Customer service deserves its place as a front line priority. Across industries, it is a vital factor contributing to the way customers interact with your products and services.
All it takes to push a customer away from your product forever is a single bad customer service experience. Since we now live in a technological culture dominated by social media, this can also affect that customer’s friends and family as well.
But this also means that great customer service can produce value far beyond what it would seem at first glance. Loyal customers spend more over time and often recommend brands to their families and friends.
Executives and corporate stakeholders largely know how important customer service is in this respect. But they don’t always have a clear path forward for improving the customer experience and boosting customer retention.
Customer service training is the answer to this problem. It provides a valuable service towards improving the key performance metrics that define the customer experience. Fully-trained customer service representatives can meet customers’ needs quicker and more completely than those that rely on making intuitive decisions in the heat of the moment without guidance.
Untrained Customer Service Representatives Don’t Deliver Great Experiences
There is nothing predictable about customer service. A customer service representative never quite knows who is going to come to the company with a problem or whether that problem will be easy to solve.
This is why it’s so dangerous to leave customer service representatives untrained. When this happens, unusual customer situations must be escalated, leading to increased frustration on the customer’s behalf, without providing the customer with anything of value in return.
This leads to a situation where customer service supervisors are managing by exception. They only get clear, actionable data out of exceptions to the rules – not the rules themselves. Customer service representatives end up with no firm guidance on what to do for many of their interactions.
Only trained customer service representatives can be entrusted with the autonomy necessary to really help customers deal with their frustrations without stifling oversight. It takes a great degree of trust to tell a customer service agent that they can spend company money fixing a customer’s problem without having to ask permission.
And it is exactly that level of trust that you want to instill in your customer service team. If you can trust your team to solve customer issues autonomously, you are on your way to building a world-class customer experience.
Use Customer Service Training to Improve Policy
Not every organization can afford to write blank checks to its customer service agents. However, not all customer service inquiries cost money to solve.
In many cases, great customer service is simply a matter of taking initiative and caring about the result. A customer service agent to believes the job is done when the call is over isn’t producing value for the company overall. At best, this agent is preventing losses due to brand damage – but that’s it.
In order deliver a comprehensive customer service experience, you need to implement a comprehensive customer service policy. That requires deploying infrastructure that includes recording customer interactions and proactively solving customer issues.
A good customer service policy strengthens discipline for the team. It guides actions and shows team members how to apply themselves to resolving customer issues autonomously.
By storing customer data and recording the results of customer interactions, you can start to develop guidelines that instruct customer service agents when dealing similar issues in the future. It’s important that management creates walks through these situations in training because in real-life scenarios, very few employees actually speak up and present creative ideas to supervisors and staff.
Use training to encourage creativity and give employees more time to spend on customer research and analysis. That time spent away from the phone is critical to improving the customer service experience for every individual agent.
Train Your Customer Service Agents to Make Independent Decisions
Independent decision-making is key to improving the customer experience. When a customer service agent sees an opportunity to fulfill a customer’s needs in an unexpected way, that agent must be empowered to make that decision on the spot.
But untrained customer service professionals are unlikely to apply creative thinking and deploy innovative ideas for exceeding customer expectations. Even those that do will certainly lack the discipline needed to generate value from those interactions.
Customer service training is key to improving customer retention. It guides representatives’ actions in ways that ensures customers are satisfied with their choice to do business with you, and it boosts brand loyalty, generating returns that ripple throughout their networks of friends and family members.Your customer service team could be doing more to improve the customer experience. Schedule TechLink training with our team to find out how.