We’re right in the midst of the holiday season and while for some people that can mean decorations, parties, and gatherings with families, for business leaders it can mean a time wrought with anxiety because this busy, hectic, and stressful time of year can lead to customer service disasters.
Often around the holiday season we think about situations with disgruntled customers, parents calling on Christmas morning to report little Susie’s toy isn’t working properly, and angry questions about why a shipment of gifts didn’t arrive on time.
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Before we get to that point, it’s a good time to think about customer service and in particular call centers and learn a bit more about how you can go from a mediocre or even problematic call center, to one that encourages customer loyalty and becomes one of the most valuable resources for your customers.
Customer Service Starts with Training
Whether it’s the call center or in-person customer service, it’s all about the training. That’s the number one thing businesses need to remember.
Without a well-trained and developed workforce, you’re not going to have great customer service no matter what other elements you put in place.
Once you’re dedicated to this concept of training call center employees, you can begin moving forward with these five more specific training-oriented tips:
- When you’re creating call center training, work with your best and most experienced representatives to create content. Companies all too often leave their best employees out of the creation and updating of training materials, and that’s doing your organization a huge disservice. These representatives know what new hires and other reps are up against and they can help you develop training that’s going to speak to the real-world situations they’re likely to face. Your top talent can also guide you through the steps they themselves have taken to provide exemplary customer service and give you a new insight and perspective that can be tremendously valuable to pass on to employees.
- When creating training, make it interactive. eLearning provides great opportunities for quickly and easily designing interactive training that gives your employees a hands-on opportunity to see the type of situations they’ll encounter, and then learn how to address them in an environment where it’s safe to fail. Using modules, case studies and a variety of different multimedia elements can really enrich the training process and help employees feel more comfortable when they’re actually taking calls.
- Individualize the training process. Great customer service doesn’t necessarily mean your employees sit back and read a script like a robot. It means they’re able to utilize their training to create their own solutions to problems callers are facing and the way they bring their own approach and personality to the situation is important. Reflect this with training. Make it possible for call center employees to learn at their own pace and in the way they find most valuable and they’re more likely to connect with the training and then be able to tailor it to their needs.
- Give call center employees an easy point of reference. Make your training accessible online through eLearning or you can also incorporate some mobile learning references that make it easy for employees to look back at their training if they find themselves in a difficult situation or just need a quick refresher.
- Always keep training. Your call center employees should constantly feel like they’re being developed and learning new techniques. This will improve their level of motivation and morale as well as the level of service they’re providing to callers. eLearning simplifies this continual development because it’s inexpensive and doesn’t require a huge dedication of time. Employees can find time throughout their day to access eLearning and move through their learning and development in a way that seems feasible for them. You can make it even more motivational by having employees work toward earning certificates as they continually progress in their training and their careers.
Do you have trouble delivering effective call center training? If so, let us know why you find it challenging.