Great customer service starts with making great hires. But that’s not where it ends. Providing excellent customer service has never been more critical. According to Gartner’s recent marketing report, 89% of businesses are now expected to compete on customer experience alone, compared to only 36% just a few years prior. No matter how talented your new hires are, they will not be successful without proper training.
So, how can you provide a great training experience for your customer service team? Here are five tips to help you get your team started on the right foot.
According to Micah Solomon, customer service consultant and Forbes contributor, purpose-based customer service training are crucial to providing a high-quality training experience for new hires. They should understand how their role ties into the larger mission statement of the company. For example, Amazon strives to be ‘Earth’s most customer-centric company.’ Everyone from live chat agents to call center operators should understand how their day-to-day responsibilities help them achieve this vision.
Don’t Shy Away From Difficult Subjects
A key way to empower your employees is by acknowledging the difficult situations they will encounter, training them on how to handle them, and ensuring that they know where to find support if needed. Don’t brush off the more stressful situations your employees might face. Your new hires will be grateful to find themselves well equipped to handle difficult interactions when they encounter them.
Share Key Metrics
To succeed in their new roles, new hires must know exactly what it means to perform well. This should be a key part of any training session. Make sure your new hires know how their performance will be measured when their metrics will be shared with them, and how they can find support if they are looking to improve their performance.
Provide Collateral Materials and Other Support
Training sessions can often feel like trying to drink through a firehose – so much information is thrown at new hires. It’s reasonable to assume that not all the information shared at a training session will be retained. That’s why it’s important to provide collateral materials to employees attending training sessions so that they can refer back to or study them as required.
It’s also important to introduce new team members to more experienced employees or managers to ask any questions that will inevitably arise following their training.
Ensure Training is Ongoing
If there is only one training tip you take away from this article, make it this one: training should be ongoing. One session, day or week of training at the beginning of employment is not enough. With the advent of new automation technology, artificial intelligence and social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, customer service is constantly evolving. It’s important to ensure that management keeps up-to-date on the latest trends and finds effective ways to share key information with employees.
Customer service managers would be wise to focus their attention heavily on well-thought-out and current training programs for both current and new employees to gain a competitive edge in their field.