Continual Training is the Key to a Great Customer Service Team

Even if you’ve got the highest quality product around, which is available to buy at an affordable price, there are certain consumers that won’t part with their money unless they’ve been treated the right way. These days, consumers require a great deal of attention, consideration and respect, as precarious market conditions and increased competition mean that losing out on just one sale could have dramatic consequences.

Therefore, several businesses are prioritising customer service, as this can make all the difference. After all, 89 per cent of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after experiencing poor customer service. What’s more, consumers are two times more likely to share their bad customer service experiences than they are to talk about positive ones.

Reel off these facts and figures to your staff each day and they might make more of an effort in the short-term. However, the only way to instil a permanent behavioural change, which will have your employees prioritising the wants and needs of every customer that walks in the door, is through training. However, this is sometimes easier said than done…

The wrong way to train your customer service team

Traditional and existing training methods are from ideal when it comes to teaching customer service theories and principles for several reasons. First and foremost, it often takes place in an arena or environment far away from the workplace.

This makes it difficult for employees to relate to the concepts and coaching they are being taught. As for retaining and reciting this information, staff members often struggle to transfer classroom teaching to real-life scenarios. And all of this doesn’t take into account the rather boring and tedious nature of listening to a teacher, writing down notes and taking an exam when the course has finished.

Then there is the issue of bombarding employees with a vast amount of information in a very short period of time. A lot of training only lasts a day or so, but in this time members of staff are expected to learn, understand and remember a great deal. But it has been proven that people do not benefit from this kind of teaching in the long-term. Instead, it is far more beneficial to educate and coach in short sharp doses over a period of time. In other words, continual training is the key to a great customer service team.

The right way to train your customer service team

Rather than subjecting your workforce to condensed, monotonous and uninspiring one-off training sessions, think about introducing continual teaching and tuition. Along with being far more enjoyable for employees, they are also much better at teaching your team how to deliver great customer service.

Furthermore, it doesn’t have to be a formal program or course that members of staff need to leave work for…

Take the famous ‘daily line-up’ approach used by the Ritz-Carlton. Once a day for a couple of minutes, the workforce gathers to discuss and review one of the company’s key customer service principles. While this might work wonders with hospitality organisations, it can also be incredibly successful and fruitful for several other businesses, regardless of their size or sector.

Implementing daily training

Explore the idea of holding daily meetings with every department at the same time. Use these valuable few minutes to discuss one aspect of customer service that you want to focus on or prioritise and see what employees have to say. They may have encountered problems recently and need help to overcome the situation in the future or received praise from a consumer for something they said and did.

Try and host this meeting in an environment or setting where staff feel comfortable and aren’t afraid to speak out.

However, if you want to create the best consumer experience possible, it is vitally important to concentrate on customer service issues at these daily sessions and not functional problems. There is a good chance that technical aspects of the job will frustrate and fluster employees, which could eventually take precedence over customer service. But remember that these situations or snags can usually be fixed fairly easily, whereas convincing a consumer to come back after having a bad experience is a lot more difficult. So focus on your primary objective of delivering superior customer service and be sure that employees have the same mind-set too.

Continual training with Wranx

Even though these informal meetings are a great way of keeping tabs on employee performance and customer service principles, there is another non-invasive method for introducing and integrating continual consumer-focused training.

Wranx’s multi-device solution enables members of staff to learn about customer-service principles without having to leave their place of work. Available on smartphone, tablets and desktop, employees can start their learning on one device and complete it on another.

Even so, this isn’t a one-off training program, as Wranx Drills will deliver short sharp quizzes of 10 questions each day. Therefore, your workforce won’t be overwhelmed by a great deal of information all at once and can gradually learn new skills or expertise over time. This type of advanced learning, called spaced repetition, has been scientifically proven to move items from our short-term memory to our long-term memory in an incredibly effective way.

Essentially, we show your staff members the question and answer at the same time. By telling us how well they know a subject, we can schedule future questions accordingly. Topics that are easily understood won’t appear again for some time, but themes that require more work will come up the following day.

As for you the employer, comprehensive facts and figures can be found using our deep-dive reporting. From enrolment metrics and retention rates to employee progress and predicted course completion dates, every piece of data you could possibly need is easily available. Therefore, there is no reason why continual training cannot be adopted by your business, as it is far more effective at achieving exemplary customer service standards.

Written by: Persia Shahkarami

Persia is passionate about helping organizations improve employee engagement across their professional development initiatives.
Published: 17 Oct, 2014