The content you use in your customer service training program is important for maintaining interest, improving knowledge retention, and ensuring the program's success. Learn more about the types of content you should create by reading this article.
Customers have high expectations for their experiences with brands, with at least 64% of customers leaving a brand due to poor customer experience. This reality means that customer service training is no longer a nice-to-have; it’s a top priority for organisational success.
But your customer service training content matters just as much as the frequency with which you do the training. There are specific skills you need your team to develop and specific knowledge gaps that you must fill. Content that doesn’t grab your team’s attention won’t help you achieve those objectives. It’s also important for this content to fit well with your overall employee training program.
In this article, you’ll learn about the benefits of including customer service training in your ongoing employee training program, the types of customer service training, and the content you should focus on to make the training successful.
Customer service training helps tackle three organisational challenges. First, it helps everyone in your organisation develop a customer-centric mindset. When done well, an effective customer service training program will help all people within your organisation understand how their work impacts the customer experience.
Second, developing an organisation-wide customer-centric mindset improves the customer’s perception of your brand. Research by Salesforce shows that 94% of customers say their decision to buy from a brand is influenced by how that brand treats its customers. If people perceive that your brand doesn’t address customers’ issues and treats customers poorly, they won’t want to buy from you.
Third, customer service training helps you delve more deeply into what your customers want. Your customer service training plan will be built on the problems identified through customer surveys and other direct interactions with customers. It’s important to share this data with the rest of your organisation so that marketing efforts can be improved, products can be tweaked to meet your customer’s demands, the right people can be hired, and teams can get the funding they need for projects and resources that benefit the customer.
There are three main customer service training modalities — in-person, online, and hybrid. Each modality can be broken down into different types of customer service training. Here are a few examples.
Here are three examples of training that can be done with your employees at a physical location.
Research by Degreed shows that when employees want to learn new skills, 55% of them turn to their peers. An internal peer mentorship program allows peers within your organisation to come together, share their experiences, and support each other.
This supportive environment will help your team better understand customers’ issues and the roadblocks within the organisation that make it difficult to solve these issues. In such an environment, it’s easier to bounce ideas off each other and play on each other’s strengths to come up with possible solutions.
But creating an environment for peer mentorship to thrive means that you and other senior members of staff have to work on developing a safe and collaborative culture. It’s not an overnight solution but the more you work on it, the better the outcomes for your organisation.
In-person workshops allow your team to benefit from the knowledge and expertise of customer service professionals and business leaders. Most companies like workshops because the time is set aside for employees to attend the training sessions and there are more opportunities for social learning to take place.
But workshops also have significant downsides. About 43 to 185 hours are needed to create content that will be truly effective for a single hour of training, with even more content creation time needed for specialised training. Also, only about 15% of employees can adequately apply what they’re learned with 80% of that knowledge being forgotten after a month. So, solely using workshops for your customer service training won’t make the training effective.
Role-playing provides a hands-on approach for applying what has been learned in other types of customer service training. It’s important for your team to engage with this training format so they can learn from scenarios based on real-life customer interactions, identify their mistakes, and translate this practical knowledge into their daily work.
There are many ways to utilise online learning in your customer service training program. Here are four examples.
Micro-learning refers to bite-sized training that ranges between one and 10 minutes. It’s a powerful training format that increases knowledge retention by 50%. Effective delivery of micro-learning training modules often requires a learning management system that can store courses, group courses, and track learner progress.
Here’s an example of a customer service micro-learning courses in One on One’s library of 1,000+ customer service courses. This course covers dealing with angry customers.
Let’s start with the course description.
This interactive 10-minute course includes a 5-minute video that shows mistakes often made when dealing with angry customers, as well as practical tips for addressing these mistakes.
There is also a PDF download where your employee can dive in to get even more practical tips.
The 5-minute video and PDF download are followed by a quick knowledge-check quiz with three questions.
The correct answers are shown for questions that are answered incorrectly, and you instantly get the results of the quiz at the end.
A member of your team can easily complete this micro-learning activity in 10 minutes or less. This is great news for your employee training program since the average completion rate for a 10-minute micro-learning course is typically around 83%.
Interested in learning more about One on One’s library of over 1,000 customer service courses for employees? Book a demo to learn more.
Webinars can be good for your team to get the knowledge they need from global experts. Gartner has a list of insightful customer service webinars you may want to include in your customer service training program. Another option is for you to create your own customer service webinars that feature experts across the Caribbean region. This approach increases the chances of your team getting Caribbean-specific insights that relate to the context of your organisation.
