Effective training will help unleash your organization’s exceptional customer service potential. Miguel: Hi Sarah. As a shopper, what experiences with a company have stood out to you more — their marketing tactics, or their customer service? That’s why training your customer support team is just as important (if not more) as training your marketing or sales teams. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. This course focuses on the social and cultural aspects of customer service and takes nine to 11 weeks to complete. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide. In fact, we found that growing companies are nearly twice as likely as stagnating companies to prioritize customer service training as "very important.". HubSpot uses the information you provide to us to contact you about our relevant content, products, and services. Split your team into groups and have each one brainstorm two different types of anchors: maintenance anchors and repair anchors. If this is the case for your business, you should try the exercises below for improving customer service skills. Team members should be put into pairs and take turns role-playing the customer and the support reps. "Customers" should make big, bold requests that support reps can't say 'no' to -- but instead, have to figure out a solution-oriented response. Real calls can give you insight into real expectations, and input from team members can provide a unique perspective to help reps constantly improve. Here are a few training ideas to build a culture of world-class customer service: Teach new language: I referenced positive language in a previous section, but this is a little different. Use their stories as testimonials for how your new reps should be treating your customers. See all integrations. Ice breakers will help the group feel more comfortable interacting. According to Caroline Cooper, a Trainer and Consultant at Naturally Loyal, there are two elements that need to be part of a contact centre training exercise to gain maximum value from it. I’m talking about turning support into customer championing. If your product is software, obviously, it can be tricky to take apart. Reps should be tasked with giving a 10-15 minute product presentation and demonstration -- walking a prospective "customer" through everything they need to know to successfully start using it themselves. However, social media is still relatively new to customer service, and your more tenured reps may not be as experienced with these platforms. We were hired because we know how to write, but when we started, we weren’t simply handed a laptop and told, “Now, go type a bunch of stuff.” No, we were trained on how to write per HubSpot’s style guide, how to represent the company and brand online, and how to ensure all of our pieces meet quality standards. The following are five free customer service training games that we have used with clients during our customer service courses for more than a decade.. We frequently receive requests for training ideas from organizations wishing to develop their own customer service programs.In the interest of improving behavior, we are sharing these activities for use by others. They partner with universities around the world, such as Berkeley, Harvard, and University of Kyoto — the school by which the Culture of Services: New Perspective on Customer Relations course is presented. Q&A's are an excellent format for keeping employees engaged, but they do require your speaker to have extensive knowledge of the presentation topic. Customer service training materials. But the nuts and bolts of how you actually do that can be easier said than done. Written by Sophia Bernazzani Free and premium plans, Sales CRM software. The key to customer advocacy is aligning your goals and needs with the customer and essentially “joining their team” as you work towards a solution. So, instead, talk to your employees about where your servers are located and how your software is powered. Integrating a brand advocacy strategy into your customer service training will allow you to receive support not only from customers but from your own employees too. Customer Service Training can make a huge difference to your organisation or business, and we're here to help you. Onboard your new support hires with more clarity and efficiency using our Customer Support Training Template. Customer service is a company’s opportunity to connect with customers, solve problems, and show they care. Clarity is easy to decipher during interviews and onboarding, but it’s still a skill that customer service representatives should hone throughout their careers, especially as new products or updates are introduced. It can also de-escalate a conflict and create a more enjoyable interaction with your company. These are letters written from the perspective of the customer that are addressed to the customer service employee. These images clarify and support your speaking points, making your presentation easy to follow and more impactful on the listener. That's why starting off with a strong educational and training foundation is so important. Whether they require materials like a whiteboard or simply involve your team, games are a way to teach valuable skills while encouraging teamwork and collaboration between your employees. Building rapport as well as … Just because a customer comes to you unhappy, angry, or rude doesn’t mean they have to walk away with the same sentiment. The support rep is essentially telling the customer that no, they can't offer them a discount. Editor's note: This post was originally published in July 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness. We're committed to your privacy. And when customer service is executed well, it can resonate with customers for years