Choosing the best customer service course for your needs
So many customer service courses are lacking the real-world skills you need to excel in a customer service position. You don’t just need facts to memorize. You need real-life examples, tools, tricks, and insider advice. And honestly, so many training programs don’t give you any of that.
Customer service is one of the most important aspects of any business. The customers are the lifeblood of a company. As a customer service representative, it is vital that you provide them with excellent customer service. This means providing them with a quality customer service experience that meets their needs and exceeds their expectations.
In order to do this, you will need the proper training!
In-person company training: what to include
Of course, every good training program starts with icebreakers. They can be annoying, but only if done poorly. I good icebreaker should allow trainees to introduce themselves in a meaningful way to start developing the team.
- An explanation of customer service
In a customer service course, you would reasonably expect an explanation of what customer service is all about. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many customer service programs out there either don’t bother with this or do a poor job of it.
- Information on customer service roles
This may vary by company, but each customer service course should at least provide a broad overview of the customer service roles within the company. This will give trainees a better understanding of what they can expect from customer service and how it fits into the company as a whole.
A good customer service course will make use of visuals to help explain concepts and provide information in an easy-to-digest format. This could include things like infographics, charts, and even videos.
- Auditory content
In addition to visuals, a customer service course should also make use of auditory content. This could include things like audio recordings of customer calls, lectures from customer service experts, and more. Between visuals and auditory content, each trainee can get information in the way they learn best.
- Product knowledge
In order to provide good customer service, trainees need to have a firm understanding of the products or services they will be dealing with. customer service course should therefore include some degree of product knowledge. This could come in the form of product demonstrations, hands-on experience, and more.
- Company knowledge
Customer service trainees also need to have a good understanding of the company they represent. This includes things like the company’s history, its mission and values, and more. This information will help trainees understand the context in which they are providing customer service.
- Quality assurance training
Quality assurance training is a must for customer service representatives. This type of training will teach customer service reps how to properly handle customer complaints, how to escalate issues, and more. Each company will have different methods and metrics, but customer service reps need to be properly trained in what is expected and how they will be evaluated.
- Culture training
Customer service culture training is also important. This type of training will help customer service reps understand the company’s customer service philosophy and how it should be applied in their day-to-day work. This can help bond employees as a team working towards a unified mission.
- Diversity training
Last but not least, most companies will also require customer service reps to undergo diversity training. This type of training will help customer service reps understand how to work with people from all walks of life. This training helps to ensure five-star service is being delivered to all customers.
These are the things you can expect from an employer, but what else might you have to get training on?
Choose a comprehensive customer service course
Comprehensive training programs – such as CustomersFirst Academy – offer more in-depth training. This type of training helps you not only fit into your specific company but also to excel at the actual day-to-day work you will need to do.
- Up-selling tips
One of the biggest things your employer will use to evaluate you is sales – the bottom line. Therefore, a customer service course should offer tips on how to up-sell customers. This will help you increase your sales while providing excellent customer service.
- Conflict resolution
Another important customer service skill is conflict resolution. This is the ability to de-escalate a customer’s anger and find a resolution that satisfies both the customer and the company. This is a difficult skill to master, but it is essential for customer service representatives.
- Expert advice
The experts are the experts for a reason. They have the experience, qualifications, and know-how to get a customer service course right. You need to make sure that the training program uses experts in the field who can deliver high-quality content.
- Practical tools
A customer service training program should equip you with the practical tools and resources you need to do your job well. This might include checklists, templates, customer service scripts, and more. When it comes to working a customer service job, the more you can focus your brainpower on the customer and less on the administrative tasks, the better.
- Mindset work
A customer service training program should also help you to develop the right mindset for customer service work. This means understanding and accepting that customer service is a challenging job, being patient with difficult customers, and having the resilience to cope with customer complaints.
- Active listening skills
Perhaps the most important customer service skill of all is active listening. Active listening means being fully present with the customer, giving them your undivided attention, and really understanding their needs. This can be a challenge when you’re dealing with difficult customers or trying to resolve complex customer issues, but it’s essential for providing great customer service.
- Interactive learning
In customer service, you need to be able to think on your feet and adapt to different customer personalities. That’s why interactive learning is essential in customer service courses. You should be doing role-playing exercises, case studies, and other activities that force you to problem-solve in customer service scenarios.
While it is true that we always try to focus on the customer, we also need to be aware of our own performance. Customer service training should include some form of self-assessment so that you can reflect on your customer interactions and identify areas for improvement.
This might also include tools to be used later to check in with yourself and ask:
- How did that customer service interaction go?
- Is my mood affecting how I interact with customers? How?
- What customer service skills could I improve?
- Real examples for customer service course
One of the best ways to learn customer service skills is by observing others. This allows you to see customer service in action and learn from both the successes and failures of others.
Made-up scenarios and role-playing can only be so effective. At the end of the day, you need to see the experts in action. This is why a customer service course should use real customer service examples wherever possible. This could be through videos, case studies, or even stories from customer service professionals.
- Emergency management
This should be included in the in-house training, but often times it is not. Emergency management with customer service means knowing what to do when there is a large influx of calls, customers, or both. This is the customer service training you hope you never have to use, but it’s important to be prepared for anything.
- Critical thinking skills
Customer service requires you to think on your feet and come up with creative solutions to customer problems. This means having strong critical thinking skills. A customer service course should help you to develop your critical thinking skills so that you can quickly and effectively solve customer issues.
- A final test of understanding
At the end of customer service training, you should have a good understanding of all the customer service skills you’ve learned. This means being able to apply them in customer service scenarios.
To test this, customer service training should include a final assessment that tests your knowledge and ability to use customer service skills in different situations. This could be a written test, a customer service simulation, or both.
A final test is not meant to throw you back into school and stress you out. It is a guide to help you self-reflect and ensure your understanding of the material. How else will you know that you have learned anything?
- Leadership training
Good customer service course is not only for those on the front line. It is also for those who manage and lead customer service teams. Leadership training should cover topics such as team building, goal setting, and conflict resolution.
This type of customer service training is essential for managers and leaders who want to create a high-performing customer service team. It is also great for those who hope to be in leadership positions one day.
- Next steps
Technologies, processes, customer expectations – customer service is always evolving. This means that your customer service course should be an ongoing process, not a one-off event.
Make sure you find a training program that has some next steps for you to keep learning. These could be things like worksheets, e-learning modules, webinars, blog posts, or even customer service conferences.
- Resources for reference
Ultimately, you cannot remember every detail that the customer service course teaches you. That is why it is essential to have resources that you can refer back to when you need a refresher or more information.
These resources could be in the form of books, cheat sheets, blog posts, articles, or even online courses. Whatever format they are in, make sure you have them so that you can continue learning and developing your customer service skills.
A comprehensive customer service training program that covers many of the above essentials for equipping you with the skills and knowledge you need to excel in your customer service role. With the right training, you’ll be ready to take on whatever challenges come your way.