Great Customer Service Training
Train Your Employees to Serve Your Customers
Customer service is perhaps the most vital part of conducting business as it reflects directly on the company and how it is able to meet the needs of patrons. Implementing customer service training with employees requires having a solid understanding of your customers needs and expectations as well as being able to meet and surpass those needs and expectations through consistent, positively reinforced training. To implement customer service training with employees, you will need to identify your customers needs, assess your employees skills, design and implement a training vehicle, and constantly reevaluate customer service delivery.
Identify your customers needs. To implement effective customer service training with employees, you first need to know what your customers expect from your staff and what their needs generally are. This can be accomplished by giving each customer a comment card, setting up a ratings or feedback section on your companys website, and/or asking customers about their experience with your company on their last visit and past visits. You also may elect to hire a survey firm that conducts customer satisfaction surveys.
Evaluate each employees customer service training and skill level. This can be accomplished simply by watching how an employee interacts with customers and what level of service they offer. Some employees will be natural salespersons and posses the skills to up-sell customers with little effort. Others will be better at problem solving or pre-emptive problem solving in which they are able to identify when a customer is unhappy or unsatisfied and address the situation before it becomes unmanageable. Study your employees and identify which have the best customer service training for a particular customer service need, such as establishing a rapport and up-selling. Conduct regular customer service training meetings, allowing each employee to showcase and explain how he uses his/her particular skills.
Design and implement a customer service training method. This can be done just as in the example of allowing employees to individually demonstrate their skill set and how they execute it effectively. You can also record via video or audio transcription a text of the employees presentation or use it to compile a customer service training manual. You can also have experienced employees or supervisors or managers shadow new employees, and train them on the job. On-the-job training provides real-time and live situational awareness of how customers interact with staff and what their expectations are from employees. In the alternative, you can have a professional business consultant or customer service training agency write an employee handbook or customer service training manual that details protocols for how and when to greet a customer, how long to wait to ask follow-up questions, how to resolve customer disputes.
Reevaluate your employees customer service relations on a consistent basis. Employee evaluations should be given at least twice a year to as many as once a quarter. You want to allow the employee to give feedback on their evaluation and by the same token, allow them input on how effective they believe the customer service training to be. You want to ensure each employee is complying with the companys customer service training protocol. For instance, WalMart employees are required to greet any customer that comes within 20 feet of an employee within seven to 10 seconds.