Training is Key for Excellent Customer Service

Lauren Krause
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Customer service is more than just a smile and friendly attitude. In fact, there is a certain amount of seriousness required, especially if some customers aren’t happy with their product or their experience. To provide quality service to your customers, it’s imperative to employ a great customer service training strategy for all employees, regardless if they work out front or may only occasionally work with the public.

The type of customer service training your company uses will determine the retention of customers, as well as new customers brought in. Even though much of the marketing activities that take place in today’s market exist online and via cell phones, word-of-mouth advertising is still the best way to gain or lose new customers. If a customer experiences an employee that doesn’t know everything there is to know about the product you’re selling, your word-of-mouth advertising can head south in a hurry.

Your employees should be ready to service customers by answering any questions they have, handling refunds and, above all, they should know that the customer is always right, even if they aren’t. In these situations, a customer is going to appreciate the validation more than anything else. In return, she’ll come back to do business again, and recommend your company to her friends.

When interviewing potential customer service training candidates, look for an attitude of customer service, in addition to someone who fills the bill in the “brand” department. Combining these two traits allows you to fulfill both the customer service needs of your company, as well as hiring someone who possesses the traits and looks needed to promote your brand identity.

Implement a great customer service training program by first ensuring that everything they need is available. This includes resources for them to reference any time. Test them on the information before allowing them to work with the public. When your customers ask questions, employees should be able to answer quickly and correctly.

In addition to complete customer service training before allowing employees to work with customers, keep an eye on things as time goes on. This is not one of those situations where only a one-time training is needed. When new products are introduced, ensure that your employees know everything about them. If you are running a sale, your employees should understand any fine print, such as whether returns or exchanges are allowed on those sale’s items.

Train your employees to service customers who are unhappy. Try some role-playing games to see how they would naturally handle an irate customer. Take notes during this session. Then tell the employee what she did right, and train her on areas where she can improve.

Even if you employ new hires who already possess a great deal of customer service experience, provide extensive customer service training. They may have the smooth talking swagger and the finesse to temporarily keep customers happy, but if they don’t know much about your products, you’ll have problems retaining customers and gaining new ones down the road.


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