How to Train Employees in Customer Service: Whips Not Required

When a new employee is hired, you don’t just hand them a name tag, show them their work space, and say, “Good luck!” waving good bye as you walk out the door. Now the rookie is standing there, shell shocked, and wondering what they are supposed to do next. 

No! You train your newbies how to do their jobs. You introduce them to the chain of command. Above all, you train them how to work or deal with your customers no matter what emotional state the customer could be in at the moment. 

However, customer service training should not stop at the entry level of employment.  Such training should keep happening at all levels of employment, but how do you make them productive?
You don’t want your training sessions to just be one of those seminars where everyone groans, rolls their eyes, and thinks that it’s just a waste of precious time. So, the first thing is take inventory of your company’s standing with customers. Now we all love to hear how wonderful we are, but that doesn’t fix problems and no matter how good a company you have, you will have problems.  As long as there are people running the business, there will be problems.  Check out the blogs, social networking sites, comment boxes, everywhere that your clients leave comments about your company and figure out where your weak spots are. 

Then take note of what your employees struggle with when certain customer relations situations arise.  Ask your frontline employees if there are issues that need to be handled.  They just might (and probably do) know of  problems that you don’t, which means you need to get to know your employees.
After you get all your information together, let your staff/team/employees know what they’ll be learning and when.  Give them a rough outline of what they can expect in their training.  Now… how you conduct the training is entirely up to you.  People learn in different ways. 

  • You can have a guest lecturer come in and address the issues and talk about how to resolve them with a Q & A after the presentation. 
  • You can do role playing scenarios along with lectures, or
  • you can have videos, the format is up to you. 

You also need to decide whether you want management training with regular employees.  Sometimes it’s nice for the regular employees to see that management must abide by the same policies as they do; but sometimes management needs special training of its own apart from the rest of the group.  Again, format is at your discretion.  You must know your audience and what format works best for them.

Remember, these are just basic ideas and options for training employees in customer service.  You can do so much with the training and be outrageously creative, but it is no good unless your employees learn from it. 

Make the training count.

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