Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always one coming. However, a dissatisfied customer once leaves the doors, may come back bringing a downfall for the company. A good customer review might have a zero to slight effect on your footfall, it is the bad reviews that hold the strength to bring down the revenue of the company.
“Customer is the king” is a proverb that needs to be applied with the right tactics so as the benefits reach both the business organization and the customer. The marketing efforts that your branding team is making will remind the customers about your product and services. But how you will become a memory in their minds forever?
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The answer is simple, EXPERIENCE and not just any experience but the delight of offering customer service experience is what every consumer needs. Moreover, customer services go on to prove the story the brand is telling through the marketing initiatives. One happy customer forms a chain of satisfied customers if the business stands to live by diligent customer services.
All of this comes down to how businesses need to strategize their customer services. Not in the end, not in the middle, but customer support strategy starts from the very beginning of the organization. The vision of a business revolves around what kind of customer needs you wish to fulfil.
The question is who will cater to the services of customer support, how will they be executed and where? All of this can be answered by one simple word; TRAINING. The customer support team won’t just wake up and begin to provide customer support. Training becomes the base of customer service support for businesses to preach the goals of the company and excel in customer satisfaction.
Perks of training the customer service team
Brand building is an important feature of why your sales and marketing team needs to excel in timely and efficient customer support. Additionally, your customer is more likely to give a positive word of mouth if their complaint or query is handled on time with appropriate solutions.
Training for customer support does not limit to the nature of communication, rather it also preaches the employees to embrace various technologies from where customer support can be provided. For example, mail enquires physical representatives, Chatbot assistants, etc.
Some people could say that hiring skilled employees for customer service does the job. However, even a skilled employee needs to understand the environment of every organization. Additionally, every business unit deals with different types of customers, and not every consumer can be treated the same way. Thus, training is an opportunity to mitigate those differences.
Let us embrace a training guide to amplify consumer’s customer service experience.
The Training Guide
1. Team Engagement builds the base
When a new hire enters the doors of the company, businesses need to ensure to familiarize them with the customer service team. This is the first step to creating a comfortable atmosphere for both existing and new employees. Moreover, understanding your team will help to strategize better and efficient training plans. Host an informal gathering to break the ice and letting the new employees understand how work is executed in your business environment. Let the team bond on an informal level to get comfortable working around each other.
Engage the employees in a team exercise, creating situational-based scenarios encountered during a customer service interaction. Gather everyone for a team lunch and discuss the formal and informal agenda of the company.
2. Product training sets the stage
For the customer service team to work on their toes and keep the customers happy, they need to know about the company’s product or service from top to bottom. Apart from the A-list employees, the front desk operators should also understand what the business delivers and stands for, to create an everlasting impact.
Have your support team conduct a demonstration session along with the teammates. This exercise can turn out to be a very effective method of peer learning. The demonstration will showcase the level of knowledge each employee possesses, thus defining the roadmap to improvised training methods.
Today the customers are already smart enough to understand the basic details of the product services. Thus to assist the advanced consumer base the support team needs to get their hands, not just on product information, but also different means to address customer queries.
3. Training on the go
Not only the fresh hires, but even the existing employees can benefit from timely training knowledge. introducing a quarterly or yearly training system helps to check the efficiency of all the employees and keep them on track of the company goals. Furthermore, timely training also involves emergency training where the employees are educated to function according to any crisis or change of product in the company.
4. Training for nurturing Soft Skills
Before we make sure that the customer service team knows to work around the technology of the business, it is essential to establish some interpersonal skills that create a smooth flow of communication between the team and the customer. The soft skills as suggested by the name works to build a swift relation with the customer base. Some of the active soft skills that every business unit should involve in their training program are;
- Clear communication
- Active listening
- Use of positive and polite language
- Persuasive communication
- Crisis management
The list is inclusive of the above-given skills but not exhaustive. Business organizations can implement such training programs by creating drills in the organization and set up a mock conversation with the customers. In simple terms, this can be called a practice run where employees are encountered with simple to the tough situation to test their various soft skills.
Several statistics have shown that customers are more inclined towards a brand because of how the staff treats them from the point of brand awareness to the purchase stage, including aftersales support.
