Retaining CX Talent With Training

It’s not a fun time to be customer service. According to the 10th edition of the Customer Care Measurement and Consultancy’s National Customer Rage Survey, which has tracked satisfaction and incivility in customer service since 1976, 43% of customers shouted at customer care representatives in 2020, an increase from 35% in 2015.

Customer care has never been an easy job; according to the Harvard Business Review, the average call center turnover rate is as high as 45%, almost twice the turnover rate of other jobs. Nor is the job getting easier; 60% of service professionals say customer expectations increased during the last few years. Customers of all kinds expect prompt, accurate answers, seamless service, and excellent digital service, and they’re making contact more regularly — 61% of customer service leaders say calls to customer service have increased and more customers are calling in more than usual.

At the same time, the capacity to answer those calls has decreased. According to McKinsey, employees in customer service roles are leaving faster than they did before the pandemic, and are more difficult to replace. While employee dissatisfaction was reported as a reason for this uptick in departures, the main driver behind attrition appears to be poaching. Unable to find their own new staff, competitors have started hiring talent away from rivals.

With fewer reps to answer calls, wait times are getting longer, and customers are getting angrier – which may make them quicker to lose their tempers when they do get a representative on the line. To solve these problems, customer care leaders are faced with the task of retaining top talent and are looking to training to help them do that.

How can training help you retain top CX talent?

McKinsey found that three out of five customer service leaders rate attracting, training, and retaining talent as a top priority. This means building comprehensive training programs that equip existing staff with the skills they need to face mounting challenges in CX while feeling supported in their career development.

1. Preparing customer service reps for their roles

When reps aren’t well-prepared, they become overwhelmed and may quit. It’s not surprising that 81% of decision makers say they’re making increased investments in training — up from 77% in 2018, to 79% in 2020. That training includes both hard skills, like product training, and people skills, which is important for reps who are on the phone all day. Take the example of TTEC, a global customer experience company that offers Call Center Outsourcing Solutions for their clients. After working with Litmos to onboard and train clients’ call center agents quickly and efficiently, TTEC was able to decrease voluntary attrition by 10%.

2. Improving customer service rep onboarding

New reps need as much support as they can get when they join an organization. They need to know how to handle tricky customer interactions and how to stay cool in the face of conflict. The more onboarding you give your reps, the better off they will be.

By providing them with a structured onboarding program that introduces them to your company’s values, policies, and procedures, as well as providing them with the necessary tools and resources to succeed, you can help new customer service reps feel supported and confident. Effective onboarding that can be accessed online or offline, at any time, can also reduce the time it takes for new employees to become fully productive members of your CX team. Invest in a comprehensive onboarding process to set your customer care reps up for success from day one.

3. Training for adaptability

The customer care industry today is much different than it was even a few years ago. In an industry where customer needs and communication channels constantly evolve, the ability of your customer care staff to adapt is crucial. Investing in training programs enables employees to develop a versatile skill set, equipping them to handle a variety of situations and challenges. Ongoing training also helps staff stay updated on industry trends, technological advancements, and changes in customer behavior, making them more adaptable to evolving demands.

4. Training for job satisfaction

Happy employees are more likely to stay with a company and contribute positively to its culture, and with customer care reps, positive morale can have an impact on your clientele.

According to Salesforce data, 85% of decision makers agree there is a direct link between employee experience and customer experience. To improve the employee experience, customer care leaders have been investing in measures that will help their employees avoid burnout, like flexible schedules, wellness benefits, and lifestyle training programs (think yoga and meditation.)

5. Creating career advancement opportunities

Lack of advancement was cited by McKinsey as one reason customer care reps leave their jobs, and customer care organizations have begun to address this concern. Salesforce finds that 44% of organizations started offering improved career development to their customer service reps during the pandemic, and 85% of agents now say they have a clear path for career growth — up from 67% in 2020 and 59% in 2018. Recognizing employees for their commitment to learning and providing clear pathways for career progression can motivate them to stay with the company for the long term.

Keeping your best CX talent

Your customer experience staff is the face of your business, and the friendly voice on the phone. Your reps deserve training that prepares them for their role, and that helps them advance in their careers. By addressing the unique challenges of customer care roles and offering customized training programs, businesses can not only weather the storm of talent shortages but also emerge with a more skilled, satisfied, and loyal customer care team.

Don’t let talent shortages and high turnover rates hold your customer care team back. Discover how Litmos can help you build comprehensive training programs that equip your reps with the skills they need to excel in their roles and advance in their careers. With our user-friendly platform, you can easily onboard new reps, provide ongoing training for adaptability, and foster job satisfaction through lifestyle training programs. Learn how Litmos customer service training solutions can make a difference in your organization.