The Importance of Ongoing Customer Service Training

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Customer service training is a sound investment when you consider what’s at stake. Your company’s reputation, customer satisfaction and loyalty
 are all directly impacted by customer service experiences. And ultimately those experiences affect your operating costs – and your bottom line when it comes to profitability.

Research has shown time and time again that people remember negative experiences much more lucidly than positive ones. Bad emotions generally involve more thinking and the information is processed more thoroughly than positive emotions, therefore people use stronger words to describe negative experiences. Further, negative impressions are far more difficult to demolish than positive ones. The proven psychology is just one reason why companies should make it a priority to minimize the number of negative experiences that arise from their customer service departments. What’s the most powerful method of improving customer service? One word: training.

As Glenn Pasch, CEO of PCG Digital Marketing wrote in a recent post focused on the importance of customer service training:

“Any place where you can think of ways to be one step ahead of your customer and make their interaction with you easier will help you to retain and grow your revenue for years to come.”

When considering enhancing your training approach, it’s important to understand that customer care is an evolving skill. Rapid advancements in technology combined with ever-changing consumer expectations means those charged with providing service must be flexible and keep up with the latest developments in customer service trends and best practices.

An article in Smart Customer Service recently identified three key trends for 2014 that can be leveraged through better customer service training.

Beyond the phone call

While a phone conversation is still the preferred channel for customers to contact companies, live chat, email, social media and even video-conferencing are proving to be the channel of choice with some customers. Customer service reps need to be well versed in communicating through a range of channels, so that customers can choose which channel they prefer to use.

Personalized service

Companies these days are able to collect more data and information about customers that can help them better understand each customer’s specific preferences and needs. To leverage this data, customer service reps need to learn how to utilize customer information to be proactive and provide a customized solution to each customer’s unique problem or situation.

Better technology training

Customer service back-office technology platforms are improving constantly in terms of being able to provide a seamless experience for customers. Yet those systems are only effective if your service reps know how to use them effectively. Make sure your employees are receiving detailed and ongoing training on your systems so the technology enhances the service experience instead of interrupting it.

Training in these and other areas doesn’t only lead to happy customers. It can have a positive impact on staff as well. Effectively meeting customer needs and building strong relationships can boost employee morale and help hone knowledge and skills that will prove valuable throughout an employee’s entire career, regardless of what role he or she is in.

The last thing you want to have happen is for one of your customers to endure a nightmare service experience that goes viral or becomes a topic of conversation with their family and friends. Instead, get them sharing about great service experiences. With the consistent and targeted training, people will be talking about you for all the right reasons.

Are you looking to hire customer service representatives for your company? Check out our infographic outlining the traits that make the best customer service and call center employees.

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