The success of your small business is often measured by the satisfaction of your customers. That is why so many capable entrepreneurs put a premium on customer service. From big companies like Starbucks and Zappos to neighborhood cafes passionate about satisfying both local patrons and newcomers, excellent customer service is key to staying ahead.
Here are five easily doable ideas on customer service training that we have learned as a live answering service:
1. Switch their roles from staff to customer.
Ask your staff to identify themselves as a customer. More importantly, ask them to specifically think about a typical customer. By imagining a real-life person and stepping into his/her shoes, your staff will most likely empathize with customers and satisfy each of their individual needs. Don’t forget to ask your staff to identify ways of “going to extra mile” for customers. While this may seem like a simple exercise, it can really go a long way in helping your staff to answer common questions more clearly, and with more compassion.
2. Give them a motivational boost.
It’s no secret that motivated employees serve people best. But how will you get them energized to do something mundane as answering calls? Pep talks are thing of the past. Researchers found that the single most crucial factor that keeps people motivated is having a sense of purpose. Make sure your staff knows that their jobs benefit not only a business but an entire community. Let them know about success stories that you hear about. Give them praise when you get a favorable review about how a customer service situation was handled.
3. Check competitor customer service.
Have them phone a competitor to purchase an item or inquire about a service. This alone will help your staff critique customer service from a constructive, non-biased perspective. They can learn from other people’s mistakes and embrace best practices to improve their own service. This can often take the blinders off of a representative. They can pick up on some of the bad habits that they don’t realize that they have if they experience it from the other side.
4. Provide regular communication skills training.
How trained is your staff when it comes to explaining a service or handling upset customers? Get them involved in basic customer communication training. Give them practical scenarios so that they can practice their skills and build their confidence. Don’t forget to give them constructive feedback and encourage them to support one another. Role-playing can be a good idea here, but don’t let it get out of hand.
5. Make them explain your product or service.
This can be done in less than half an hour. You can do simple quizzes, product demos, and team briefings to help your staff develop product or service knowledge. As customer service representatives, they’re likely to receive a lot of questions pertaining to products and services. As expected of a stellar staff, they should be able to confidently explain them to customers.
Are your employees trained and qualified to give customers the service they deserve? Use these 5 tips and your employees will be better able to serve your customers with excellence.