Times change, and so do client requirements. In a tough economic environment, immaculate service can be the key to survival. 57% of clients will buy from those who offer superior service. Think about your clients, and they will recommend you to their partners.
Any productive customer service begins with employees. An effective service culture will turn every customer contact into revenue. To keep up with the times and constantly improve the service level, every outsourcing call center must prioritize employee team training.
The following training ideas will help you to refine productivity, morale, and motivation among your employees. Clear goals and objectives will help your employees make fewer mistakes and complete the assigned tasks more efficiently.
Customer Service Scenarios: How to Manage Any Problem
Replaying possible customer support scenarios is one of the main methods of employee training. It’s not enough to just help customers with their problems. Some of these problems become common, others rarely occur, and they are difficult to fix. But together they form a useful material base for shaping customer service scenarios. They can be thought of as a basic pattern with responses to every specific request.
The best thing about scenarios is that any case can be used as a ready-made answer. But why do we really need ready-made scenarios in customer service?
A call center agent’s job is challenging and exhausting. Not everyone can withstand such a load, so there is a 30-45% personnel turnover in this profession. Continuous training of new call center operators can pose a significant challenge.
Customer service scenarios are not meant to be memorized. They show you the core problem and the right way to solve it. The scenarios can (and should) be used to train new members of your team and give them the necessary experience. It is also a great way to prepare them for an unforeseen case.
Customer service role-play: fantasize and learn
Role-playing is essential for improving your team's skills as well as for hiring new employees. These are practice situations where an experienced team member plays a frustrated (or angry) client and the newbie tries to come up with a solution. We need them for:
- Developing empathy skills. Qualified customer service is impossible without compassion. It allows you to deeply understand the customer’s feelings. Compassionate people are good at helping others because they know how unpleasant certain problems can be. Role-play is an extremely useful tool in such cases. Exercise: To measure emotional quotient, ask, "Tell me about a case where you failed? What feelings did you have?"
- Developing skills of fast thinking. Flawless customer service often requires quick thinking out of the box. Therefore, teach your employees to cope with events outside the normal range. Customer service-learning games help hone this particular skill. The best choice is improvisation because it helps participants to find distinctive solutions on the fly. Exercise: Timed questions. One person asks a question, the second answer it, using no more than a minute.
Customer Service Workshop That Really Works
Any team that wants to be progressive and effective needs training at least once a quarter to maintain productivity. There are two main training types:
- Routine skill testing
- Team building
But sometimes urgent training is needed if associated with a large management campaign, rebranding or crisis. In these cases, your team must be trained fast.
Customer service training modules
Learning is an ongoing process. It is necessary to draw up a plan that includes training aims and requirements along with implementation strategy.
Training programs should not be cumbersome, boring, and they should not contain redundant information. It is difficult for people to master a large amount of material in a short time. For such situations, the solution is to break the course into a few modules. In other words, the training program must be divided into small chunks. The key to success is remembering that the human brain better perceives small, concentrated pieces of information.
Call Center Training: fundamentals and practices
There are several ways to teach the necessary skills and achieve your ultimate goal of serving customers.
1. Individual proficiency
To help your clients, you need some skills to establish positive and reliable communication with customers:
- Optimism. It's not just about a smile. Your speech should also be positive and promising. Wherever communication takes place - on a social network, e-mail, chat, or by phone, negative words should be avoided. Instead of “I'm afraid that...”, your employee can say “I would like to help with...”. It sounds honest and friendly. Team training concept: Write a list of 10 negative support responses. And let them be rewritten positively.
- Empathy. Empathy is key for more than just customer service. We need empathy skills to understand the true feelings of customers, it helps to better see the essence of the problem, and therefore the solutions. But many people find it hard to learn empathy. In such cases, it is worth talking to those who are radically different in behavior. Team training concept: Ask the team to remember some incidents when they ran into bad service. Let them recreate those moments in memory and talk about their feelings.
- Lucidity. This skill improves customer engagement tenfold. You need to hone it throughout your career. Learn to explain complex things easily, as if communicating with a child. Team training concept: Ask your employees to imagine that they are meeting a client. Ask them to describe the product within a few minutes.
2. Professional skills
Businesses are constantly growing and developing - updates happen every month or even more frequently. Therefore, team training should be an ongoing process. The team must know the product as if they created it. Formulate the knowledge base for your product as a reference or guide.
Training concept: Charades. Give each employee a term or phrase that is relevant to your occupation. Ask the participants to stand up and act out their term (without saying a word!).
3. Ability to manage crises
Most clients whose problems you have successfully resolved fast will come back to you again. The fact that a client comes to you dissatisfied does not mean that they will leave dissatisfied. It is in your power to do everything so that this client then remembers you with positive feelings.
But even thick-skinned people can get burned out after a lot of angry clients. Here are two exercises to help you work with pushy clients without losing your temper.
- Role-playing games. Call center games are suitable for all customer service employee workshops. Making bogus calls that represent real cases will teach your employees how to speak to anxious customers calmly.
- Apply reflexive listening. Even if the employee has well-developed empathy, problematic clients are difficult to deal with. You need to pause, listen, and understand upset clients. Reflexive listening is repeating what people say to you in response. A simple psychological trick that helps a person to be open with you.
Things you do to coach customer service agents should be more than explaining technical issues. They need to know how to turn angry customers into happy ones. Happy customers will gladly recommend you to friends and relatives.
Customer Service Tips to Keep in Mind
Look at these educational ideas for building a highly qualified customer support culture:
- Speak the same language. Align your needs with the client's needs for better understanding. You can do it by switching your verbal expressions.
- Set high goals. Energize your team. Instead of barely managing to meet deadlines, inspire the team to work faster and better.
- Develop feedback. Collect customer reviews, whether it's polls, comments, or messages. Use feedback to monitor team actions. So you show that you value any response, and the team sees that the work pays off and benefits people. Instead of “I'm not sure if we can do this for you” use “Let's see what we can do to fix this problem”. How about “Let's find someone who can help” rather than “I can't help with this”?
If you need a starting point to improve the professional skills of your support team, you can use this post as free customer service training materials. Armed with such call center training tips, you can easily solve the challenge of training new agents.
Not sure that you are up to the task? Need expert help or advice? Do not hesitate to contact us. Our vast experience in the field of communications allows us to handle projects of any complexity. We always strive for better results in our work and provide the highest quality customer service. And remember: effective communication is the key to a company’s success.