Improve NPS by 39% with effective customer service skill training

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Customer Service Skills Training

It’s safe to say that after the last almost two years the world has gone through, worldwide patience is at an all-time low. We’re talking canceled trips, rescheduled events, weddings pushed, hotels and flights overbooked, remote work challenges and so much more all coming down hard on customer service teams that are keeping the hospitality industry afloat. Customer service spans every single company, role, product, and service. Without it, consumers are frustrated and frantic, and so is your bottom line. Customer service skills training has never been more important than right now. The state of the world aside, as all industries evolve in their own way, customer expectations are higher than ever, demanding more answers and assistance from companies everywhere. How to keep up? Customer service training for employees. Equipping customer service teams with best practices, customer service training ideas, and other helpful resources to learn, practice, and Do Better Work is the best way to achieve customer service success!

Customer Service Training Programs

When you look at a company’s makeup, where does success source from? Sales? Marketing? IT? Truth is, it takes many to tango, but let’s take a look at the front lines: Customer Service. Customer Service reps are the main and sometimes only touchpoint for the customers that keep your company existing. Aside from simply being helpful and having the answers, reps are an extension of the brand and reflect the company’s values over every phone call or chat they have. No pressure though! Keeping a Customer Service team aligned, prepared, and performing is no easy task. Here’s why customer service training programs are of utmost importance for organizations. 

1. Enhance overall customer service support levels

From set-up help, to a log-in issue, to a mystery of missing data, customer service training programs prepare reps for all levels of support. While training programs enhance overall rep knowledge, it also enhances overall rep confidence. Having hard conversations with sometimes unhappy people certainly has its own book of best practices. Curate that for your reps based on your product/service or industry to help them pick up the phone confidently each time.

2. Ensure consistent support from agent to agent

With a curated training program, topics can be selected and prioritized for reps to focus on and learn. Include scripts and blurbs so answers are delivered in a clear, consistent, and helpful manner for customers calling with the same issues.

3. Engage agents and reduce overall turnover

Executing a job you don’t feel prepared for isn’t fun. Not having the resources to prepare is even less fun. Providing agents with a structured and specific training program for their job keeps them engaged and feeling like they’re being invested in as employees, keeping them with the company longer. Take Trader Joe’s as a customer service training program example. Trader Joe’s is known for treating their employees exceptionally well, and while they joke that all of their customer service accolades simply stem from “hiring nice people,” they invest heavily in training to boost employee skill sets. There’s no coincidence that Trader Joe’s is also known for crazy low turnover.

4. Delight customers and improve overall satisfaction

Top notch customer service doesn’t stop at the answer to a question. That kind of customer service isn’t delivered without full confidence, about both product knowledge and how to best navigate any conversation. At the root, delighted employees lead to delighted customers. Investing in your customer service teams makes them feel valued, engaged, and ready to make a difference.

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Customer Service Skills Training Topics

There are a set of skills that every great customer service agent should possess. While some are baked into one’s personality, these are skills that are often included in customer service excellence training topics and can be improved over the course of their career.

Active listening

Whether in person, on the phone, or on a Zoom call, there are active listening techniques that can be used to let the person on the other end know they’re being heard and understood. This includes paying attention, displaying patience, restating parts of the conversation, and asking open-ended questions.

Problem-solving

As you’ve seen, there are a multitude of customer service training topics. But it’s important to remember the end goal: You’re likely chatting with a customer because of an issue that needs solving. Sometimes the path to a solution isn’t always a straight shot. Problem-solving skills really come into play when things get messy, but you still need to provide the customer with a solution, even if temporary. 

Effective communication

If you’ve ever been on a great customer service call, you may notice that they over-communicate. This is on purpose and good practice. If they’re putting you on hold, it’s communicated. If they’re transferring you, it’s communicated. At the very end of the call, they make sure there’s nothing else they can help you with. Good communication takes away any guessing games!

Confidence

Confidence comes from knowing your stuff. It inevitably takes away the “um’s” and lets the customer know they’re in good hands. There’s power in providing answers that don’t sound like questions. But don’t be mistaken, your confidence can remain even if you don’t know the answer to something. This can come through in the tone of voice and body language.

