Customer service is one of the dimensions to business that has huge impacts on the bottom line no matter what industry the business is in.  Companies that have deep pockets can afford big investments in customer service training programs (plus maybe a celebrity speaker here and there) but nowadays even smaller scale companies develop robust customer service training programs (instead of just a pep talk from Bob in sales upon onboarding a new employee). Companies can’t simply copy/paste customer service training programs from each other because business is conducted very differently from industry to industry and the culture within each company is also different. Below are some tips on what a successful customer service training program looks like, but make sure you adapt it to your company.
Because so much of customer service revolves around communication, the most successful training programs make sure to address communication etiquette. Such communication would include not just in-person communication but also telephone and digital (email, social media, etc). Employees will obviously already know how to communicate via these means but they will need to learn how to do so specifically as a representative of the company they are working for. The importance of answering incoming calls as quickly as possible, having good salutations in an email, and greeting everyone who walks through the door with a smile are some examples of such things that would typically be this part of the training program. For companies who want to take their customer service experience to the next level, they may even have a section describing how they can make customers feel like they are the center of the employee/company’s universe.
The best training programs also make sure to talk about the underlying reasons why employees are going through the program to begin with, specifically in terms of how they can support the overall customer service goals of the company. Customer service may not be the primary function of every employee at the company but it needs to be in the back of everyone’s mind because the ultimate purpose of every employee is to be a good representative of the company. Companies with awful customer service typically do not last very long, especially those who ignore it, because customers typically don’t buy products or services when they are treated poorly. How does a company survive if it loses all of its sales? This part of the training program typically teaches that even if providing exceptional customer service in a particular scenario means sacrificing some functionality, that’s what the employee should do. For example, it’s more important to show a customer where the deli they’re asking about is than to finish stocking a shelf.