Customer Service Skills Your Employees Should Have and How E-Learning Can Help
Customer service is a critical function in many businesses. Whether you deal face to face, online, or on the telephone, the interactions your team has with customers will impact your bottom line. This highlights the importance of good customer service skills.
Even the worst situations can be turned into a positive outcome by a member of staff with good customer service skills. The opposite is true too – fairly simple cases can end up blown out of proportion because of poor standards of customer service.
Below are some essential customer service skills your employees should have, as well as how e-learning can help you train your team.
Customer Service Skills for Everyone
It is also worthwhile mentioning the importance of good customer skills across your whole organisation. Your customer service team will take the lead, but there is a much wider group of people in your company who have the potential of coming into contact with customers in customer service situations. It will benefit your organisation if they also have good customer service skills.
Customer Service Training Strategy
One mistake when creating customer service training is to lump everything into the same course or guide. In many situations, customer service is too big a topic for this approach to be effective. Also, there are some customer service skills that are so essential and in-depth that it is worth creating standalone training content.
Therefore, we have split the customer service skills we will cover in this blog into two main categories – general customer service skills and specific skills essential for customer service that you should consider covering in standalone e-learning training.
General Customer Service Skills
We’ll start with general customer service skills. The skills that you should cover in your customer service e-learning course includes:
- Empathy – helping employees become better at looking at a situation from the customer’s point of view.
- Positivity – helping employees learn how to stay positive, particularly when in challenging customer service situations.
- Staying calm under pressure – training on how to remain calm when customer service situations become highly emotional or pressurised.
- De-escalation and persuasion skills – training employees in de-escalation techniques to help them lower the temperature of difficult customer service situations, as well as persuasion skills to help them progress these situations to a conclusion.
- Patience – your customer service training should also cover patience and should include information on why patience is important.
- Adaptability – almost anything can happen in a customer service situation, so it’s important your employees are adaptable.
Specific Skills that Will Enhance Overall Customer Service Skills
The specific skills that you should consider covering in standalone e-learning courses include:
- Communication skills
- Product knowledge
- Processes and procedures
- Organisational skills
- Stress management
Communication is central to most customer service situations. It is also a big topic, but it is one that is ideal for e-learning. This particularly applies if you include scenarios in your communication skills e-learning course.
Some of the key customer service-focused communication topic areas include:
- Making eye contact with the customer and speaking clearly
- Properly listening to what the customer is saying, as well as active listening where you demonstrate through your actions that you are listening
- Writing skills if your team mostly deals with customers by email or chat
- Ability to ask the right questions
- Repeating the problem back to the customer to ensure there is a full understanding
- Using positive language in all communications
Customers can become frustrated during customer service situations when the person they are speaking to has minimal product knowledge. In these situations, the solution is often to put the customer on hold while the team member gets the answer. It would be much better for the customer and your organisation if the employee had the knowledge in the first place.
As product knowledge is often crucial to customer service interactions, product knowledge training should be part of your overall customer service training strategy.
Processes and Procedures
To ensure the best experience for customers, your team should have in-depth knowledge of customer service procedures and processes. However, many companies opt for a learning-on-the-job approach. The problem that can arise with this approach is that while an employee is learning the company’s processes and procedures, they are not delivering an optimal level of service to the customers they deal with.
Therefore, you should consider creating a training course covering your customer service processes and procedures. E-learning is a highly effective delivery method for such courses.
In some companies, customer service issues can only be resolved by speaking to multiple people. Once the customer service team member has the information they need from the various people in the organisation, they can then go back to the customer. If this applies to your company and customer service team, it can be worthwhile providing training in organisation skills.
In some companies, stress management training can be helpful for employees involved in customer service. This can be included in general customer service training, but you should consider creating more detailed standalone content if your team regularly faces stressful situations.
Everyone can improve their customer service skills, including those who already have a lot of expertise. Plus, it can be easy to drift into bad habits in customer service. These factors make it important to regularly re-visit customer service training with your team, in addition to enhancing their skills.
The benefits of having a team skilled in customer service include everything from improved customer loyalty to enhanced market reputation to increased sales.