By: Amy @IWantItNowBlog Clark
Customer service training activities are important, because we all know how important customer service itself is to the success of a company. It is the thing for which a company will ultimately be judged, regardless of how good a product or service actually is. As I’ve said before, customer service is often forgotten when good, but is immediately recalled when it is awful.
As a result, customer service training is important, but it seems like this is a case where customer service and the training industry kind of overlap, and coming from either field, this deserves its own overview given the importance and uniqueness of the situation. So, we’re going to go over a few excellent customer service training activities, and just to throw an extra nod to training here, we’re going to cite gamification as the main methodology.
These are a few training games for customer service, that instill specific mentalities necessary for proper customer service to work.
#1 – Standards, Please!
This is a game to instill the importance of following standards of practices and procedures within a customer service department. This is an important thing to have people adopt as a habit, so this is an important game, probably the best one to start with.
It involves lining everyone up, and instructing them to cross a room while meeting criteria you give, like demanding people wearing blue jeans to take two steps right and people with white shirts to take two steps forward etc. This is also a way to train employees to deal with overlapping and conflicting tenets of standards and practices.
It’s a good way to break the ice, and involves moving around a little and stretching, which is often a welcome break from hours of sitting in a professional atmosphere.
#2 – Let Me Tell You What I Can Do
This is to teach employees how to placate customers making demands they cannot fulfill. This is something that will always happen in customer service, so instilling skillful response capacity in your customer service people is an important thing to focus on as well.
This game is simple too. It involves collecting everyone in a circle, and taking turns making impossible requests of another individual. They must then make offers of alternatives that may entice the requester while dissuading them from continuing to ask for what cannot be provided. The more absurd the demands become, the more creative the answers must therefore become as well.
This game is fun, and can result in some humor and friendly competition in silliest demands and most creative answers, and is an excellent tool for training.
#3 – Explain Yourself
This is to get employees used to the need for explaining themselves to customers, by teaching them the importance of this firsthand. This is important, as customers value knowledge, and will always want to know why a procedure or request is being made of them during a customer service session.
Get two participants from the group, and dress them in a scarf, earmuffs and a spare pair of winter boots. On the first participant, make no explanation of what you are doing as you remove the extra clothes, measure them, then take their shoes off and measure their feet.
On the second, do the same but while doing so, explain that you are measuring them for alterations to their winter clothes and must measure both them and the clothes separately to determine the best way to do so.
Get feedback from how both of them felt during the experience, and then have the group discuss this. Shuffle this up a bit with similar ploys along the same plot for yet others, until everyone experiences both sides of this coin.
These are just a few of the more fun, gamified customer service training activities, and there are more like it out there that you ought to look into if you need to train customer service people.