Customer Service Lesson Plans
The Importance of Customer Service and Defining it in Your Training
Customer service sets the tone for the way businesses obtain loyal clients and build upon a good reputation. The employees that make up a customer service team must produce consistent customer service practices every day. The consistency is where many companies fail. For example, if one customer service representative approves a return or discount that another representative prohibited, and the ambiguity of how-to and what-to-do isn’t taken care of, then these matters will continue to occur and lead to much greater inconsistencies, back-tracking, and bad customer service. Good customer service takes great training.
The only way to prevent this is to keep customer service employees informed and constantly aware of the standards, processes, and messages your company supports. This can be a lot easier said than done. Larger companies and constantly growing companies can often struggle with the learning process. Some large companies may already have a learning system in place, but still experience significant drawbacks in retention and high turnover rates. Companies that are scaling are always adding new employees; the onboarding training time has to be quick, yet concise, and these employees must constantly be in-the-know of product and service changes.
The fact of the matter is, and it’s been proven time and time again, a great learning system from the beginning of customer service employee’s career will accumulate a myriad of benefits. High retention, greater productivity, low turnover, saved resources, and how about genuine job enjoyment? When customer service employees are well informed, they are better prepared to problem-solve and help customers. It doesn’t take a genius to recognize the value of customer service.
An Introduction: Customer Service Learning
We recommend for all businesses to build and house their training materials in a single place, preferably by using a platform sculpted for learning; not to toot our own horn, but that’s what Lessonly is. Our learning platform makes learning better for businesses so employees can ultimately live better lives. If your customer service team is well-informed, that means they can well-inform customers and act as problem-solvers and guides. When your team can quickly and effectively do these things, all three parties reap benefits; customers stay, the business gains new customers and a good reputation, and your employees stay, too, because they enjoy the satisfaction of helping people.
Whatever platform you use to build customer service training materials, make sure you consider the breadth of the material you’re going to build. Customer service is such a broad category. Before you jump into creating learning, map out the topics you’ll want to cover. Furthermore, make sure the messaging and directives of each topic are shaped to fit your brand. Below are a few lesson suggestions to get you started. Lessonly also has a myriad of free customer service resources available for download.
Customer Service Tips – This lesson can be a summary lesson of particular actions and dialogues customer service representatives should maintain when communicating with clients. Include FAQs and solutions that occur frequently with clients. We also suggest keeping a tangible version of this lesson for employees to reference to quickly.
Customer Service Skills – Use this customer service skills lesson to define the skills each employee should recognize and improve upon in their time at the company. Teaching customer skills doesn’t happen in one sitting. Know this going into your training. Ongoing training and one-on-one meetings are great opportunities to make sure each individual is progressing their skill set.
Customer Loyalty Programs – If your company has a customer loyalty program, this lesson should be all about the details. This is particularly applicable to customer loyalty programs for small business. Essentially, your team has to know the fine print and be able to convey it clearly to customers. What type of customer loyalty rewards does your company offer? What is the criteria for obtaining each reward?
Retain Customer Loyalty – Having a loyalty program is only one of many customer loyalty incentives you can offer. Even though customer loyalty program examples may be considered a measureable incentive, there are other contributing factors to the value of customer loyalty. Positive attitude, perseverance to problem-solve, clear communication, and wide product-knowledge will keep customers coming back. The value of customer satisfaction may technically be measurable, but it will feel immeasurable to the customer.
Customer Service Communication – Use this lesson to direct employees in conversational methods, specific phrasing, and communication processes within the company. For example, if you have a disgruntled customer, how will your rep discover their issue? If it is not in the reps power to solve the issue, what happens next in the line of communication?
Once you build your materials online, shape your lesson plan for teaching customer service. Decide which topics should be learned first. With Lessonly you can schedule and queue up lessons and courses for any future date.
Other Things to Include in Your Customer Service Training Lesson Plan
When it comes to the mix of in-person training and elearning, it’s important to always include customer service activities for employees. These activities, when executed well, can enable and encourage customer service representatives. You should definitely organize some of these activities when onboarding a team, but also during Customer Service Week. Activities can consist of customer service games or brainstorming exercises for customer incentive ideas and customer service incentive ideas. Protip: Transform all the free customer service activities and games you find online to fit your company’s context.
It’s important to incorporate examples in your lesson plan. Customer service should be relatable. Instead of creating dry, static copy for your training, use a mix of media to your advantage. Ditch the customer service training worksheets, and use funny scenes from great movies to reinforce information.
If it isn’t clear by now, using an elearning platform can supplement some on-site training, but it’s still important to have on-site training activities so your employees can get well acquainted with the company. Lessonly has a resource on customer service training activities, free to download, but here is a sneak peak of that content:
Who Are You? – This activity focuses on employees discovering each other’s admitted strengths and weaknesses. Write down customer service personality descriptors on signs and have each team member stand beside the one they relate to. Then, have each person talk about why they think they fit to that descriptor.
