Customer Service Training Programs Aren’t ‘Nice-to-Have’s’ Any More
When we first started our business in the early ’90s, a customer service training program was considered a ‘nice to have.’ From time to time it would drift into the conversation at executive levels, but would just as quickly drift away as the topics changed to more ‘serious’ things. Operational things, like creating efficiencies, meeting revenue targets, achieving quality, etc. were more easily measured, and consequently treated as being far more important.
This, of course, has changed. Customer service training programs are now essential investments for companies. Customer experience is no longer an optional part of a business model. It is now basic table stakes for companies that want to stay in the game. Those who haven’t figured it out yet are watching their businesses slowly erode, with no clue as to why it’s happening. Some very notable companies may already be past the point of no return.
The Difference Between Customer Service and Customer Experience
Customer Experience is the term used for the overall experience a customer has with a company. It includes people, processes, policies and practices. Customer service is the people part – that part where we actually get to interact with a live human being.
Despite the tremendous advances in technologies and processes, it is People who still make the biggest difference. Great customer service experiences increase customer loyalty, reduce customer churn, increase employee retention and decrease escalations of issues. A skilled service provider can compensate for a myriad of process and policy failures.
We’ve all seen stories of a single individual with no training and few customer service skills creating outrage in this world where global word-of-mouth is a mouse-click away. (Remember Dr. David Dao being dragged off of a United Airlines flight?)
Don’t Leave A Customer Service Training Program To Chance
Whatever you do, don’t leave a customer service training program to chance. If you’re going to commit the valuable time of your team to attend the program, make it count. Here are the 11 rules that Belding Training follows when creating an Outstanding customer service training program. If you are already delivering a customer service training program for your teams, use this as a handy checklist to ensure you are on track. If you are looking at introducing customer service training, use this as your guide.
If you aren’t yet doing customer service training for your team, you may want to take a look at the 4 myths of customer service. Chances are there is at least one of these you will want to read!