In today’s saturated market, your business is likely to be competing with hundreds of others. Your competitors provide similar products and services. What makes you stand out amongst the rest is the customer experience you present through your brand.
There’s no way to understate the importance of brand aligned customer service. However, not every company has made the decision to invest in this sector as much as they maybe should.
In this article, we’ll take a look at why customer service training is essential for employees and how it can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, increase employee engagement and raise your bottom line.
The Importance of Customer Service
Customer service could make or break your business. For many consumers, this is one of the most important aspects of whether they will continue purchasing products or services from a brand. 90% of Americans use customer service as a factor in making that decision.
In other words, poor customer service could lose customers.
A bad experience was enough reason for 49% of American consumers to switch companies in the last year. This is significant for your bottom line. Investing in new customers is between five and 25 times as expensive as it is to retain current ones.
Where bad service can slow down your growth, excellent service can positively make all the difference. Outstanding customer service motivates consumers to spend 17% more.
On top of that, 73% of customers stay loyal to a brand because of friendly customer service representatives.
Let’s pause on this important consideration. The employees at the very base of your business structure could make the most significant difference to your customer acquisition and retention. They’re the ones facing customers every day. Your business will be judged based on their interactions and behaviours. We prefer to think of an inverted pyramid where the organisation supports to front line employees to deliver an excellent customer experience.
This also outlines just how crucial it is to properly prepare customer service employees for their roles.
What Makes Excellent Customer Service?
It’s easy to think that customer service skills are something an employee either has or doesn’t. But that’s not true. Customer service skills can be learnt like any other.
First of all, to assist customers effectively, employees need to have in-depth knowledge of:
- Your business
- Your products
- Formal procedures
Only with thorough training in these areas can your representatives answer customer’s questions with confidence and walk them through the support available to them. This is at the core of their interactions.
A baseline of knowledge is crucial. Then it needs to be effectively communicated to customers in every interaction. This is where the ideal customer service representative showcases some of the following traits:
Some employees show an affinity for these traits. But anyone can improve by practising the right behaviours. Training can make them comfortable in customer-facing situations.
It’s important to remember that customer service can be a demanding role. Unhappy customers may interact tensely, and your representatives must learn how to cope with complaints.
Building Customer Service Skills Through Training
Customer service training can build confidence in dealing with customers. It should also ensure that your employees fully understand your products and services.
The main benefits of providing training to your customer-facing team members are:
- Improve customer service and impress customers at every level
- Deliver a brand-consistent customer experience by communicating your business’ values to customers
- Establish a culture of service excellence
- Help customer service representatives solve inquiries faster and more efficiently.
- Build customer loyalty
- Improve employee engagement through personal development and proficiency at the job
- Identify and improve on weaknesses to build employee confidence.
Customer service training should be split into distinct sections. For one, your reps need to be brought up to date with your products, services and procedures. This can be taught through several presentations, multiple-choice questionnaires and quizzes.
Your employees should be familiarized with the values your brand aims to portray.
Interactions with customers can be practised through roleplay scenarios. This gives you the chance to spot strengths and areas for development in a representative’s approach. They can also practise uncomfortable situations in a stress-free environment. Practising standard procedures and going through several scenarios can help your representatives build confidence. This is especially helpful when they have to deal with customers with complaints. Even the Rolling Stones practice.
Delivering Sustained Customer Service Excellence
Customer service training for employees is a great way to get everyone on the same page. Deliver service excellence, and sustainably communicate your brand’s values. Training helps your employees engage with their role and grow happier and more confident. The training must then be supported by systems and processes to make sure that it ‘sticks’. When the training is done well and then implemented professionally it will ensure both employees and customers are more satisfied with each interaction and improve your bottom line. When training and follow up is not done well it can have a detrimental effect and it is often better not to do it in the first place.
At SERVICEBRAND GLOBAL, we aim to empower authentic service providers to deliver a brand-consistent customer experience. Visit our website to learn about the customer service design, training and ongoing support we provide including Omotenashi, the art of heartfelt hospitality.