How To Improve Customer Service With Online Training
The quality of your customer service has the potential to make or break your business. A negative experience can lead to bad word of mouth, unfavorable online reviews, and high customer complaint rates. A positive experience, on the other hand, has the power to boost your sales, increase customer loyalty, and ensure the future success of your organization. The issue is that challenging; unhappy, and disgruntled customers can be difficult to manage, which is why your customer service staff needs all of the help they can get to navigate tricky situations. Thankfully, you can offer them all of the tools and resources they require by developing an effective online customer service training program.
1. Use branching scenarios to improve customer interactions
Branching scenarios offer your employees the rare opportunity to engage with virtual customers in a supportive online training environment. Their choices lead to consequences, either negative or positive, which mimic real world repercussions. For example, if they handle a customer complaint incorrectly, they will receive immediate feedback and be able to modify their performance behaviors. To develop truly effective branching scenarios you must ensure that every element is realistic and relatable. This includes the images, dialogue, and choices. Ideally, you’ll want to include a variety of situations that employees encounter on a regular basis. This gives them the chance to try out different problem-solving approaches to overcome common workplace challenges.
2. Develop simulations to build service skills
Simulations can improve customer service staff’s active listening skills, and make them more compassionate and empathetic service providers. Customer service skills are often difficult to cultivate, due to the fact that they cannot be measured by traditional skills assessments or taught through text-based modules. In order for employees to build their skills effectively they must be able to apply them and put them into practice, and simulations are ideal for this purpose. As an added bonus, simulations also allow them to try out the tools, resources, and equipment they’ll be using on a daily basis, such as their sales terminals. They can go through every step of the process, which reduces trial and error in the workplace.
3. Offer on-the-job training tutorials
There are times when your customer service employees are going to need on-the-spot online training materials, such as manual or walkthroughs. Online tutorials give them the ability to access “moment of need” information that helps them do their job more efficiently. Instead of having to wait until the next online training session, they have the power to pull up an online training tutorial and brush up on their skills and task mastery. These online tutorials should be as brief as possible, given that employees require targeted information that they can absorb quickly and conveniently. Keep in mind that they may be accessing the tutorials while they are in the middle of a transaction or working with a customer. As such, they must be “bite-sized” and focused.
4. Keep them up-to-date with products and services
Many organizations integrate product knowledge online training modules into their online sales training program. However, customer service online training should also include a good dose of product knowledge, such as the features, specs, and customer benefits of each item you sell. This is due to the fact that your customer service team will often advise customers and help them make a more informed decision. They are also responsible for offering alternative products if something is out of stock or if a customer was dissatisfied with their original purchase. You can easily update your online training course to integrate product presentations, slideshows, and a variety of other eLearning activities that keep your service staff up-to-date.
5. Create eLearning videos that show both ends of the spectrum
There is good customer service that makes the consumer feel respected and appreciated, which is what all organizations strive for. However, you must also be able to show your employees the opposite end of the spectrum. They should be aware of the behaviors and habits that fall into the category of bad customer service, so that they don’t end up repeating them in the workplace. ELearning videos are an effective way to demonstrate this, as it allows you to highlight both sides of the coin. For instance, you can show them an example of a return process that was handled with professionalism, and another where the employee was impolite or disorganized. They can contrast and compare the two online training scenarios and identify correct performance behaviors.
6. Get feedback from your customer service staff
This is one of the most overlooked aspects of effective customer service online training. If you want to continually improve your online training program and, thereby, improve customer service in your organization you must receive feedback from your employees. Conduct surveys and interviews to get their honest opinions about the overall online training strategy, what they took away from the online training experience, and if it offered them the necessary skills and knowledge. If they are hesitant to offer their feedback, you may want to consider anonymous questionnaires that they can complete right after taking the online training course.
As a general rule, customer service associates must take on a variety of tasks throughout their workday. In addition to completing returns, sales, and special orders, they must also actively listen to customer complaints and provide them with superior care.
Make sure that your customer service staff has the support they need to tackle every facet of their job with ease. Learn how a learning management system (LMS) can help: talk to an expert today!