to come. Draw on past experiences to set expectations. Of course, you’re going to hire highly-skilled people, but that doesn’t mean they don’t require training as a new hire and as part of a bigger team with a bigger goal — serving and delighting your customers. It also helps customers to feel heard if they're dealing with a frustrating or time-sensitive issue with your product or service. Role-playing happens when two or more people act out roles in a particular scenario. It primarily teaches digital and business-related skills. Instead of interacting with a mock customer, the service rep becomes the customer and goes through the experience of purchasing your product or service. If hiring the right candidates is like planting seeds in the right soil, training your customer service team is like cultivating and growing your garden to its maximum potential. Let's review some below. Challenge them to explain the product (or a portion of your product) in five minutes. Customer Service Training. Question and answer, or Q&A, is a presentation style that's more intimate than the ones listed above. Most likely the latter. Turn your customer service team into a competitive advantage and engine for growth with these training ideas and tools. Let’s see what you can use in your training. There are some, and train them in the skills they need to be pro. 1. I included this section in my list of customer service training ideas because that’s essentially what is it: Training your team to take care of themselves so they can take care of your customers. You need to keep practicing it, over and over again, until it's perfect -- or in my case, until I can find the ball after I hit it. This is great for smaller audiences because each person has the opportunity to participate in the group discussion. And no matter the size of a team, to deliver a first-rate customer experience, everyone must be on the same page. A good ice breaker idea is designed to get the group focused on training and not on an issue left back at their desk or at home. Before you can have customers who are raving fans though, you must first have a team that is energized, empowered and aligned with your mission, vision and values. Collect (and use) feedback: Feedback is the lifeblood of any team or company that truly wants to improve. Wrong … oh, so wrong. This makes a complex topic much easier to understand because the speaker has connected it to a relatable concept. Instead of commanding, management's role is reframed as supporting.Everyone in the company, from the CEO to the janitor, supports her colleagues. Marketing automation software. PowerPoints are a proven format for customer service training; however, if you are going to take this route, be sure to avoid some of the common pitfalls outlined in this video. What did you do to solve it?”. How about: “Let’s get you set up with the right person to help” versus “I can’t help with that”? Customer service reps need to be both assertive and direct. Team members playing the role of the customer should feel free to be creative -- all customers are different, and support reps should be prepared to adapt to different situations and personalities before they get on the phones with real customers. If you are not constantly on the lookout for opportunities to improve your customer service, then your relationships will stagnate. While the idea is consistent across the board — train your team to serve and delight — specific training methods and practices will vary depending on the circumstance. Conducting mock calls that resemble a real customer service issue (and involve a seemingly angry caller) can help acclimate your team to the realities of upset customers. Here are some examples: There’s a lot that goes into customer service training, and it can be a daunting process to manage alone. Have team members give them an office tour. Visuals like PowerPoints and graphics are a great way to hook in a larger audience. While that diversity is great for fostering new ideas, it can also lead to friction between teammates. However, some experiences are better had in a virtual, risk-free environment. We would love to hear your customer service training ideas! Think about it this way — customers want quick and effective solutions to their challenges. By being assertive and direct, reps make customers feel confident in the information they're being fed. communicate and collaborate with the team, basic ways to teach customer service to your reps, Culture of Services: New Perspective on Customer Relations, 6 Fun and Powerful Training Games for Customer Service Teams, 5 Software and Tech Tools That Can Help You Train Service Reps, 9 Soft Skills You Need to Master as a Customer Service Rep, Employee Engagement & How It Affects the Customer Experience, Maintaining a positive tone and attitude throughout the call, Remaining calm and professional, even on difficult calls, Asking customers clear and direct questions that help reps come to an effective solution efficiently, Presenting solutions in a way that will make sense for each individual customer, Using verbiage that's representative of your brand, Staying in control of the conversation and leading the customer towards an effective resolution, Making sure customers don't have any other questions or concerns before hanging up, Thanking the customer at the end of the call, Product Feature and Application Knowledge. Any employee that interacts and deals with customers is eligible for customer service training. I’m excited to tell you that you’ve found the right place. But, when they can think about it on a customer-to-customer scale, it becomes much easier to see how important your team is to your organization as a whole. Reflective listening consists of repeating what people say to you back to