Lately, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the past decade. For me, it was one big lesson in adulting. From graduating college, to finding a job, to signing up for insurance, to leasing a car, to realizing dishes and laundry will always be a part of the to do list, there were a ton of road blocks along the way. And to each one I said, “Well, you live and you learn.”
However, I’m realizing there were a few too many things that I had to live and learn over and over and over again. There was a fundamental piece missing from the lifestyle of, “You live and you learn”. It’s called practice.
Adding Practice To My Life
The theme of adding practice to my life came through many channels in 2019, but the one that was the brightest and most persistent was with Lessonly. The first time it really sank in was during my onboarding. Lessonly was explained through the life of athletes. Think about your favorite athlete or musician. They are constantly practicing their skills and learning new ways to perform. We believe businesses should be doing the same thing. That’s why we built Lessonly—to make learning and practicing easy for busy teams. I’ve always had an affinity for learning the ways in which humans can create a practice that allows their body to perform in extraordinary ways, so this really resonated with me.
With practice we all have the ability to perform extraordinarily. And knowing that, every day becomes a lot more purposeful. Every day is an opportunity to practice, to perfect your craft, to work towards something extraordinary. A big takeaway from this idea of practice for me is realizing, it’s not hard, it’s just new. Like learning how to ride a bike, it’s not necessarily hard it just takes a lot of effort and practice.
On Customer Service Teams
The life of a customer service rep, every day, every ticket is something new. There is a new customer service policy manual, a new product, a new glitch in the system, a new way for customers to get in touch, and the list goes on and on. The job is without a doubt unpredictable.
But, the customer service teams are to be the expert for the customer, on just about everything. And from the eyes of a millennial who checks reviews before doing just about anything to ensure I’m going to enjoy my experience, the customer service department can make or break a company’s reputation in my eyes.
So, what are we doing to ensure these customer service teams are given what they need to hone in on their craft? We’ve talked to over 600 of our customers about what types of customer service trainings they are providing:
- U.S. Cellular used 10 to 15-page, text-filled customer service training manual docs.
- Riskalyze used Google Drive and Dropbox and in-person customer service workshops tracked by sign-in sheets.
- Trunk Club had binders and a lot of in-classroom customer service training seminars.
All three of these teams saw a lack of engagement, consistency and retention.
In the wise words of Arianna Huffington, “It’s more than setting up a ping pong table and stocking the kitchen with high-end coffee and free snacks. A thriving culture is crucial for a company’s ability to attract and retain top talent, drive revenue, and secure a competitive advantage.”
I believe a thriving culture is one built on continuous learning and practicing, where customer service is recognized and invested in.
I Know Because I’ve Been There
In my previous role, I was tasked with training the customer service team overseas. Mind you, there was no additional training on how to deliver customer service training upon accepting this task. So I typed up the notes I took during my onboarding, sent over my Google Doc, walked through my words over a Skype call, and then let the team handle “the easy” tickets for a while. When a complaint rolled in and it was inevitable, it escalated to our manager and she would turn to me and ask if I trained them on this… and I had no record of whether or not I did.
I felt for these agents, I had no way to ensure if what I was saying was resonating, then we threw them in the deep end and sent over more Google Docs and set up more calls as things changed over time. They ended up with pages of customer service training topics and no real direction. We didn’t have to fire them because they’d quit.
Practice is the Solution
Customer service should not be a live and learn, live and learn type of situation. We need to be constantly practicing our skills and learning new ways to perform.
We all know how frustrating it is to start something new and on top of that, carry the weight of hitting our numbers and pleasing people. It’s not a quick fix. There are no “7 essentials to excellent customer service” that’ll matter here. The difference lies in knowing someone is invested in helping you own your craft. The opportunity to learn and practice shows people their potential to be better. It gives them purpose. And that’s something we all crave.
Now imagine a team, a company, and even a world where people are practicing their craft, becoming extraordinary, and feeling that sense of purpose! If you are a business owner, team lead or customer service rep, and can barely finish reading this before searching, “customer service training programs near me,” know this—I may be biased by pointing you in the direction of the best customer service training, (*ahem* Lessonly), but whatever you choose, invest in your people. Let’s make it happen!
Inspire and train your customer service team with Lessonly
Lessonly is powerfully simple training software that helps teams learn, practice, and perform like never before. If you’re looking to unite your frontline team with great training, easy-access to information, and better communication, let’s talk!