A few weeks ago, our COO Conner Burt joined CallTalk and Bruce Belfiore for a conversation about critical training challenges that hinder excellent customer service. In this discussion, Conner shared the importance of speed, access, and analytics to great call center training and agent success. This summary offers ideas to leverage training for excellent customer service.
Superior customer support starts with superior customer support training. But, what defines a good—or great—customer experience? Many companies focus on metrics like NPS or first call resolution, but as customer needs change and progress, support teams must reconsider their definition of fantastic service.
“A great customer service experience requires the removal of all obstacles so that customers can get the answer they want. It also requires agents to predict the next issue the customer may have—and address it—so the customer doesn’t have to call, chat, or email again.” – Conner Burt tweet
Many customer support leaders recognize that training is pivotal for improving customer service. Unfortunately, training doesn’t receive the attention it deserves from busy customer support leaders. Hiring, turnover, processes, changes, and more require continuous attention from leaders—making it easy for training to get pushed aside. So, how do you overcome this challenge and create the best customer service training for your agents? Start with these three tips:
Provide easily accessible training
Antiquated and ineffective training programs rely exclusively on customer service training classes. These classes involve taking agents off of the floor and stuffing them in a conference room to learn about a process change or new product While training classes might be needed occasionally—they aren’t the most effective learning tool. In-person training is expensive for remote teams, and the information often isn’t accessible after the fact—which hinders team effectiveness and adoption.
“70% of what you learn gets lost within 30 days, regardless of the way you learn it.” tweet
Customer service training exercises should include practical follow-up and easy-access to the material. Modern learning software provides agents the ability to review training material in-between calls or throughout the day. Utilizing learning software also empowers customer service managers to go beyond the classroom and deliver ongoing agent training via the cloud.
Tip: Creating a customer service training course outline is a daunting task. Save time with our free customer service training manual to provide consistent training to agents.
Drive continuous training
Training and onboarding are not one in the same. Training should be part of the onboarding process, but shouldn’t stop there. Support teams need to get new employees up and running as quickly as possible—an important factor in dynamic environments with turnover or quick growth. However, training is most effective when its continuous during the course of an employee’s career.
“Make sure training is ongoing and quick to react to whatever is going on in the support center.” tweet
Most likely, your company and support team are frequently evolving: changing tactics, introducing innovative processes, and providing different services. Teams must be agile and quickly introduce new ideas to ongoing customer service training. Companies also need to ensure that they provide ongoing training in a way that doesn’t overwhelm agents.
The best customer service training programs provide only the most relevant information that agents need to anticipate customer issues and provide answers.
Tip: Avoid jumping right into a new training program without a strategy. Use a free customer service plan outline to create a process for both initial and continuous training. This will help you identify the skills and knowledge agents need to learn, practice, and perform.
Measure and improve training
You can’t improve what you don’t measure—and training is no exception. Training provides valuable insight and data about customer service gaps and need. It’s important to identify customer service course objectives, then measure and evaluate agents throughout the training process.
“Measuring your training efforts will help you build a better program over time.” tweet
In order to make meaningful progress, the most successful customer support teams assess where they are, where they’re going, and track key metrics along the way. While tracking training completion is beneficial, impactful measurement goes beyond that. A more nuanced way to track employee training is to gage program engagement. Look at areas of training that agents continue to revisit and spend the most time on—this will help leaders identify and measure trends of information and gaps in training. By doing so, support leaders are enabled to improve their training programs—and customer support offering.
Tip: Use an online training software that makes it easy to track and measure the ROI of your training efforts against your agents’ learning performance.
These three customer service training tips are great ways to rededicate attention to your training program. Training that is accessible, continuous, and measurable equips agents with the knowledge and skills they need to provide excellent customer service—time and time again.
Take your customer support training to the next level with Lessonly
Are you ready to overcome your customer support training challenges? Lessonly’s online training software makes it easy for agents to access training when and where they need it. Lessonly is an essential part of customer support training for hundreds of high-performing support teams. When agents have access to the essential information they need to do great work—productivity takes off. Take a tour today, and see how Lessonly drives team learning—and exceptional customer service.