Virtual training sessions are similar to webinars, but tend to be more practical and specific to the unique needs of your team. An important consideration when developing training sessions is whether your learning management system allows integrations with the virtual meeting platforms your team loves.
One on One’s LMS integrates with any software that has an API. This means that our LMS can integrate with Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, and whichever other API-powered video conferencing tool you need for your virtual training sessions. Utilising this integration makes it easier for you to keep track of attendance, give employees access to recordings, and so much more.
Virtual reality and augmented reality make it possible to immerse your employees into real-life simulations. Although highly beneficial, this type of training is often costly. Virtual headsets start at roughly US$299, but development of the content and online experience needed to create a great learning experience can cost well over US$50,000.
Hybrid customer service training uses a mixture of in-person and online training. The mixture of training you use depends on the unique needs of your employees and the culture within your organisation. But hybrid training is often a good option to consider because it gives you the benefits of in-person and online training.
Check out our podcast interview with Tamara Dunbar, Training and Development Manager at the ATL Automotive Group. She shares some great tips for making hybrid training effective.
The type of customer service training you do will impact the customer service training content you create. That’s why it’s important to ensure you’re clear about the training combinations you’ll be using in your employee training program before looking more closely at the type of content you should include.
Here are some types of customer service training content you should include in your employee training program for all members of staff.
An effective customer service training program is linked to your organisation’s values, mission, and vision. What do you want customers to believe about you? What’s your promise to them? The answers to these questions should be clear in your organisation’s values, mission, and vision.
Communication of your company’s values, mission, and vision should begin during employee onboarding. Your employee onboarding manual should make the connection between these three things and your company’s customer-centric mindset clear. It also helps to supplement what’s written in the manual with customised training videos and knowledge-check quizzes that further highlight the message you’re trying to convey. Put all of this together in a course that’s mandatory for new hires and existing employees to complete using your LMS.
The type of content you need here highlights the importance of adding custom content to your LMS. Content that highlights your company’s values, mission, and vision in an interactive and engaging way isn’t something you can purchase off-the-shelf. One on One’s content creation team can use the material you provide to create an engaging company-specific course that includes animated videos, talking head videos, customised audio recordings, simulations, and scenario-based activities. We can even use H5P to embed knowledge checks into videos.
Your customer onboarding process should be clear to everyone within your organisation. It’s good to use a diagram or flowchart to depict each stage of the process and the roles of departments play at each stage. There are online tools, such as LucidChart, that you can use to make your customer onboarding diagram interactive.
An interactive flowchart can also be used to demonstrate your issue escalation process. But what’s even more important is ensuring all your team members have the soft skills necessary to handle escalating issues. These soft skills include:
Dealing with confrontation and conflict
One on One has a range of ready-made courses that provide training in these soft skills and more.
There should be a clear process for making internal customer service work effectively. Communication is a big part of that process. That’s why your customer service training program should include content about your organisation’s inter-department communication process, as well as content that trains staff on effective internal and external communication.
Effective communication courses are also offered in One on One’s course library, but our content development team can also create custom courses based on what you want your team to learn about inter-department communication.
There are some departments, such as the product development department, that will need more detailed knowledge about your product than others. But all employees should have enough basic knowledge of the product to understand what you’re selling, why you’re selling it, and how it impacts customers’ lives.
Product demonstrations can be done live through virtual town halls or training sessions. They can also be pre-recorded so that your team can watch (and rewatch) the videos at their convenience.
Want to convert your internal product demos into mini-courses? Our content development team is here to make the magic happen!
All of your senior managers and execs will need leadership training, especially if creating a customer-centric culture is new to your organisation. Pair the support of an external leadership training consultant with online training through your learning management system. With One on One’s LMS, you can access over 4,500 leadership training courses!
Want to learn more about how to conduct leadership training effectively? Listen to our podcast episode with Daniel Denningberg, a global HR expert.
Ultimately, your customer service training program will be based on the unique challenges within your organisation. So, there will be opportunities for custom content to be created to provide the training needed to address those unique challenges. You want this content to be bite-sized, engaging, and interactive. You can trust One on One’s content development team to create this content for you so that your team can access it through your LMS.
The content for your customer service training program shouldn’t be limited to how your staff interacts with customers. There are multiple areas of business that impact customer service and your customer service training program should address the issues that are unique to your organisation. That’s why you need content that is tailored to your organisation’s unique needs.
One on One has a learning management system, library of 30,000+ courses across multiple business areas, and a content development team that’s ready to provide you with personalised content and courses. Book a demo to learn more about how we can help you create the best possible customer service training program for your team.
Want to learn more about creating an effective customer service training program? Check out our podcast interview with Gina Tomlinson-Williams.