them in their response. Stay up to date with the latest marketing, sales, and service tips and news. This exercise lets reps reflect on all of the good things they've done for your customers. Plus, happy and satisfied customers will help propel your business to greater heights. The beauty of hiring a diverse workforce is that your employees encounter unique perspectives they may not have experienced before. Let’s dive into training for customer support and service. It’s not uncommon for businesses to view their customer service teams as an afterthought. hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(53, '45b1c88c-192b-4a93-b510-961f4008acd1', {}); Originally published Jul 22, 2020 7:17:00 PM, updated July 28 2020, 20 Ideas, Exercises, & Activities for Customer Service Training, The Ultimate Guide to Training for Customer Service & Support, 5 Software and Tech Tools That Can Help You Train Service Reps, 9 Soft Skills You Need to Master as a Customer Service Rep. Free customer service training ideas. Have your team call your competitor's customer service line, and if possible, purchase one of its products or free trials. Not only will this help each individual employee improve their skills, but it’ll also show your customers that you’re listening and care about what they have to say. Empathy is crucial to not only serving customers but genuinely wanting them to be happy and successful. If you're looking for a motivational format, you can try storytelling. Ice breakers are an important part of customer service training. Premium plans, Connect your favorite apps to HubSpot. Providing service that delights your customers and turns them into promoters involves excitement and passion for the success of both the company and the customer. Customer Service Training Presentations. There's only one rule: No saying 'no.' Resourcefulness is the difference between responding to a problem with “I don’t know” and “I will find out.” Problem-solving skills, initiative, and creativity are just a few competencies that align with resourcefulness. To practice growing your reflective listening skills, break team members into pairs, and ask them to take turns responding to their partner by reflectively listening. For example, if a rep had a really positive interaction with a customer, have that employee talk about that call and what they did to create such a delightful experience. After all, customers who are reaching our to your service and support reps are doing so because they're trying to find a solution to a challenge or roadblock. The topic doesn't matter -- it can be work-related, or it can be a presentation about their recent vacation photos, or an organization they volunteer with. Check out these free, quick and easy games to play during customer support and service training: Sometimes it’s valuable to incorporate outside insight or perspective during customer service training, and videos from thought leaders and industry experts do just that. A final word on the customer service training importance If reps are feeling undervalued by your customers -- or even upper management -- have them write customer letters. A rare combination, indeed. Camaraderie and community among professional teams in any industry can help with overall performance, but it’s especially important in customer service. In this 12-minute video, business coach and consultant David Brownlee explains the essentials of customer service in a friendly, easy-to-understand way. Since it's not a real customer, reps have a safety net that lets them practice new techniques they may not have tried before. They've seen your product and company grow with its customer base and have been present for all the speedbumps and roadblocks along the way. Nowadays, customer-facing teams are labeled many different things: customer support, customer success, or customer service. Improving your customer service skills is like improving your golf swing. New hires should know precisely what’s expected of them during training and in their first month of work. (Sorry, family.). Sometimes, working on the front lines of customer support can be really stressful. This will remind employees how they should treat one another and how they should voice their opinions if they need to confront an issue. Free and premium plans, Customer service software. Along the same lines as the reflective listening exercise, mock calls are a time-tested strategy for practicing the job before doing the job. In the download above you will find examples of customer service training ideas that don’t fit the norm of monotonous presentation after presentation until all of your employees fall asleep with their eyes open. Successful companies don't wait for a problem to happen, they anticipate it and prepare their customer service teams accordingly. They’ll study the, “... nuanced and paradoxical nature” of customer service and learn how to approach it from a cultural and social perspective. 