Customer expectations have evolved and so have customer service standards that are a leading differentiator for shoppers to consider before they make a purchase.
Research shows an 80% increase in revenue for companies that focus on enhancing their customer experience.
And to provide a stellar customer experience and service, every employee needs to receive customer service training, regardless of their location and working space. Even though the depth of training and knowledge that they need differs based on each employee’s role in the company, there are some essential elements that you need to incorporate in your training plan.
For this reason, developing an effective customer service training program is imperative to ensure that your employees can meet and surpass customers’ expectations.
Here are some of the critical components of an effective customer service training plan.
Your employees must have in-depth working information and knowledge about the company’s offerings. Today, customers can quickly look up the essential products and services information on their own.
Therefore, the customer service training plan needs to have all the necessary details of your offerings and meet different customers’ requirements and needs.
As customers have access and feasibility to get all the information immediately, product knowledge is paramount and has become a vital element of the corporate customer service training spectrum.
Organizations need to prioritize educating the team members with detailed product information to create and deliver impactful customer experiences.
Understand The Customers
It is also essential to make sure that you understand your customers accurately. Before planning your customer service courses, you must know the intended audience for that program and the goals you need to achieve.
Customer analytics is central to creating a customer service program. You require the data that indicates the following aspects:
- What are your customers’ expectations from your brand?
- What’s the optimal way to connect and interact with your customers?
- What are your customers’ perceptions of your brand?
You might have most of the insights and data. However, leveraging this information helps you better structure your customer service training programs that ensures that your employee engages and connect with the clients in a meaningful way.
Also, this helps you make sure that your client service training plan will cover all the vital customer aspects. As per Gallup research, leveraging analytics to execute targeted campaigns for engaging the customers emotionally can help you generate 55% higher share and 50% higher revenue.
Of course, the gathered data will change over time. However, you can cultivate the right approach in your customer service trainee team, making it easier for you to communicate and educate your employees.
Soft skills are yet another critical component to incorporate in your customer service training plan that can help your employees communicate seamlessly with the customers.
From a customer service team’s standpoint, it is essential to indulge in courses and training programs that strengthen trainees’ technical skills and enhance their soft/common skills, specifically communication.
When teams can convey and interact with customers with transparency and clarity, it makes for a more satisfying process.
Incorporating soft skills in your customer service training programs denote that the courses and plans are focused on making sales as well as investing and providing exceptional customer service.
Some of the core skills that you need to consider including in your customer service training program are:
- Clear communication
- Active listening
- Positive language
Naturally, customers like a brand and have greater chances of repeat business when you have strong customer support and accommodating client service representatives.
Ensuring that your employees have the skills essential to communicate effectively can significantly improve your business-customer relationships and also helps you promote brand loyalty.
Company Culture, Value, And Mission
Employees need to have an in-depth understanding of the organization’s values, mission, and culture. It is imperative for businesses to educate their workforce on what they aim to achieve and accomplish in the future.
Also, this gives a clear direction to your company’s mission and makes your employees feel valued, motivating them to move forward in a similar approach with enthusiasm.
And the case is no different for the customer service training plans as they aim to interact and engage with customers. Embodying the company’s vision, mission, and values in the training sessions will reflect the representative’s conversation and help them better align the information and project.
These skills have an integral role to play that helps you formulate practical customer engagement training courses.
Incorporating and integrating each of these skills into your plan and leveraging blended learning is another essential part of practical customer service training.
When done appropriately and with the right approach, these skills can help employees provide impressive customer service. Additionally, it’s a great idea from the customers’ perspectives and allows your company to grow and scale with precision.
The 70:20:10 Framework And Blended Learning
A customer service training plan can be more effective and practical when you integrate it with blended learning programs that leverage multiple training methods to engage learners. Also, adopting the 70:20:10 framework is a valuable and helpful model for training.
This approach perceives that people learn best when 70% is experiential training, 20% is focused on social training, followed by 10% formal.
Being one of the most actionable ways to help trainees retain knowledge, the 70:20:10 approach enables learners to acquire skills and describes its influence on their learning and development.
Experiential training techniques are typically based on getting experience on the job. It includes the following.
- Simulation allows employees to work through everyday scenarios in a risk-free setting.
- Employees can refer to job aids, including pamphlets, posters, or mobile PDFs, which can help them provide correct information at the right time
- Tools and platforms that help employees walk through the technical processes
Social methods for customer service pieces of training focus on learning with others. It includes the following.
- Lunch and Learn is a more conventional training method that encourages group interactions and discussions collectively during lunch.
- Mentorship Programs, a model that provides the workforce with a peer or mentor they can work and collaborate with and ask questions, is an incredibly effective tool.
- Role-playing occurs when two employees take turns and work through different customer scenarios to implement their skills.
Formal training ways are usually more conventional, and here is what they consist of.
- Instructor-led training sessions directed by an instructor
- Online learning or eLearning is becoming a more practical form of education and training.
- Mobile learning is similar to eLearning to some extent, which enables the learners to use the knowledge on the go via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
- Videos are an interactive, engaging and valuable tool as they are to the point, explicit in nature and short.
Formal, social, and experiential training techniques are all practical and effective; however, the most well-rounded customer service training courses leverage a mix of the 70:20:10 framework and blended learning.
You can utilize training approaches to create a customer service training program that leverages multiple methods to engage, aware, and educate employees and help them retain knowledge.
Even though every training technique listed is practical and valuable, scenario-based learning is also a crucial component and offers some significant benefits that you can take advantage of.
Scenario-based learning is quite an impactful training method that helps enhance productivity and increase the effectiveness of the overall customer training program. One of the most common ways of scenario-based learning is simulations. They are like role-playing but performed specifically on a digital platform.
Simulations considerably increase knowledge and engagement retention rates. It leverages storytelling and makes the content easy to understand and relatable for the learners.
It engages the learners emotionally, which triggers both short-term and long-term memory, which makes the content easier to retain and apply the information later on for customer’s issues. This also enables them to apply the knowledge in real-life experiences. When employees practice a skill/method during simulation, they are more likely to use it in actual customer-related scenarios than other forms of training.
Above all, this learning approach offers the ability to monitor the progress and knowledge of the employees involved in the training sessions and provide them with instant feedback. Simulations provide input with accuracy so employees know if they need to make improvements or amend something instantaneously. And since the feedback is automated, it is unbiased.
Tracking employee development provides an excellent opportunity to identify areas or patterns where they are struggling and help them along the way.
A well-rounded customer service training plan helps you offer a consistent brand experience to your clients.
To accomplish that, you must make sure that your employees receive adequate training that helps them identify the blind spots and understand customers accurately. A robust learning platform like MCI offers various customer experience-related courses like a customer training course, customer service diploma courses, etc., that can help you learn through practical implications.
It also helps you develop an actionable plan and achieve your targets with seasoned trainers who carefully help you throughout the learning sessions.