Types of Customer Service Training

As a consumer, there are few things more frustrating than dealing with bad customer service. No matter how good a business or product is, bad customer service can turn buyers away. After all, some people will stop shopping at their favorite store just after one bad customer service experience. That’s why it’s essential to ensure that your business has the best customer service possible. 

Poor service isn’t always the customer service agent’s fault, though. Oftentimes these bad experiences aren’t caused by an agent intentionally treating someone poorly. Instead, they tend to be caused by a lack of skill, understanding, or appropriate resources. This thankfully means that organizations can resolve most issues that cause bad customer service experiences with improved customer service training.

Consider this: even if you hire the best and brightest customer service agents, you may start to notice their performance decline over time. This change isn’t necessarily because they don’t care about their job or the customers. It’s more likely because they’re struggling to keep up with the latest technology, company updates, or practice essential soft skills. 

By providing your customer service teams with the right training, you allow them to hone their skills and gain essential knowledge about their line of work. Not only that, but you also show that you value them as employees and are willing to work with them to improve their skills and careers.

Since there are many types of customer service training available, it’s important to choose the right program for your organization. This can be a challenge for many leaders, especially if they aren’t sure of their employees’ wants and needs. Fortunately, we’re here to help.

Customer Service Training Objectives

Providing your customer service teams with the training they need can make a world of difference, but figuring out which kind of training offers precisely what they need can be more complicated than it sounds. That’s why you should always take your time, do your research, and put the customer service agents first. And while figuring out which type of customer service training is best, it only gets easier once you complete the first step. 

This first step is the most important of all: figuring out why you need customer service training in the first place. The sole reason for providing training shouldn’t just be so that the customer service team performs better. You need to dig deeper than that. What are the objectives of customer service you want to improve? What do you hope for agents to gain from the training program? Do they need to be briefed on a new technology you’re implementing? Are you integrating some new members into the team? Or, do you simply want to provide them with an effective way to gain knowledge and keep their skills sharp?

Answering these questions will narrow the search down significantly. After you’ve familiarized yourself with all the options, you can use your chosen customer service training objectives to complete the next steps in the process.

Types of Customer Service Training Programs

Customer service training is important for every organization as it prevents a significant number of negative customer interactions and the potential of lost revenue. However, not all customer service training programs work for everyone and getting the right one is vital. Once you have an idea of why your agents need training and what your organization hopes to achieve with training, it’s time to look into the different types of customer service training modules and formats you can use. Here are some summaries of the most common types of customer service training formats. 

Instructor-led training

When people envision an instructor-led training program, they often picture uncomfortable classrooms, drab material, and even some dull lectures. Because of this, they tend to dread the phrase “training courses.” However, instructor-led training programs don’t necessarily mean sitting in a classroom or attending a formal seminar. 

Instructor-led training can also be delivered by a fellow agent that’s worked at a company for a while and knows the training material well enough to help other agents. If you’re considering this type of training format, it’s helpful to remember that some people benefit greatly from one-on-one teaching, but others find it unpleasant. Instructor-led training is also a bit more personal, which can result in greater engagement. Additionally, in-person instructor-led training programs enable trainers to monitor their trainees better and analyze their performance on a singular basis. That means that they can give relevant advice for specific scenarios, and, in turn, the trainee can ask questions specific to their own experience. 

Formal classes and seminars

People will be familiar with most of the types of employee training listed here, but this is probably the first one they’ll think of when they hear the phrase “training program.” After all, this is the one you’ll see most outside of a business context. School lessons, hobby classes, and so on are often led by a single trainer who has become a professional in their field.

Whether agents complete an accredited customer service training course or program that’s designed internally, this type of training also works well in most business contexts. That’s because it allows agents to ask questions, voice concerns, and get feedback when they need it. The trainer can also collect and analyze data about agents to see their progress and what, if anything, needs fixing. As with instructor-led training, formal classes and seminars don’t cater to every agent’s learning style. That’s why we recommend taking a hybrid approach to training. This takes us to the next popular training format. 

Webinars

While they may seem similar to formal classes and seminars, webinars have unique benefits compared to live sessions. They still have the benefits of working with a real person and the drawbacks of being uninteresting to some people. 

Webinars don’t require agents to take specific time out of their workday to attend. This means that agents can watch a webinar in-between customer interactions or other scheduled idle time. A webinar can also be accessed from most devices. Most of them can be pre-recorded so that agents can access them when it’s convenient or on-demand when they need a quick refresher.  

Online customer service training

You also can create online customer service training programs around your agents’ schedules thanks to online training software. Similarly to webinars, online training courses can be accessed from an agent’s desk and are available on-demand. And while there are some free customer service training programs out there, we believe that online customer service training is the best way to create unique and personalized training for your organization and agents’ skill sets.

Other Forms of Customer Service Training

There are other forms of training, but they should work in tandem with the ones listed above and not independently. They’re to be used alongside another method for a well-rounded program.

Coaching

Customer service training is about gaining knowledge and skills in general. Coaching is about enhancing what’s already there, addressing room for improvement, and keeping existing skills sharp.

Mentoring

Mentoring is often less formal than one-on-one training. It’s done with a personal, friendly relationship rather than a professional one. It’s also typically from a veteran agent to a newcomer.

Knowledge sharing

Knowledge sharing is a method through which people can share what they’ve learned through first-hand experience with others, so they don’t have to learn it themselves. 

How to Choose the Best Customer Service Training Programs for your Organization

It’s essential to understand all of the factors that go into it when you’re learning how to create a customer service training program. Once you get those right, you can create the best customer service training programs your team has ever seen. Here are a few more things to consider: 

Team size and location

In-person training types of customer service training programs work best for small groups. Larger groups are going to struggle to coordinate schedules. Additionally, in-person training won’t work if the employees work from separate locations.

Training budget

Training is a worthwhile investment, but it’s also important to decide from the start what your training budget is. This will help you narrow down what type of training format best fits your budget constraints. 

Length of training 

Certain training programs take longer than others, so factor in the time frame available. It’s also beneficial to consider how long you’d like to deliver training to your team. Do you just want to deliver one-time product training? Or, do you want to prioritize ongoing training for both new and seasoned agents? 

Deliver the Best Online Customer Service Training with Lessonly by Seismic

There are many customer service training programs online, but none quite like Lessonly by Seismic. Our training, enablement, and coaching software enables support teams to empower agents for success. With Lessonly, you can welcome and ramp new agents with quick, simple, and effective learning paths. Seasoned agents also love that Lessonly allows them to practice essential skills and receive personalized coaching they want for their career. There’s nothing more important than a well-trained customer service department, and the best way to achieve that is with Lessonly. Ready to learn more? Watch this quick preview!