The Importance of Customer Service Training

Customer Service Training

Good, continuous training is important in any and every environment and done well, will add value to both individuals and the company.  The Contact Centre and Customer Services industry is a sector which has an extensive amount of training and development available, as the industry strives to achieve  customer advocacy, customer satisfaction, employee engagement and business efficiencies.

Good Training and Trainers can inspire and lead to great things and our team have been lucky enough to receive fantastic training throughout the years.  This is one of the reasons that  Douglas Jackson are supporters of the Customer Service Training Network and are proud to be involved as a judge for the Customer Service Training Awards, which is now in it’s fourth year and helps celebrate and promote the Customer Service Training community.

In advance of this year’s awards we asked some key and previous award winning individuals across the Training community on their thoughts on the Importance of Customer Service Training and what that can help deliver:

Lynne Oliver-Walsh, Operational Learning Manager for Barclaycard

The Importance of Customer Service to Create Customer Advocacy:

Customer Advocacy Loyalty

Studies from the Institute of Customer Service (ICS) show that loyal customers provide free promotion through recommendations and cost less to service! However, the study also found that customers are far more likely to switch suppliers in the future meaning that there is no room for complacency during these tough economic times. Loyalty is driven by customer satisfaction and a recent ICS study found that businesses and consumers ranked customer service as the biggest driver of loyalty ahead of product, brand and marketing.

Recognising the link between customer advocacy and great customer service, Barclaycard has invested heavily in making improvements to the training of their Customer Service Advisors in order to continually improve their colleague and customer experience. Here are three examples of exciting new initiatives that are being delivered during 2013:

Tone & Empathy Training

Recognising the importance of actively listening and acknowledging customers appropriately a bespoke piece of training has been developed for Advisors. It is a two phased approach that involves face to face training with examples and practice on how to express empathy and use tone of voice to connect with customers. The second phase is self directed learning using computer based training that incorporates customer examples. The first three months post training show a 10% uplift in behavioural quality scores overall.

‘Making it in Barclaycard’ Induction Programme

A new Induction course has been designed to focus on colleague engagement by providing trainees with a high level of process knowledge and a deep understanding of customer behaviors. It enables Advisors to alter their approach on every call in order to meet our customer needs and exhibit an excellent customer experience.  The course has been designed to be highly interactive and appealing to all learning styles. Early indications show benefits of accelerated learning due to ‘on the job’ time,  reduced attrition, Increased NPS scores, Improved quality scores, a reduction in ‘Advisor’ related complaints, improved first point of contact resolution.

B-Connected

To ensure our Offshore Advisers can make a connection with UK customer’s lives, regardless of their geographic location, innovative technology now supports and compliments traditional face to face training. A ‘U Touch Video Wall’ is an area where all colleagues will be able to come and work together or individually.  They will be able to interact with a vast array of information that will be available on the Video Wall, much the same as using an Ipad/tablet or smart phone. It’s basically the same touch screen technology but on a much larger scale!

Information is accessed through App style technology and includes a host of websites on hobbies/interests in the UK, sport, UK news, major UK holidays/events, weather, Google Earth, Goole Maps, social media sites, UK politics, UK money matters, UK shopping (high street & online), customer satisfaction videos clips, customer calls and coaching sessions from the new ‘Making it in Barclaycard’ induction.

Identifying what is most important to customers is a key requirement to ensure colleagues are trained to the appropriate levels. The business wants employees to be ‘fans’ so it is a key requirement for the Learning team to inspire new starters to deliver an exceptional customer experience.

Don Hales, Chairman of Awards International, the Customer Service Training Network and Managing Director of The World of Customer Service:

The Importance of Customer Service Training to lower operating costs and deliver a fantastic customer experience:

Customer Satisfaction Processes

Most business leaders agree that Customer Service is a major factor in their future plans.  For many it represents the main differentiator, as the realisation that competing on price alone is a recipe for disaster for many businesses.

Great Customer Service also represents great business as it leads to fewer dissatisfied customers, fewer mistakes and lower operating costs. Additionally staff stay longer and add further value when they are involved with an organisation that provides great customer service and value. 

Given the importance of customer service, it follows that the role of training is vital.  An experienced, dedicated trainer can inspire great service resulting in a fantastic customer experience.

Rodney Assock – Head of Operational Training for LV

The Importance of Customer Service Training to put your people and customers at the heart of everything you do:

Customers and People at the Heart of Your Business

At LV= we believe that by putting our people and our customers at the heart of what we do will reap business benefits and the on-going, effective training we can provide across the operations will help play a key part in realising these benefits.

Our focus on customer service starts by recruiting the right people with the right attitude because you can’t train people to have the right personality. You can, however, develop and enhance their skills, which is something our Operational Training team continually works on to evolve and deliver the right training to meet the requirements of our employees, customers and the wider business.

We have developed a range of activities to support our people in delivering the lovely kind of award winning service LV= has achieved.  We have built our brand and helped develop/instil our values through various methods including; classroom, coaching, learning technologies and experiential learning. The outcomes achieved by this training, have not only enhanced our customer satisfaction scores but have helped deliver better employee engagement and loyalty; the feedback we consistently receive from our contact centre teams is that the training they have received has really helped them to have more satisfying conversations with our customers and this in turn keeps our people engaged and they are willing to do more for the company.

Good, effective training and putting your people and customers at the heart of your business will deliver improved customer satisfaction, better engaged employees and achieve business improvements.

The Customer Service Training Awards serve to promote best practice and excellence in the important field of Customer Service Training and to draw attention to the role played by trainers, who almost by definition, tend to help others and shy away from the spotlight.  If you are interested in getting involved, promoting your training team, or an individual trainer, there is still time to enter the Customer Service Training Awards, details can be found here.

What do you think about the Importance of Customer Service Training and what have your experiences been?  Maybe you design the training strategy, deliver training, or have received good, or bad training, please do let us know by posting your comments here.

If you are interested in hiring a Training professional, Manager or Leader, or, are looking for your next move, then please do give us a call or get in touch, email: mail@douglas-jackson.com, Tel: 0845 620 9720

About Douglas Jackson Executive Search and Recruitment Consultants

Douglas Jackson are an Executive Search and specialist, independent Recruitment Consultancy who specialise in permanent and Executive Interim recruitment services for Executive, 'Head of' and Managerial level roles which help; Define your Customer Strategy. Design your Customer Experience. Develop your Customer Insight. Direct your Customer Contact. Deliver your Customer Service. Differentiate your business and brand. We recruit for Executive Level, Head of and Management positions which help design, develop and deliver more efficient and profitable Customer Strategy, Customer Contact, Customer Service and Customer Experience. We recruit for Director, Head of Department, Manager and skilled strategist, programme, transformation and analyst appointments across Customer Contact; Customer Service, Customer Strategy, Contact Centre, Call Centre, Customer Experience, Resource Planning, Insight and Analytics. We work in partnership with our customers across the UK and internationally, many of whom are FTSE 100, blue-Chip brands but also challenger and start-up organisations, to design develop, deliver and manage your Customer Contact strategy. Developing Best in Class and Award winning CX DX
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3 Responses to The Importance of Customer Service Training

  1. Totally agree. What is sad for us as a training provider is when organisations expect stellar performance from agents without training them properly in what ‘stellar’ customer service means. Be really clear on your brand ‘voice’ and get this trained clearly across all voice and non voice agents. Coach and feedback at least monthly with individuals against a structured quality framework. Keep refreshing the messages with short sessions and provide lots of real examples of what you do and don’t want. Then you can empower your front lines and achieve a consistent and high quality customer experience.

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  2. Pingback: | Paramount Training & Development

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