day(s) I’m at the PD conference. Not only does the break from the norm help me recharge, but it’s good for my students, too. We always seem to appreciate each other more when we are back to our routine.
There are volumes of information available on every little thing you should include with your manual. But start with these tips, customize to your needs from there, and you’ll be off to a great start!
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