Are you offering your customer service team the resources they need to keep your customers loyal? In this article, I highlight eight skills that are often overlooked in customer service online training.
Customer Service Online Training: 8 Overlooked Skills To Consider
Your customer service staff deals with any number of challenges every day, ranging from customer complaints to product returns. They may even help troubleshoot common problems to ensure that your consumers get the best possible customer experience. But are you giving them all the support and online training resources they require to get the job done? Below are 8 skills that you should incorporate into your customer service online training course.
- Time Management
Customer service isn’t just about the quality of care you provide to consumers or your level of attentiveness. It’s also a matter of how quickly you offer that superior customer service. Your employees must be able to handle customer issues in a timely manner, which requires strong time management skills. Timed online training simulations give them the opportunity to hone their skills while learning how to work under pressure.
Employees need to empathize with customers and make them feel as though their feelings and opinions are not only acknowledged but also respected. You can foster empathy skills in customer service online training by using customer personas in online training simulations or branching scenarios. You can also provide employees with real-world examples and personal anecdotes that foster an emotional connection. Seeing things from a fresh point of view can be an eye-opening experience.
You may think negotiation skills are strictly for sales associates who need to seal the deal. However, they are also a vital asset for customer service employees, given that there are times when front-end employees must diffuse the situation or appease the customer with the fine art of negotiation and persuasion. For example, the product they want is no longer in stock, but the employee can negotiate the sale of a similar item. Branching scenarios are a great way to impart negotiation skills and allow employees to learn from their mistakes to perfect their persuasive abilities.
Every member of your team must be able to adapt to different challenges and situations. But it’s particularly crucial for those in a customer service role. Use serious games and real-world simulations that test their ability to apply their skills in different contexts. For example, utilizing their communication skills to actively listen to a customer’s needs so that they can recommend the right product, rather than simply going through the motions of applying communication abilities while completing a return. You can also put plot twists into your branching scenarios and serious games to gauge how well they adapt.
- Patience And Perseverance
Helping customers and ensuring they receive the best customer experience is more a marathon than a sprint. As such, your employees must be patient enough to listen to customers and address their concerns. But they also need to be perseverant so that they can provide superior customer service without compromising your brand image or violating compliance. For example, being able to tactfully deny a customer’s return if it’s well over the deadline. But also working with them to find a solution that’s mutually beneficial. These skills can be cultivated in customer service online training through group collaboration activities that allow employees to develop their patience and perseverance in a team setting.
Service associates may often think of themselves as “complaint sponges”. They’re the ones who customers approach when they have a problem. Which puts them in the direct line of fire when it comes to voicing their dissatisfaction with your company. As such, your staff must be assertive but professional. They can’t take things personally and they must stand their ground when it comes to company policies. Launch a social media group where your employees can share their experiences and tips to build assertiveness skills. They can also host debates to learn how to articulate their viewpoint while respecting others’ ideas.
Staying positive even when things get a bit stressful at work is an essential customer service skill. Even if the customer is unhappy, your employees must maintain their professionalism and be authentically upbeat. That’s not to say that they should paste on a smile round the clock. However, they need to be able to keep their cool and put your company’s best foot forward at all times. One of the best ways to instill this skill is to offer them ongoing online training resources so that they boost self-confidence and self-assurance. For example, a microlearning online training library that features troubleshooting guides.
You can also incorporate character-based stories into your eLearning course design so that they can see things from a different perspective. For instance, employees may be more positive when they encounter a disgruntled customer if they understand that other factors, such as emotional issues or stressors that are weighing on the customer, are at play.
- Non-Verbal Communication
While many customer service online training courses cover communication skills, non-verbal communication is often overlooked. For instance, a customer’s facial expressions or body language reveal a lot about their attitude toward your brand or product. This ability is a bit more challenging to hone. However, you can use online training tutorials, demos, and non-verbal simulations to cultivate this skill. As an example, develop a series of bite-sized video demos that highlight different scenarios, each focusing on distinct expressions or subtle forms of communication that employees must decipher.
These 8 skills are essential for your customer service team and should be included in your customer service online training. However, they can benefit other members of your organization, such as sales staff who need to interact with customers and identify their needs. You might even consider a cross-training program so that employees from different departments can step in and handle basic customer service issues. It may require more time and resources, but just think about how you can improve those customer satisfaction scores.
An extended enterprise LMS may be just what you need to improve customer service and provide resources to your entire team. Read the article 8 Ways An Extended Enterprise LMS Can Help You Improve Customer Service Skills to discover how an extended enterprise LMS can improve the customer service skills of your employees.