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What are the Essential Components of a Customer Service Training Plan?

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Customer Service Training

Important Aspects of an Effective Customer Service Training Plan

Customer Service has become one of the key differentiating aspects for consumers when considering a product choice. Today a company can make or break it depending on the quality of their customer service. Recent studies suggest that providing outstanding customer service will outweigh product development costs by 2022.

Many organizations however are unware of the problems that are present in their customer service. Recent surveys have illustrated that about 80% of organizations think they provide the best customer service. Even though the actuality is something else.

Designing a successful customer service training plan is the best way to ensure that your employees are capable of meeting and even exceeding the customer’s expectations. Not every customer service training plan is effective or successful though. However, below are some of the elements that every customer service training plan should include to increase its efficacy.

Customer Service Training Skills

Every employee in the workplace needs some basic level of customer service training, regardless of their domain space. However, the depth of knowledge and training will vary depending on the roles of the employees.

Following are the 3 basic types of skills that should be included in your training program;

1. Product Knowledge

It is important for all employees to have an in-depth knowledge about the organization and its offerings. Customers can look up & find basic information about the products and services on their own. That information is easily available to them. Employees need to not only know the product details but also how this product or service fulfils their customer’s needs.

Customers have been becoming intelligent with the passage of time, and product knowledge is a crucial aspect of the customer service training plan. Organizations have realised that their employees need to the product details fully in order to provide the best customer experience.

2. Company Values & Mission

Every employee should thoroughly understand the company’s missions & values. It is very important for an organization to inform their employees of its goals and what it plans to achieve in the future. This helps to a direction to the mission, and also makes the employees feel respected & values.

Subsequently this encourages the employees to work with more passion and enthusiasm. The case is no different for customer service team. As they are the first line of interaction with the customer, they need to represent the company’s vision & mission into their service level conversations so as to project that information to the customers.

3. Soft Skills

Put it simply, soft skills help your employees communicate better with their customers. The importance of the skill cannot be undervalued at any point of time. For a great customer service team, it is essential that they nourish their technical as well as soft skills.  The better the team is at customer communication, the more satisfied is the customer at the end.

Incorporating soft skills training in your customer service training plan signifies that the organization isn’t just concerned about sales, but also involved in providing best customer service. Some of the best soft skills one should consider in the training plan are:

  • Clear Communication
  • Empathy
  • Active Listening
  • Persuasion
  • Positive Language

Majority of the customers stay loyal with a brand because of their friendly customer service experience. Ensuring that your employees possess the soft skills for effective communication will improve customer relationship and brand loyalty. For more information on soft skill training, check out blog on the importance of soft skill training for your employees.

Each of the above skills are important and required in creating a successful customer service training plan. Incorporating these skills into a plan using techniques like blended learning is another critical aspect of customer service training. When executed the right way, these skills become the backbone of a great customer service experience. This also allows your workforce to contribute towards their growth and the growth of the organization.

The 70:20:10 Framework and Blended Learning

Blended learning program has always resulted in effective training content as it uses multiple methods to engage the learners. The 70:20:10 framework suggests that people learn best when 70% of the training is experience based, 20% is social based and 10% is based on formal training. This model framework is one of the most effective ways to design the training plan and retain the knowledge learnt. This framework allows learners to acquire skills quickly.

Experiential training methods are primarily based on gaining on-the-job experience. That includes the following:

  • Tools such as Electronic Performance Support System (EPSS) that uses icons and balloons to guide the employee through different technical processes.
  • Simulations that lets employees work through real time scenarios without having the fear of negative consequences.
  • Pamphlets, posters, PDFs or any other job aid tools that employees can refer anytime.

Social training focuses on learning with others. That includes:

  • Mentorship Programs: Providing employees with a peer or mentor that they can ask questions or work alongside is a proven, useful tool.
  • Role Playing: Employees take turns acting through different customer situations to practice their skills.
  • Lunch & Learn: A traditional training style where employees interact and learn during a luncj event.

Formal Training is more traditional in nature and includes the following:

  • Videos: A useful tool in engaging its learners. Short and to-the-point.
  • Instructor Led Training: The classic style. A classroom learning based approach. Taught by an instructor or trainer.

Though most training methods listed above are effective, there is one form of training that has its own set of benefits quite apart from the others. That training is called Scenario-based training.

Scenario Based Training

Scenario based training provide additional advantages that will maximise the efficiency and impact of your customer service training plan.

Simulations are the best form of scenario based learning. They help increase engagement and knowledge retention. Simulations makes use of storytelling techniques which makes the content easy to understand. It creates real life scenarios which helps in making the training more relatable.

Simulations engage a learner’s emotion. Thereby ensuring that the information gets stored in both short-term and long-term memory. Additionally, simulations allows you to get feedback instantly and can track and evaluate employee progress immediately.

Final Thoughts

Providing excellent customer service experience is the goal of every organization. But it’s a goal that few manage to achieve. One prime reason could be the fact that the organization lacks a good training program that delivers the information in the right way.

KloudLearn helps you to bridge that gap to deliver the best customer service training program. Our powerful LMS platform uses the power of blended learning to create a seamless learning experience that will train your employees to provide outstanding customer service experiences. Visit KloudLearn today to find out how you can create impactful, engaging customer service training programs.

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