30 Customer Service Tips Backed by World-Class Support Teams: Your customer service reps are responsible for keeping customers from running to your competitors. These are activities that are performed after a call so reps can quickly bounce back and work with another customer. Keep reading or use the chapter links below to jump ahead. Customer service training comes in many shapes and sizes. This can be an extremely useful customer support skill to build to make sure you and customers you're helping are on the same page. Well, you should always hire the best fit for each role, customer service included. Use this training template to onboard customer support new hires. By the end, you’ll gain a complete understanding of how customer service training benefits your business, when different types of training might come in handy, and what materials you need to execute a thorough training program. Check out ideas on how to do this in our resource customer service training ideas. Customer service training is the coaching that employees receive with the goal of improving support and satisfaction among customers. When it comes to good customer service, everyone wins: you, your customers, and your employees. Clarity in communication can improve customer service interactions tenfold — it’s the difference between sending 10 emails or one when explaining a product. The word “no” is a trigger word that is known to evoke negative emotions in customers. The expectations of the role might seem clear -- it's about helping and guiding customers to solve their problems and answer their questions. For example, in the months leading up to HubSpot’s annual INBOUND event, our customer service teams are sent new training materials. Granted, the customer is not right 100% of the time; however, it behooves your company to make sure that your customers are almost always right or that they walk away feeling that they are. By reviewing these ideas consistently, new hires will feel more comfortable when joining your team, making them more productive early on. At this point, you might be asking, Why can’t I just hire the right people from the get-go and leave it at that? With your customer service team on the front lines of customer service and retention, they need to be properly trained and equipped to handle any challenge that comes their way. Use that feedback to measure the success of the team. There are a few types of presentations you can use to conduct training. Top-notch customer service skills will be invaluable to customer support managers. Empathize: Use phrases that convey that you understand how the customer feels. Let’s break down a few instances where you might conduct customer service training and what you can expect as a hiring manager or owner. While training for customer service is the main topic here, I’m going to take a slight detour and discuss hiring for customer service, too. No matter how hard you try, sometimes you might get the blame for a problem or outage that's completely out of your control. To create an atmosphere of customer advocacy and success, your training has to go above and beyond teaching soft and technical skills. Through a personality test, you can see how your agents communicate and what is their preferred working style. Role playing lets reps work on both communication skills and their troubleshooting process. Take team outings (in-person or digitally): Traditional product and skill training can bring your team together at work, but out-of-office activities can also inspire community and friendship that further encourage camaraderie in the office. Consumers view customer service as the test of how much a company truly values them. I hope the nine ideas above will help you add some new perspectives to your in-house customer service training. Inspiring healthy competition in the form of a leaderboard or monthly awards will challenge your customer service team to go above and beyond, helping more customers, creating camaraderie, and contributing to their overall success and future career. For example, if the customer asked for a discount the support rep wasn't authorized to offer, instead of saying 'no,' the rep could say, "If you're looking to reduce the cost of your CRM subscription, I could help you consolidate your database to under 1,000 contacts. This activity may be the first in your series of customer training exercises. To develop empathy on your customer service team, encourage them to spend time with people who are different than them. Use free templates to help you engage and delight your customers. Whether with someone at a community event, an Uber driver, or a stranger at a conference, a conversation outside their comfort zones can help diversify the way they think. Discuss contingency plans for potential shutdowns and what employees can share with customers if they ask about sensitive information. Treehouse is another online course library, but the program requires a paid membership. Now, customers expect more than an answer to their question, and effectively training your call center agents is key to making customer experience your competitive advantage. Taking the time to repeat Sarah's issue back to her helps Miguel to quickly identify and diagnose her issue, as well as assure Sarah that help is on the way for her problem. To gauge passion, ask: “When have you been most satisfied in your work at your previous company?”. There’s no better teacher than experience. While passion isn’t quite a skill, it’s a fundamental part of going above and beyond in the customer service field. HubSpot uses Treehouse for our own customer support and service training. You could train your employees to get that done and leave them alone. 2 CUSTOMER SERVICE TRAINING 101 Avoid saying no. No matter how well your team works together, it's important to conduct sensitivity training regularly. Appropriately managing each customer’s crisis and actively working to change their attitude is how you both serve and retain customers in the long run. It’s also the key player in the game of customer retention. Remarkable customer service is a competitive advantage. In customer service, you often have to work quickly, but this doesn’t mean your communication skills should suffer. Customers with questions expect respect and cooperation . Schedule a team lunch on their first day. If a customer has a pressing question about your product and reaches out to your customer service team, what do you think would make them happy and willing to stick around? The same goes for your customer support and service folks. 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