Two Truths and a Lie – This is more of an ice-breaking exercise, but notes the importance of humor in communication. Have each member tell three unique facts about them. One of these facts must be a lie. The whole team then has to determine the lie together.
The “No” Word – Customers hate hearing “No.” Break up team members into groups to create other ways of saying no. Feel free to do this with other phrases you want to avoid but seemingly can’t.
I See You – Split your team into partners. Have each team gather a few objects from around the office. Blindfold one team member while the other team member sets the object in a certain pathway. Have that same team member direct the blindfolded team member to pick up the objects. The development of these directional skills come in handy when having to direct a customer over the phone.
Ridiculous Complaints – This is less of a game, but more of an ongoing, comical conversation opportunity. Have individuals write down the ridiculous complaints they hear. Feel free to allow comic relief, but also take the opportunity in one-on-one meetings to discuss response methods.
Using Lessonly for Customer Service Training
Whether you need to develop an entire customer service training manual or just create customer service tips to keep in mind, Lessonly makes the process from creation to assessment seamless. We enable managers to easily create, organize, deliver, and track training with the help of automated actions and an intuitive interface.
Creating content in Lessonly consists of simply uploading any important files or putting together fresh content right on the platform. You can organize sections, build lessons, and even create courses for overarching topics. Mix up your media with funny gifs, videos, and audio to reinforce lesson content.
Content creation can be democratized too. In Lessonly, administrators can assign manager and creator roles. As a manager, you have the same access as an administrator, but only to the group of learners your admin assigns you too. Managers can create, assign, and assess learning materials. Those in the role of Creator do not have the same access as managers or admins, but can turn focus toward the immaculate creation of great content.
We encourage the creation of content rather than the implementation of outsourced content. Why? Crowdsourced content is vague. When you have the people of your company creating the content, your material is inevitably going to be more precise, well-documented, and better absorbed. After all, no one knows your company better than the people immersed in its products, actions, and values.
With many learning systems, there lies a big fracture in organization capabilities. Many companies are relying on Google Docs to create and distribute training, but nonetheless, as the system and materials grow, search becomes more difficult (or doesn’t exist) and data begins to lack in its offerings. A few of our clients have come to realize the benefits of using a system like ours. Check out what names like Birchbox, OurHealth, and Modcloth, had to say about Lessonly on our Reviews page.
On Lessonly’s learning platform, learner assigned courses and lessons are assigned on a dashboard. Courses and lessons are organized alphabetically and easily searchable. Next to the my assignments tab will be a Learning Library. The Learning Library is a place where you can put content that is accessible to everyone. It doesn’t have to be assigned, but exists for reference purposes.
Delivering content in Lessonly is where many of our automated functions come into play. When learners are registered to Lessonly, you never have to remember or enter obscure emails anymore. To assign, you just simply enter the learner’s name (Protip: We still suggest using their first and last name. As your company grows, you’ll probably end up with a few Johns or Katies! Heck, Lessonly already has three Jordans!).
Sometimes lessons need to be delivered at a cadence or in a certain order. We get that. When you’re done creating a lesson or course, and you know it needs to be repeated, say, for compliance purposes, you can schedule it for such in Lessonly. Whether it’s at a weekly, monthly, or annual cadence, you can make it happen with us. For lessons that need to be taken by learners in a specific order, you can use our Triggers feature. To paint it crystal clear, Triggers allow for you to assign Lesson A to a learner, and once that learner completes Lesson A, Lesson B is automatically assigned.
Tracking (assessing) materials in Lessonly proves long-term benefits for both a company and its learners. If you can see how well your learners are learning, you can help those individuals where they need help the most. Well-informed employees tend to enjoy their jobs, resulting in a lower turnover rate for the company. As soon as learners are assigned materials, you can see who is doing what, when, and how well in the Gradebook tab. Furthermore, by incorporating questions into your lessons (free response, poll, and quiz questions), you elicit direct feedback from to improve the learning of individuals and the system itself. In your customer service lesson plans, tracking will change the way you manage your team for the better.
Lastly, Lessonly works for learners. Before we make any moves on our product and services, we think about the end user, first: the learner. Our mobility makes it easy for learners to access and learn materials from multiple devices. This way, learners can learn material at their convenience, wherever they learn best, before a due-date. Our interface is fluid in readability and navigation. Lessonly is transforming the learning system for business. Ultimately, we make it our mission to enable companies to create better learning, so in turn, employees can learn better and live better lives.
Interested in trying Lessonly out for your customer service team? Our free tour is the first place to look. Try it here.