How to Improve Customer Service with E-Learning
Providing good customer service is critical to business success for almost all companies. Good customer service is not a given, though, and it doesn’t happen by accident. Instead, it requires good customer service skills.
Developing good customer service skills in your team requires training. E-learning can help whether you have a customer service department, or you want to improve the abilities of all customer-facing employees.
Benefits of Customer Service Training
Customer service training should be an ongoing programme as it offers a range of benefits to your organisation. Those benefits include:
- Training will improve customer service, which can give your organisation a competitive edge. The reputation of your brand will also improve.
- Effective training will improve employee satisfaction as employees will be better equipped to handle various customer service situations.
- Employees will have more confidence if they are well trained, enabling them to handle more difficult customer service situations.
- Customer service training can raise profit levels, not least because customers will be more likely to remain a customer if they have a good experience.
Using E-Learning to Create Customer Service Training
E-learning is the ideal delivery method for customer service training. The following steps will help make the course you create as good as possible.
Set Clear Objectives
Start by setting clear objectives for the customer service training. What do you want to achieve? How will you measure success? Are there objective metrics that you can use, such as customer satisfaction scores?
Be Clear About the Customer Service Skills that You Want to Improve
It can also be helpful to think about the customer service skills that you want to improve with the e-learning course. After all, there is a broad range of skills that come under the customer service umbrella. Examples include:
- The ability to ask the right questions to get a proper understanding of the problem. Confirming that understanding with the customer is also important.
- Listening skills and being empathetic.
- Using positive language, including in difficult situations.
- De-escalation techniques and capabilities.
- Product knowledge to ensure staff understand customer issues and have the knowledge required to provide useful answers and suggestions.
- Customer service processes and procedures.
- Problem-solving abilities.
- Communication skills.
- Organisational and time management skills, particularly when solving customer service issues requires co-ordinating multiple people.
- Stress management as customer-facing situations can sometimes be challenging for employees to deal with.
Tailor the Course for the Intended Audience
Different members of staff will need different types of customer service training at different times. For the best results, you should tailor your e-learning courses as much as possible.
For example, you might create customer service training that is part of the onboarding process for new recruits. You might then create different courses to enhance the skills of existing employees as well as refresher courses that all members of staff complete periodically. It might also be necessary on occasion to create an e-learning customer service training course to address a specific issue.
Relevance is Essential
Your customer service e-learning courses should have content that is directly relevant and familiar to learners. Therefore, avoid generic or theoretical content as much as possible. Instead, include examples and stories describing situations that could feasibly occur in your organisation.
Use Branching Scenarios
Scenarios are one of the most powerful tools you have when developing customer service training. Branching scenarios take the concept to the next level as they help learners understand the consequences of the decisions they take in customer service situations.
Branching scenarios are particularly effective at helping your team learn how to handle challenging customer service situations where the decisions can have a significant impact on outcomes.
As described in the previous point, the branching scenarios you create should be as realistic as possible. It is also best if you use them as a training tool rather than a tool used to assess the skills and knowledge of learners.
One of the main reasons for this last point is that getting things wrong and making incorrect decisions is part of the learning process. After all, customer service situations are not always clear-cut where there is an obvious path to resolution. It is much better that learners make mistakes when dealing with these difficult situations in the safe and supportive environment of an e-learning course.
Include Tough but Realistic Situations
Staying with the difficult theme, you should include tough customer service situations in your e-learning courses when it makes sense to do so. You will improve real-life customer service outcomes if employees encounter difficult experiences during training before they have to deal with them while facing an actual customer.
Show the Impact of Bad Customer Service
With some types of customer service training, it can be helpful to include examples of bad customer service. These examples will demonstrate the impact that bad customer service has on your organisation, but it can also be beneficial to show the impact from the customer’s perspective. Understanding the customer’s perspective will improve empathy as well as decision-making abilities.
Getting Started with E-Learning Customer Service Training
The e-learning customer service training courses that you create will become important assets, helping to drive continuous improvement in a crucial part of your business. Therefore, it makes sense to invest in the e-learning content that you create. Whether you develop in-house or outsource to a professional e-learning developer, you will get a return on that investment.