Every company recognizes that customer service is important and that meeting customer needs and expectations is a basic requirement for doing business. However, customer service is just the beginning. In today’s world, companies aim for customer centricity—a culture where each employee is focused on improving the customer experience and putting themselves in the customer’s shoes. According to research conducted by Qualtrix, customer centricity translates into more loyal customers who are not only more likely to purchase from a company, but also more likely to refer the company to others.
Recognizing that your team can benefit from customer service training might be the easy part; what may be more challenging is knowing what kind of training tools and resources will make a measurable difference and help you to build a customer centric culture. Here are some ideas to ensure your customer service training is a success.
Tools That Explain the Customer Experience
Customers today expect immediate service and 24/7 availability. They also have the ability to do their own research and understand their purchase options. As a result of this, customer service training will be most effective if it incorporates data that accurately describes the customer journey and helps employees understand it.
Some of the tools that can help support a deeper understanding of the customer experience include:
Customer feedback and survey tools such as “voice of the customer” or NPS (net promoter scores).
A customer journey map that highlights all the points at which the customer experience can be impacted, from the point of awareness to purchase.
Creation of a common language that not only resonates with customers but also inspires employees to remain focused on the customer.
People learn best by doing, not by just listening, reading, or watching. When individuals can personally experience the results that come with practicing in a low-risk setting, they are able to truly grasp how to behave in the real world. Customer service training that incorporates experiential learning gives individuals the necessary opportunities for practice and helps them learn how best to improve the customer experience by testing out new skills and behaviors themselves.
When individuals participate in experiential customer service training, they’re more likely to engage with the content, retain it, and, ultimately, apply it back on the job. Experiential learning offers individuals the opportunity to learn without fear of failure or the threat of repercussions on the job. It also incorporates scenarios that are relevant and mirror the workplace, helping to provide the tools and knowledge individuals need to actually change their behavior at work and grow in a customer centric mindset.
Measurement and Reinforcement Tools
Even the most effective customer service training requires reinforcement and follow-up. Measuring your progress and reinforcing key training concepts helps to deepen the impact of training and improves the chances of your company becoming truly customer centric. The following activities and resources can help ensure individuals continue to use what they’ve learned in training:
Online learning reinforcement exercises such as assessments, quizzes, or gamification
Periodic in-person or virtual sessions that encourage discussion about how individuals are changing their behaviors, including any obstacles they’re encountering
Celebration of milestones that demonstrate improvements in customer service metrics over time
The most effective training not only helps individuals understand the customer journey, but also shows them how to improve it. Customer service training that includes immersive, experiential activities gives employees a chance to see what customer centricity looks like in practice. That way, they learn by doing, rather than by reading or hearing concepts in a book or lecture. Great customer service training is just one step on the journey to building a customer centric culture, but it goes a long way toward helping each employee understand how they can impact and improve the customer experience, even if they are not in customer-facing roles.