Customer experience can greatly impact a company in so many ways, both positive and negative. To give you more context on how valuable customer experience is, a study conducted by Salesforce found that 84% of customers value a company’s customer service as much as its products.
But, good customer service is easier said than done. Another report indicates that around 55% of agents need better training in order to perform well at work. This highlights the importance of proper customer service training and how it can help equip agents with the right knowledge and skills that they’ll need to have successful interactions with customers.
In this article, we’ll discuss customer service training ideas that you can use to boost your team’s overall performance and provide positive experiences for your customers.
Customer Service Training Idea #1 – Product Quizzes
Do your team members know your product inside and out? As customer service agents, it’s important to be able to answer questions that customers might have regarding the company’s products or services. By repeatedly testing this knowledge through product quizzes, you’re helping your team retain important information in their long-term memory.
To get started, you can try using online quiz makers like Quizlet, Interact, ClassMarker, or EdApp, which is also a free learning management system and microlearning platform. One of EdApp’s latest features is called Rapid Refresh and this quiz software allows you to create and deliver quizzes at regular intervals and helps you reinforce learning. You’ll also have access to analytics, which can give you insight into your team’s knowledge gaps and help you understand their overall performance.
If you want to set up your quiz, all you have to do is fill out a spreadsheet template with all your questions and choose whether you want your team to receive short quizzes daily, weekly, or in a single sitting. You can also incorporate gamification elements like the leaderboards feature, which allows the team to see their quiz performance rankings. This is a fun and competitive way of getting everyone to complete their customer service training.
Customer Service Training Idea #2 – Listening Exercises
A huge part of an agent’s job is listening to customer calls. If you’re not confident with your team’s listening skills, listening exercises are a great way to train them to become more focused and effective listeners. Through this method, you can try sorting team members into pairs and have them practice calls and take turns responding to each other. You can also incorporate a listening technique called reflective listening, where you repeat what someone has just said in order to clarify the conversation.
If you’ve ever been on a phone call with a customer service representative, you might remember a number of instances when they repeat the information or problem you’ve stated to make sure that they’ve heard you correctly and understood what you meant.
Customer Service Training Idea #3 – Call Review and Feedback
Call reviews are a great way for customer service agents to assess what went right and what went wrong in their calls. Set up a regular meeting with your team where everyone can listen to real recorded calls. After listening to a call together, everyone can participate in the discussion and talk about how they would have handled a customer’s concern. This back and forth sharing of feedback gives everyone in the team more insight into how to handle future calls with similar situations.
Customer Service Training Idea #4 – Mock Calls
Successful customer service teams implement mock calls regularly. Through this training method, agents can learn to adapt to stressful situations and handle concerns more easily before they even begin to talk with real customers. In order to practice, you can divide your team into pairs and give them real-life scenarios that they’ll face every day on the job. Each pair can take turns being both the customer and the agent.
Customer Service Training Idea #5 – Social Media Training
With most companies beginning to optimize the way they work, social media has become an increasingly integral part of not only marketing but also customer service. However, being used to more traditional channels like phone calls and emails, customer service agents might find it more difficult to communicate with customers through social media without proper training or experience.
To overcome this gap in knowledge and skill, you can deploy social media training courses that are designed to help your team handle customer concerns on social media in a professional and effective way.
Customer Service Training Idea #6 – Complaint Handling Exercises
Not all calls are going to be easy and smooth-sailing. In fact, a lot of the time, customer calls will be quite challenging to handle. This is especially true for newer agents who have yet to build up the skills and experience needed to successfully navigate challenging customer calls.
Build your team’s confidence and improve their skills by implementing complaint handling exercises that cover topics like frequent customer complaints, positive and assertive language, solution positioning, overcoming objections, and escalating customer issues to managers. Complaint handling exercises also give your agents a great opportunity to learn from their managers and other senior members of the team.
Customer Service Training Idea #7 – Stress Reduction Activities
Being a customer service agent is not easy. The stress that comes with handling different customer complaints every day can pile up and affect productivity and health. Be sure to regularly check in with your team members to see how they’re doing both physically and mentally and provide them with the opportunities to try out activities like meditation, yoga, and journaling that can help them relax, release tension, and manage all the accumulated stress from work.
Customer Service Training Idea #8 – Crisis Training
Crisis training and crisis communication is carried out by companies that plan ahead and anticipate all possible problems along the way. With this sort of preparation, customer service agents can get trained on how to respond to customer calls during a company crisis situation.
To give you an example, a company that has just released new keyboards find themselves facing hundreds of customer complaints regarding brand new keyboards that don’t work. Since this is a situation that they anticipated and trained for with their crisis communication plan, it is easier for the customer service team to handle these complaints and help the customers get their replacement units.
Customer Service Training Idea #9 – Customer Role-play
Customer role-playing exercises can teach customer service agents empathy, which is a necessary trait in customer service. By learning to step into their customers’ shoes, agents can look at experiences and better understand emotions from their customers’ perspectives. Through customer role-play, they can also determine the ways in which they would like someone to talk to them and help them when they raise a concern.
It also puts things into perspective when customers call upset. For example, maybe a customer is angry and upset on the call because they are victims of an online scam and have no clue how to get back their lost money. In a situation like that, the customer is looking for someone to calmly explain the situation and help them find a solution and this is what agents can learn from role play.
Customer Service Training Idea #10 – Call Scripts and Playbooks
Customer service teams from different industries all have their own unique scripts and playbooks for different customer service channels. For newer recruits, these are important to learn as they serve as clear guidelines in handling customer concerns. By providing your team with these resources, customer service agents can learn how to set clear expectations, show empathy, and address issues in a calm and positive manner. They will also have something to refer to when they don’t know how to deal with a certain situation.
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