Empathy

More often than not, customers on the other end of the phone aren’t chipper. Their flight has been canceled, their data has been lost, the thing they’re paying for isn’t working. It’s safe to say they’re upset. Empathy means having the ability to understand and share one’s feelings. Be sensitive to the way that they’re feeling and provide an apology for the situation at hand.

Time management

It’s important to make customers feel like they’re your only customer. Without rushing a conversation or coming off as dismissive, it’s always important to stay on track and keep things moving along in your call queue. Don’t forget about the other customers listening to elevator music waiting to chat with you. 

Willingness to learn

If there’s a customer service rep out there who knows it all, we’d love to have a word! There’s always more to learn, whether it’s about your product or service, conversation strategies, or other customer service training topics. Improving your skills in any of these areas will aid in your performance.

Customer Service Training Ideas to Improve Skills

We get so excited when customer service teams share information using Lessonly because we know we are helping provide a necessary function that helps customers have a better experience, making people happy! Here are some customer service training ideas you can use in your training activities from what we’ve seen our current clients teach and what we share internally that help improve client satisfaction.

Since every organization and its people are unique, it only makes sense that there’s a number of customer service training ideas and types of customer service training that leaders can implement when training their employees.  

    1. In-person training seminar and sessions: An in-person training experience is great because you can make it interactive for the audience. There’s room for real-time questions, group collaboration, and a chance for the trainees to do a deep dive into the concepts you choose to include in your training. 
    2. Customer service training courses online: Online courses offer flexibility to trainees learning in different locations and at different speeds. An online training, whether live or not, typically comes with a recording that trainees can reference whenever they need, providing them room for practice. Although not in-person, the best online customer service training allows for things like group breakouts, a question panel, and frequent interaction rather than just a presentation.
    3. Interactive customer service exercises (Role-playing): Customer service exercises allow trainees to apply their learning in real-time. Having notes written down in a notebook is one thing, but putting it into action is a different ball game. Additionally, having trainees work together to better each other is great for culture and morale. 
    4. Coaching and feedback sessions: Coaching sessions will happen when trainees have taken their learnings and are already applying them to real customers. Team leads will sit in with a trainee and listen to how they navigate a call or a chat conversation with a customer about a real issue. Afterward, the team lead can give specific feedback about what was good and what needs improvement for next time. 

Free Customer Service Training Materials

There is a ton of information not only in this article but out there on the internet about customer service training programs. Lessonly offers a number of free resources such as customer service training manuals, customer service training plan samples, and customer service training program outlines that teams can use to get themselves started.

Customer Service Training Manual 

Have you been dreading writing one of these from scratch for your company? It’s no easy or quick task. This template is here to get you started and is already loaded with customer service basics. This template ensures each trainee is getting the same information, which allows for thorough and consistent concepts to your whole team. Have you ever heard people say the key to branding is consistency? Same with the key to customer service. 

Customer Service Training Program Outline and Guide

Get expert insights, customer service tips, and steps to do Better Work inside this customer service training program outline. This will bring key data into play that informs how you move forward with individual reps, setting success goals for your team based off that data, and making sure your team is enabled to do Better Work every step of the way. 

Free Customer Service Training with Certificate

Digesting a whole bunch of information is tough. Putting it into action successfully is also tough! Celebrate with employees once they finish the training with a free customer service training certificate! We’ve got a free training course that helps customer service leaders learn important tips and tricks that can help improve their customer service enablement and training program.

Develop Essential Skills with Customer Service Training Powered by Lessonly

Honing and refining the skills that make your company do Better Work and delight customers is essential to success. Starting out may look like climbing a large mountain with rough terrain, but the view at the top is way worth it (like 76% worth it). While the skills that are brought into your company all play their own important role, don’t forget who’s representing you at the front lines: your customer service reps. Without proper customer service training and enablement, reps won’t have the knowledge and skills they need to provide service that sets your company apart from competitors. Let Lessonly help you power your skills training and development that will have your success rates climbing. Click here to learn more.