In this article, we will look at 20 of the top customer service training ideas. We will see why they are useful and also see how we can help train in those areas to improve the customer experience. So, let’s get started.
1. Start right away
The first idea to consider is that training should start as soon as possible. Any time wasted means potential customers interacting with customer service representatives who may not be operating at their full potential and may compromise the customer experience.
Of course, time should be spent to make sure you have an effective training regimen. But as soon as you feel ready enough, training should commence.
A quick way to get training up and running is through using a learning management system (LMS). One of the most popular LMS out there is the free-to-use EdApp. It’s also extremely intuitive and can have you create courses in minutes with its simple drag-and-drop interface. Using EdApp can launch your customer service training right away.
Icebreakers are a great way to get people to know each other and become comfortable. This is almost an essential part of creating any training program or learning environment. With icebreakers, there can be an extended period of awkwardness between participants in the training.
An icebreaker activity involves some sort of simple learning activities or light-hearted interaction, such as playing the game Two Truths and a Lie or having participants survey each other.
With an LMS like EdApp, you can also get your trainees to engage in social interaction. That’s because EdApp has social features like Discussions and Assignments. There you can assign your trainees to engage with others to break the ice during online training.
3. Utilize technology
Another thing that customer service training need is to utilize the latest technology. Your younger customer service representatives may already be fluent in using various forms of technology, such as accomplishing an online course or task through mobile phones, but other workers may not be so proficient. Your technology should enable simpler, smarter training (not the other way around), making it easy for all team members to use.
Helping them to utilize technology when doing online training can allow them to maximize their learning experience. A mobile-first LMS, like EdApp, can also assist in this. That’s because it is designed to be adaptive to any screen size. That way, learners can do their online training and lessons on the go as easily as they can sitting at a computer.
4. Social media training
Many customers like to contact you through social media and are many of them also use social media to express customer satisfaction. However, there are new social media sites appearing all the time. Getting your customer service employees current with all the new social media sites and the norms associated with each takes special corporate training.
Having pre-built training courses that you can just plug into with your LMS can be very helpful in this situation. For example, the ready-made training course Social Media and Electronic Communication (captured below) can be imported into your LMS and pushed to your learners within minutes.
5. Product demonstrations
Keeping track of all the products and services that your company offers can be a time-consuming process for customer service representatives. In today’s constantly changing world, it can be hard to keep up. Therefore, it’s important that representatives are shown product demonstrations so that they know what’s going on.
A good LMS will help you push out those product demonstrations easily to all the customer service reps that need them. This can be accomplished with microlearning. These are bite-sized lessons that can be pushed out at any time to educate employees on new products or services, perfect for corporate training.
6. Cross-team and intra-team collaboration
Cross-team and intra-team collaboration is another great idea for customer service training. This is also a form of social learning which can be effective because it increases motivation as well as puts learning into a different context.
This type of collaboration can lead to gamified learning. This is where learners work together, like doing learning activities, to achieve a goal with some type of reward. This can be a real-world reward, such as a gift certificate. Working together with a group makes achieving the reward even more satisfying.
7. Role-play to understand the customer
Understanding the customer experience is something that can be helped through role-play. There are all sorts of different types of role-plays that can be done, such as role-playing angry customers, different types of telephone calls, or some sort of crisis that you can turn around to attain customer satisfaction.
An LMS like EdApp can help with this through more of its social learning options. Live teleconferencing support lets learning and development teams and trainers communicate over distances in real-time so they can engage in these sorts of activities.
8. Stress-reduction techniques
Since customer service workers can get tense from dealing with irate customers, another great idea to include in customer service training is stress-reduction techniques. This can involve teaching them techniques like taking deep breaths, getting away from their desks, or listening to music.
As with other ideas, you can freely steal content from the extensive course library at EdApp, such as using the training course called Managing Leadership Stress. Using these pre-built courses will lower your own stress as you have less to deal with when creating courses.
9. Quality assurance
Training can also be included for quality assurance. Some ideas for this include having your customer service representatives listen to or watch recorded customer service interactions and then offer their own assessments. This can help get perspective on what to do or not do in certain situations.
Quality assurance training programs can also be found in the free, editable course library of EdApp. The online course called Quality Control gives a good overview for learners about what it takes to ensure quality in an organization.
10. Provide additional learning opportunities
Another idea for customer service training that we will discuss in this article is about remembering to provide additional learning opportunities. This means that after their training is complete, they will not feel like they have reached the end of the road in regards to their learning opportunities.
