The Importance of Training in Customer Service
Customer service training can feel monotonous to a learner. The importance of training customer service representatives goes beyond just checking a completed box from the administrative side. If your learners aren’t enjoying the learning, they will likely struggle with retaining the information.
So, why is training important to a business? This is where the importance of being earnest plays into the importance of employee training. A learning system must not only be efficient, but effective. The absence of the latter leads to training issues in the workplace. A great learning system takes a lot of in-depth thought from both user-sides, objectively and subjectively. An administrator can cover as much material as they want, but how much of it will a learner be capable of retaining? If customer service reps aren’t believing what they learn, how is it at all possible that they’ll be convincing to customers? What does a great learning system look like? What will turnover look like if our learning system succeeds? If it fails?
The importance of training and development is no stranger to large businesses. But what is foreign to these businesses is gathering the answers to these questions from the learners themselves. Instead of hopping aboard with a learning platform that is easy for administrators and complex or numbing to learners, think about how the learning program will contribute to the aptitude of learning.
The Benefits of Training Customer Service Reps Beyond the Tangible
Companies and influencers will always preach that the benefits of training programs is an abundance of resources saved. But we’re going to go beyond that. Employee training statistics will show that effective, enjoyable training will significantly reduce turnover rate. Why? Because employees feel well informed to perform and progress, resulting in genuine job enjoyment.
Simply, the lack of turnover will allow for a company to grow faster, for employees to stay loyal, for the benefits of training and development in the workplace to be apparent long-term. The importance of job training is directly correlated to the growth in a company.
Types of Training for Customer Service
Of all the types of training used in business, when it comes to customer service, we find that there’s generally a combination of these three types:
Classroom-style training – This is just what it sounds like: A group of new employees sit in on a training session, taking notes while a training professional lectures on the how to’s and do’s and don’ts of customer service for a company. With the progression of technology, using solely this method is a bit outdated.
Automated training – Automated training is the use of elearning software to deliver training to a bulk of individuals. Think of it like classroom-style training, but on a digital platform, and much easier to organize, deliver, and assess materials. For example, instead of printing of a myriad of resources and quizzes, and having to take the time to lecture then assess, you can do it all in one-fell-swoop. Lessonly has created a platform in which administrators can create fluid lesson material and incorporate quizzes, polls, and free-response questions into the same lesson.
One-on-one training – This kind of training is more like a guidance tool. An employee in the same role, or one who has experienced the same role and has since moved up in the company, will act as a leader to a new employee. The “learning leader” will be the source for any answers the new employee may need. Generally, the learning leader will spend one or two days showing the new employee the ropes of customer service, then will meet with the new employee once a week to fill in any learning gaps along the way.
Of the three types of training above, automated training is most often used in combination with one of the others. Elearning lessons can help brief an entire class on customer service basics, then once everyone files into the learning session, lecture material can cover more situationally based topics in accordance to brand specifics. The same goes for one-on-one training; a learner can learn by doing from the get-go because they would have already been briefed on processes and procedures through elearning. This way, the learning leader answers less menial questions.
The Objectives of Training in Customer Service
When developing your employee training methods for customer service, think about the objectives of you want to achieve. Objectives of training programs are the ultimate outcome you want from each employee in training. Your objectives of training should be a reflection of your meaning of customer service. Here are a three basic objectives of training and development in an organization that we suggest using, then sculpting for your customer service team.
Impart veteran and rookie learning – This objective can be reached by fostering a training environment in which old and new employees come together to discuss current and future processes. For example, with an elearning program, like Lessonly, you can schedule lessons at a cadence. If a department needs to take a “Good Customer Service Skills” lesson year-round as a refresher, use that opportunity to bring everyone together and discuss changes in communication methods. Then, update the lesson. With Lessonly, information is automatically saved.
Prepare for a second line – Surely, you want all of your employees well-informed enough to progress in the company. With a great learning system in place, the likelihood of that is high, and turnover is low. Great onboarding and training can get employees performing in their role and passionate about their job.
Expand customer knowledge – Each customer service employee should be fluent in product knowledge and company processes and procedures. If your new team isn’t conveying that correctly to customers, customers get frustrated and drop off — employees too. To be able to communicate effectively to customers who don’t understand, your customer service team needs to be omniscient. That way, they can elaborate clearly when answering questions and concerns, and in turn figure out the best solution for a customer.
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Good Customer Service Defined by Your Elearning
The meaning of customer service is one rooted in each and every role in your company. It’s the communication, problem-solving, and product-improvements your company works together to offer to customers. The ability to walk into work and know that every department is one the same page, ready to help clients, proves the importance of corporate training.
