Customer service training is in fact the blueprint for a company’s entire support process. A solid training and development plan ensures that a team operates to consistently deliver good service to customers, with or without a game plan. Whilst a variety of elements go into creating a successful business, customer service is center-stage and every interaction the company has with a customer can affect its bottom line. In today’s competitive marketplace, companies are perpetually searching for business practices that will set them apart and often customer service is what separates companies that thrive from those that fail. Offering customer service training to employees has been shown to drive sales and give businesses a strong competitive advantage. This is why it is imperative that businesses invest in quality programs.
Broadly defined, customer service training refers to teaching employees the knowledge, skills, and competencies required to increase customer satisfaction. Elearning provides employees with those skills and competencies without taking too large of a bite out of the company’s HR budget. As far as learners are concerned, a main advantage of elearning in customer service training is that participants can be scheduled for training in a staggered fashion, and can also work at their own pace.
Training programs yield several benefits for the organization, employees and customers:
- Increased employee motivation & engagement: providing training allows employees to better understand the impact their role has in the organization. Investing in employees also demonstrates that the company cares about their continual development and progress – they feel more valued and this improves motivation and engagement. Employee efficiency is thereby increased and they are better equipped to deal effectively with customers.
- Improved customer service skills: through customer service training, employees improve their knowledge, skills, and competencies and/or acquire new ones. Specific customer service training programs focus on improving communication (such as questioning to understand the customer’s need or problem, listening, confirming understanding, responding with value, using positive language), problem-solving and organizational skills. Training employees on the same set of competencies gives them a standard process to deal with customers – which in the end gives customers a more consistent and professional experience. Through effective training, customer service representatives increase their ability to resolve issues and decrease the number of return calls. Often, trained employees are able to address the concern at the first point of contact, which greatly increases customer satisfaction (see benefit (3) below). The increased motivation and engagement coupled with the new skills creates improved customer service in the company.
- Increased customer satisfaction: the improved manner in which employees interact with customers leads to consumers feeling appreciated and respected. This is critical to any company’s continued success. According to Wikipedia, employees who are properly trained and who demonstrate professional customer service skills can and do improve customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. This, in turn, helps the business retain customers and improve profits as it costs less to retain a customer than to acquire a new one.
- Increased profit: increased customer satisfaction means pleased customers who are more open to additional sales messages and more likely to refer others as potential customers. Basically, what quality customer service training achieves is higher customer retention, the acquisition of new customers, reduced employee turnover and increased sales. Training has a great impact on employee motivation and morale, leading to increased productivity. It’s a simple equation: improved customer service + increased customer satisfaction + increased customer loyalty = an increase in profit.
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