5. Include numbers in a training meeting
How far the training has taken the customer experience needs to be monitored by the authorities. This data comes in the form of metrics of performance measurement that assist in changing/enhancing the training model of the customer support team. The key technical aspects that every member of the customer support team should know are as follows.
- Average response time (ATR)
The time to address the query of the customer varies according to the nature and policy of the business. In the training program educate your employees on how long they can take to respond to any customer request.
- First contact resolution (FCR)
Depending on the nature of the request, the support team should be skilled to offer a solution at the first point of contact with the customer.
- Customer satisfaction score (CSAT)
A measuring tool that allows businesses to check upon product performance, services, and brand interaction. The team of customer support can use this data to analyze how satisfied the customers are after having a touchpoint with the support team.
- Number of touchpoints
A statistic that shows how many times a single customer came with the repeated issue to the brand.
All of the above-given data can be again being leveraged to provide incentives to the employees. Creating a reward system is part of the training process. A system that follows the progress of employees after every training program can help the support team stay on their toes. Additionally, using the track of progress businesses can instigate a reward and recognition system to boost employee morale.
6. Training for the right tools
Business units are becoming a blend of online and offline modes of experience. So the customer could be visiting your physical store or even the website and access the products and services. The customer support team here receives training to acquaint themselves with the technology to communicate and address customer queries online.
Some of the technological tools that are commonly used by the business organization are
- Live engagement tools
A platform where the customers can interact with the customer care executive on immediate response time. These live interaction tools include phone calls and video calls which help in addressing the customer complaint on a real-time basis.
Your service team should be well equipped with using the means of technology and the internet. The basic queries are usually addressed by AI Chatbots and only further detailed inquiries are transferred to a live representative. Here factors such as average response time learned during the training come into play.
- Help desk
Business units commonly feature a help desk on their website where the customers can state their queries and expect replies in the form of automation tools, ticket generation, or report generations. Familiarize the customer support team with all the tools being used to bring out the best of their efficiency.
7. Establish internal communication flow
The customer support team does a commendable job when nurtured with the knowledge of the business and the right tools of technology. However, there is one pain point that comes in the life of every customer care executive, which is that they may not have all the answers every time. The complaints or queries of certain customers are defined to be solved at the authoritative level.
In the above-given situation, your training process should also educate the support team to know whom approach when such a situation arises. With the changing level of customer requests, the team addressing the solution may also change.
8. Online training programs
While the business can manage training the employees about the intricate learnings they know, the outside world, i.e. experts also help in establishing a better training program. As a more formal approach, your customer support team can use some knowledge imparted by instructors specifically called for training purposes. On top of that, digital advancement has also led the world to learn and adapt new things through e-learning. The customer service staff is also able to learn at their given convenience on or post their office hours. The short videos have also proved to be entertaining while imparting intellect making it a boon for employee morale.
Moreover, a more dignified approach to training is following the 70:20:10 framework. Under this approach, 70% of the training is conducted on the job, i.e. through experiential learning. The support team tends to learn more from one or two mishaps or lessons taught by the manager than pulling tricks from any book. The next 20% is social training methods, where the peers can teach each other to upscale their efficiency as a support team. The last 10% as we discussed above is formal training which is predefined and subject to expectations of progress from employees.
Make a move towards growth by Training your Customer Support team
At any given point, the customer will come in contact with a representative of your business. Whether they are taking a tour in a grocery store, browsing through an electronic shop, or making an online purchase, one point of contact is always available to address their concerns. Such small points in the customer’s journey help in creating the goodwill of the brand.
Customers may once trust a brand with bad product/ service quality, but if the same brand fails to address the grievances, the business may lose its integrity in front of the customer. Thus, if you have a customer support team that knows all the key values of your business and trained under professional methods of customer delight, such mishaps can be avoided. To say the truth, it is not even about avoiding mishaps, rather every business finds ways to customer retention. While the branding team works on marketing methods of retention, the customer support team stays in touch with the customer to understand their needs directly.
The customer support team can also work efficiently towards collecting feedback from the customers and understand their needs better. The data collected thus can be used to improve the product/services of your business. So make a move today and strengthen your training programs to keep the customers happy and satisfied.