Customer service training: just hearing the phrase sounds dull, outdated and ineffective, yet it’s not optional. Without customer service training you’re leaving yourself open to so many possible problems. With today’s Internet-driven culture, just one bad customer experience can spell disaster for your brand.
Unfortunately, even while understanding the critical nature of quality customer service, companies still aren’t sure how to deliver the best training.
Customer service training often has some or all of the following problems, rendering it essentially useless:
- It isn’t realistic. If your employees are being trained in situations that are completely irrelevant to their job, the people they interact with on a daily basis or their industry, it’s pointless. Customer service training that lacks real world value and actionability is one of the biggest problems we consistently see within this area.
- It’s boring. Customer service training tends to be uniform and boring, but it doesn’t really carry a lot of value for employees. It’s often one-size-fits-all and if you’ve completed one set of this type of training, you’ve essentially done it all.
- It’s not detailed enough. Customer service training often touches on broad, universal concepts, but then doesn’t drill down to the details that are pertinent to employees in their daily lives.
These are just a few of the many issues we see in the world of customer service training, and one of the best ways to combat these and many others is to create training based on customer insights. What better way to train your employees on a variety of possible situations and how to best handle them than to go directly to the source.
Unfortunately many organizations fail to do this and instead of creating training that really is customer-centric, they tend to create training that’s instead focused around their business and their own needs. It’s an approach that doesn’t make much sense, right?
When you focus training on consumer insights, whether they be good or bad, you’re honing in on how you can turn your service into standard or even sub-par, into something that’s tailored to the unique needs of your customers. You’re creating a sense of personalized value for your customers that other businesses with basic training aren’t going to enjoy.
You’re going directly to the source to determine what’s important, what isn’t, where gaps may exist in current employee training and what you could do differently to excel. Once you embrace this idea, it’s one that can be incredibly powerful and transformative to your entire approach to customer service.
So how do you rely on customer insights as a training development resource?
The Process of Gathering Customer Insight
There’s essentially no limits to how you gather customer insight. Our first bit of advice would be to find a software solution that will make it easier to collect and manage insights. Many of these innovative software platforms will also do much of the heavy lifting for you regarding not just collecting and maintaining data, but also turning it into actionable insights.
Some popular options for gathering customer feedback include:
GetFeedback: This is a feedback tool that’s attractive and easy to use, where the focus is on the end user. You can create surveys customized to your brand, and the mobile-responsive designs make it easy for even the busiest of customers to participate. You can incorporate rich media into surveys, and it’s so simple to use that it’s incredibly versatile.
CustomerSure: CustomerSure is a platform that sends automated surveys and provides the tools you need to ensure high response rates. Questions are designed to be as relevant and well-timed as possible, and you can take advantage of not only individual comments but also aggregated scores. CustomerSure has specific features for measuring customer service KPIs, and you can identify independent figures on brand perception and follow trends over time.
Medallia: Medallia is a customer experience software designed to capture feedback across all your channels, and then transform data into insights in real-time.
In addition to using data and feedback gathered through software, it’s also a good idea to look at unfiltered raw feedback that comes from sources like Yelp. It’s not as easy to organize and refine this data to turn it into analytics, but it can be extremely valuable when you are creating training.
If you want to use social media feedback as a method for creating training, there are also software solutions design to serve as “social listening” mechanisms, which can refine the strategy you use to gauge what’s being said about you in informalized, online social channels.
Tips for Incorporating Insights Into Training
When you’re designing training aimed at improving customer service based on insights, it’s important to remember to look at trends. So often customer service alterations may be based on individual issues, but looking at trends over time will help you understand the bigger picture and where true deficiencies may exist.
Other tips include:
- Don’t just use insights to focus on the negative. Yes, customer service training needs to account for what not to do, but it also needs to reinforce what your teams are doing correctly. If you narrow your vision too closely in on the bad things and not enough on the good, your training isn’t going to be as comprehensive as it could be.
- Look at how insights can be aligned with your company culture. Culture has a huge impact on the delivery of customer service, so when you’re using customer feedback to create training, don’t just train on technicalities, but tie it all to larger overall concepts of a culture conducive to providing the very best service.
- Consider the constant evolution of not just customer service, but also training. The value of using insights as a training development tool never end. Your employees, your customers and their insights are always changing and evolving, so remember this and keep your training on a continually evolving path as well.
We’re in the midst of an exciting time in terms of technology and innovation, because the rise in available software solutions is allowing companies and even very small businesses have a bird’s-eye view of what their customers are saying. Organizations of all sizes have the opportunity to tap into previously under-utilized customer insight, and then use it to derive actionable results. One incredible way to harness the power of the customer insight is as a foundation for the creation of outstanding customer service training, which will blow away the competition and ensure you’re a leader.
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