How to Train Customer Service Agents for Success

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No matter the reasons why a customer chooses to reach out to you, it’s important that each agent is professional, knowledgeable, courteous, and can offer expedited assistance. Training targeted specifically to areas of competency, efficiency and customer service best practices are all requirements to delivering excellent customer care.  

Training alone is not enough to account for consistent customer service delivery, though; the software that customer facing agents rely on is equally important. The technology surrounding CRM platforms is evolving and nowadays it is easier to stay nimble thanks to cloud technology. Another big change in software is the analytic capabilities that allow companies to incorporate some pretty nifty features such as customized scripts (like Zingtree!) and persistent ticket tracking, which allow for better customer experiences.

Let’s review a few training tips to take your customer service from good to awesome.

Use Your Knowledge

Customers are coming to you with a lot of product awareness, but they still expect your representative to be the expert. Customer facing agents should be trained thoroughly on all of the products and services they are responsible for representing, in addition to knowing where to quickly send a customer if s/he requires help or service from another department. Beyond product knowledge, training should be comprehensive regarding the software/hardware platforms the agent is working with.

Always Be Professional

Training customer facing agents how to handle frustrated and irate customers is key for employee morale and low turnover. If agents aren’t fully and properly trained in working with upset customers, you can plan on a revolving door in your contact center. Customer facing agents who can remain professional, even when tested, will reflect well on your company. Training agents to remain professional whenever they’re representing your company should be ongoing – there is always room for improvement!

Remain Courteous

The push and pull of a profitable company call center requires agents to efficiently resolve a customer’s issue, while also remaining polite and courteous. Training agents in how to be polite and productive is a practiced skill. As more customers demand personalized care, agent training that teaches manners and personalization techniques will be rewarded with customer loyalty.

Have Departmental Knowledge

Before an agent is allowed to work with customers, he or she needs to be broadly aware of the functions and roles of the other customer-serving departments. The next step is to ensure proper training in how to patch a customer through to the right person; this is where the need for an omni-channel strategy comes in. It’s easy to see how frustrating it can be for customers to start with one agent, then get transferred to another while having to start over at the beginning if your software doesn’t track a customer through different channels or departments.

As with all training programs, it should be relevant, easy to absorb, and appropriate to the learner. Making training tools available for various types of learners is important if what is being taught is to be incorporated into the workplace.

Customer facing agents are under a lot of stress and pressure but a good training program that is ongoing pays off in that employees are more satisfied in their jobs, which ultimately translates to more satisfied customers!  

 

This article was written by Jodi Beuder of MHI Global. Are you interested in submitting a guest blog post? Please contact us!

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