For the customer-facing team, it’s all about proper conveyance. This team is talking to customers daily. When you’re bringing someone new to the team, make sure they ramp-up just as well as the others did. Have concrete training materials in place.
If your team is just learning the ropes of customer service, it’s probably necessary to cover the high-level basics. But much of that subject matter is intuitive. But solely delivering this kind of material will leave your customer service employees with gaps to fill in accordance to the brand and its messaging. When there are gaps to fill, they will be filled with personal judgment. This leads to inconsistencies in routine and the accumulation of that can lead to a bad service reputation for your company.
Your training materials should be very detailed so that no stone is left unturned, i.e., answer every possible question with next step guidance. With Lessonly, there’s no limit to the number of learning materials you can create, deliver, assess, and update. From customer service tips to bad customer service stories, you can build and train employees in bulk with Lessonly’s learning platform.
Whatever learning platform you use for your customer service training, build out the framework with your objectives and learners in mind. As a brand, there are certain characteristics of customer service you want each representative to keep consistent when talking with customers. Build a lesson on it. How would you provide excellent customer service to a confused customer? More than likely, it starts with discovery questions. But in what order? Build a lesson on it. What’s the criteria that defines good customer service skills in retail? Build a lesson on it. How do I summarize all the material in a resource that customer service employees can reference quickly? Create a lesson on the keys to good customer service!
Throughout your training material, sprinkle in examples of good customer service. If you’re at a loss for examples, use some funny videos from YouTube in your lesson. Training for employees shouldn’t be a monotonous experience. It’s the foundation for their future performance. If proper training in the workplace isn’t taken care of, the company and the employee will struggle.
We also suggest creating short, bite-size lessons for your learners. Learners are less hesitant to jump into learning something if the material is brought on at a cadence. They’ll feel more inclined to absorb the information within each lesson as well. Think of it this way, if you hand someone a thick textbook and require them to read it in two days, the chances are, very little of the information will be retained. Whereas if you give a learner the same textbook and require them to read a chapter a day, that learner thinks, “Oh, that’s easy enough,” and can focus attention on the material instead of the pressure of simply completing the task on time.
How to Build the Best Customer Service Training Programs with Lessonly
Lessonly is learner-focused, meaning before we approach any new addition or change to our product, we think about the learner first. Lessonly makes it easy for learners, too. If you just hired a group of employees, you can brief them on the basics before their first day! Learners can learn materials at their convenience before the due date. They can refer back to the material on any mobile, smart device as well.
Assigning and tracking in Lessonly goes further than a one-off action. Once learners are registered in Lessonly, you can assign them by their names instead of their email addresses. You can create groups, assign managers to groups, and access all the learning material data in the Gradebook features.
Lessonly is considered a learning automation platform. This is a reflection of automated functions incorporated into the software. When assigning lessons or courses they can be scheduled to assign ahead of time on a certain date, and at a cadence, whether that be weekly, monthly, or annually.
You can also trigger lessons in Lessonly. This works like a queue. If there is a set of lessons a learner needs to take in a certain order, those lessons can be organized like so. When a learner is finished taking Lesson A, Lesson B is trigger-assigned to them, and so on.
As we mentioned earlier, managers can be assigned to groups. This opens up the floor to democratized learning. In a company, instead of an HR department being solely in charge of training, heads of departments can be managers in Lessonly to assure the proper learning of their employees. For example, a sales director (as a “Manager” in Lessonly) has direct input on the creation, organization, and delivery of learning materials for representatives. Managers have the same privileges as administrators in Lessonly, but those privileges are only to their select group of learners. A manager can build lessons and incorporate quiz questions, polls, and free-response questions into lessons to obtain feedback and learning data from learners. This helps clarify the current standing of knowledge for an individual, for the group, and for the company. With assessment data, managers can turn numbers and feedback into improvements in action and innovation. Learning within a company becomes cohesive; the company works together to maintain common-knowledge by having input into learning.
Get your customer service team on the same page and keep them there. It all starts with a seamless learning system. It all starts with Lessonly.
The Benefits of Customer Service Training are Endless
Still skeptical? Check out Lessonly’s ebook The Business Impact of Customer Service Training & Enablement to see 15 stats that answer the questions, “Why is customer service training important.” If you’re ready to improve your business outcomes, then we can help! Check out our free customer service training materials including customer service training ideas, a customer service training manual, and more. Here’s to better customer service and happier customers!