Customer service often is defined by the customer’s experience. Happy customers are likely to return to make future purchases and recommend your business to others. Conversely, poor customer service can destroy your business. It’s especially true today where people are quick to use social media to post negative comments and ratings.
Some employees naturally know how to serve customers. But many others need coaching and training to develop customer service skills. Using online training can help you make all employees customer service stars. If you’re wondering what to teach employees, consider
1. Select an efficient online training software system. An online training software can help you effectively coach and train employees. You create modules that provide all of the information employees need to serve customers and do their jobs well. They can watch the modules as often as needed to ensure they understand the information.
There are many different software options. Here are a few tips to find the best fit:
*Easy to use. Small businesses often prefer a software system that’s easy to use and doesn’t require a degree in computer technology to set up.
* Help when you need it. Look for a system with simple instructions and great customer service support.
* Straightforward vs. complex features. Many software systems offer extra features that small businesses may not need or use. Don’t get caught up in the hype and pay extra for special options you may not Start simple and add-on features as needed.
Read more tips on finding the right software.
2. Coach employees how to treat customers. Every business has unique customers with different needs. Some customers may visit your store; others may make purchases online or call for assistance.
* Create a demographic profile for customers in each scenario. Think through these questions: What are their expectations? What do they need or want? What type of experience do customers in each situation expect? What do employees need to do to ensure customers are pleased with their experiences?
*Develop a list of expectations for how employees should interact with each type of customer. From the first contact with customers until the end of the sale or conversation, how do you want customers to feel or think about your business? Are there specific things employees need to do or say? If a customer has a specific or unusual request or a complaint, how should employees handle it?
* Teach effective communication and listening skills. Explain how employees should respond to customer queries and their “unspoken” questions and needs. During training sessions, describe how employees should ask questions, listen to customer responses, and the importance of restating what they hear to check for understanding.
3. Provide questions, create scenarios. Don’t assume that employees know how to interact with Create modules that teach employees how to connect with customers from the first point of contact. What questions should they ask to find how what employees need? How can employees keep the communication going throughout the discussion? How should employees respond if a customer says, “I’m just looking,” to keep them engaged? Or, during a phone order or online chat, how should workers connect with customers to meet their needs?
Ask seasoned employees to work with you to create these modules. Have them do “role plays” to coach employees through different customer experiences. Ask them also to share stories of their customer experiences showing positive and negative responses. Use these scenarios to help other employees know what to do when they experience similar situations.
4. Reinforce through follow up. With an online training software system, employees can watch the modules any time, from any place, and using any digital device. And business owners and managers can monitor the training modules they complete. If quizzes are created for each session, it’s easy to verify that employees understand the material.
But don’t stop there. Each week, follow up with employees to review the training points and discuss what they’ve learned. Do mini role-plays to ensure employees know how to respond to customers’ requests. Share stories from customers on their experiences with the business.
Regularly ask employees for suggestions for improvements on products, sales, and customer experiences. Employees will enjoy sharing their advice, and they’ll become more invested in the success of the business.
Get more out of employee training by connecting learning experiences to business goals. Read this blog to learn how.