As with many of the other ideas listed here, there are numerous other courses available for free on EdApp that you can include in your training programs. Deploying an online course to further their knowledge and skills will ensure that your customer service trainees never run out of ways to improve.
11. Product quizzes
Customer service representatives must be able to answer inquiries that customers may have about the company’s products or services and is a key factor to customer satisfaction. You can assist your team to retain crucial information in their long-term memory by repeatedly assessing their expertise with product quizzes.
You can try using online quiz makers like EdApp’s Rapid Refresh, which 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 so learning and development can be adjusted.
12. Five whys techniques
Another customer service training idea is teaching your employees about the five whys techniques. It works when a problem is identified with the idea of the root problem being identified by the time the final why is asked. After identifying the root problem, the countermeasure to fix this problem should be employed, which should fix the initial issue in theory. Teaching employees in your customer service team to quickly ask and answer these five questions should help with figuring out solutions promptly.
This kind of activity can also be hosted on your LMS through a discussions and assignments feature, which opens up coach-based discussions and reflection. It would help if you did the five whys technique with your customer service team so that they can learn how to solve problems quickly and effectively on their own.
13. Include storytelling
While frequently overlooked, storytelling is one of the most efficient learning activities to impart knowledge to your customer service representatives. By using anecdotal evidence and case studies, as well as transforming content into a relatable scenario, it’s easier for employees to recall a message or lesson. This is because stories give meaning to your data and information, which is much simpler to grasp and comprehend.
14. Spaced repetition learning
Applying the spaced repetition strategy can help your customer service reps learn, retain, and embed information in their long-term memory. Since lessons are distributed and retaken at increasing intervals, it encourages their brains to continue processing the information, rather than simply storing them in their memory and forgetting them later on.
The Brain Boost feature in EdApp is an advanced version of spaced repetition. It has a powerful, algorithm-based feature that automatically sends learners knowledge and content that they haven’t mastered yet. Instead of merely providing them with learning content that they have already shown outstanding retention, the goal is to assist them in absorbing essential concepts that they need the most. To boost the learning experience, trainers will only need to turn on the toggle button to enable the Brain Boost function in their courses, as it is already built-in to the EdApp platform. No other add-ons are required.
15. Complaint handling activities
Unfortunately, not all calls will be easy and smooth-sailing— there will be customer calls that are quite challenging to handle. With this in mind, it might be worth considering implementing complaint handling exercises to build your team’s confidence and improve their skills. For your corporate training, you can cover topics like frequent customer complaints, positive and assertive language, solution positioning, overcoming objections, and escalating customer issues to managers. This activity can also give be a great learning experience as employees get to learn from their managers and other senior members of the team.
16. Organize telephone customer interviews
This customer service training activity helps employees witness the experiences of the customers on a more personal note. Your customer service team can identify problems with products or services during client interviews, in addition to learning where customer service can be improved. Doing the telephone customer interviews as part of your training programs can also be beneficial for customers as they can feel appreciated while employees learn how they feel.
17. Translate your customer service training materials
It’s vital to translate your customer service learning materials, even more, if you’re working with remote employees all over the world. This is primarily because it eliminates the language barrier that inhibits your global workforce from learning. Allowing them to access their training course in their native tongue will make it easier for them to retain new information and apply it to their job function.
18. Provide crisis training
Crisis training can help prepare your customer service representatives for any possible problems they may encounter along the way. To give you an example, a company that has just released new keyboards finds itself 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.
19. Secret Caller
Doing secret caller training can help identify common problems that go missed by customer service managers. This customer service training idea can highlight key areas that personnel need to be addressed. One key advantage of implementing secret caller training is your employees will be on their best behavior all the time, especially if they are aware that their managers will call them anytime. But on the other hand, this could also make them nervous and cause them to make mistakes.
20. Reward top performers
Last but not least, reward your top performers. This customer service training idea can help boost their morale and motivate them to exert extra effort for their training. In fact, a recent survey found that affirmation, feedback, and rewards can encourage 37% of employees to improve even further their performance.
You can use EdApp’s Achievements feature to customize banners and badges representing the achievements of your customer service reps. You can also combine real awards like a brand-new gadget or a free weekend getaway trip. If you’re short on budget, even a simple free coffee voucher or discount coupons can go a long way in expressing your sincere gratitude towards their hard work and contributions to the success of your company.
Why improve customer service training?
Great customer service is not a skill that all people are born with. But like any other skill, practice in the presence of a competent educator focused on learning and development will help take average customer service employees to a whole new level.
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We have explored several ideas for customer service training in this article. We have also seen how an LMS like EdApp can aid with customer service training. What other tips for customer service training do you have?