Tips for Trainers or Managers
Whether you are an experienced trainer, or a manager / supervisor who is looking at delivering customer service training for the first time, it's useful to get some tips and ideas which will help you deliver great customer service training.
Our tips and ideas are tried and tested; we want to help you make your training sessions
A lot of time, energy and money can be easily be spent or wasted in delivering training that doesn't hit the mark. Start by thinking through what you want to achieve from your training. Do you want to develop
Think through the business case for the training.
How will your organization and your people benefit from the customer service training?
There is a direct cost to training, make sure you don't overlook the cost of not training people. Both you people and your customers will feel it.
Ask ten customers what makes for good customer service and you're likely to get ten different answers. It's important that the content of your training reflects the reality of your business or organization.
Think through the level of service you should be providing for your customers. That will vary depending on whether you sell products or services; the prices or fees you charge; the lifetime value of your customer and the competitiveness of your market place.
Here's some thought starters to help you think this through. More...
When a new employee starts work, a lot of time is spent detailing company policies and procedures.
How much time do you spend training a new person on using your technology or your systems?
How much time do you spend training them on the attitudes, skills and behaviors which will deliver the levels of customer service your brand depends on?
Start as you mean to go on. Make it clear from Day 1, just how important customer service is to your brand and your organization. Be specific. Customer service means different things to different people. Your employees need to be clear how you want them to deal with and help your customers. Give clear examples of the levels of service you want customers to experience.
What's it like to be a customer of your organization?
What level of service do they experience?
What kind of experience would you like them to have?
What is the gap between your vision for customer service and the reality of your customers experience?
Walking in your customer's shoes can be very useful as part of your customer service training. Often teams become caught up in their internal processes, they become entrenched in their own world, their own systems. Develop their empathy, by building their understanding of what it's like in your customer's shoes.
Employees who are connected with their customers are generally more engaged employees. Help employees engage better with their customers by keeping the content of your training real.
Collect examples of customer contact and customer experience and weave those into your training. Give people a chance to explore their options for helping a customer.
Help people to understand the balance between helpfulness and accuracy. It can be very easy for people to try to wow a customer, but actually they may promise something that your organization just can't deliver. Keep it real.
Practice is where the real understanding and learning happens. Provide lots of realistic examples for employees to practice. Make them increasingly more challenging.
There's some ideas for you on roleplays and simulations here.
Think about the format you'll training will take. Consider using some or all of the following:-
Remember the old adage - telling isn't training. Your participants will not develop the necessary customer service skills and attitudes by telling them what to do. They need to understand, explore and experience in order to develop their thinking and behaviour.
Participation makes training more enjoyable, more lively. Participants are more engaged. You role is not to present, it's to create a space and an environment for thinking, practice and to build confidence and a commitment to action.