How to Train and Groom Perfect Customer Service Representatives?

The Importance of an Engaged Team

There exists a very close relationship between how a company treats its employees and how it actually performs in terms of financial growth. Unfortunately at the moment, according to a recent Gallup poll, only 30% of American organizations have come to terms with this reality. Other reports have shown that indeed those organizations that engage their employees are more likely to experience higher than average performance than their hands-off counterparts.

So why aren’t modern organizations paying better attention to this perennial problem?

Unlike in the past when seeing employees simply as conduits toward interacting with clients was the order of the day, the modern day scenario calls for a more comprehensive system of engagement – one that values dynamic communication, seamless employer-employee interaction, continuous learning and utilization of technology-enable performance support tools.

Valuing Constant Communication and Feedback

Constant gathering feedback and opinions from your employees is ultimately one of the best things that you can do to achieve a better manager-employees relationship. As such it is imperative that you are constantly conducting short surveys within your organization, which are highly effective in raising the level of communication. This in turn yields a healthy working relationship and which at the end of the day leads to better performance. Note that for better results, these surveys can be followed up with periodic meetings.

The best way to cultivate a mutual culture of commitment to your organizational goals among your customer service employees is by constantly making your presence felt. By just delegating your roles to some other person or department, you are simple creating an organizational barrier. Such a barrier may at the very end give birth to a unmotivated and unstable workforce. So, be sure to work directly with your team. Find the most effective way to engage each individual team player. Then, adopt this habit going forward.

There is a close resemblance between the techniques used to build customer loyalty and those used for improving the performance of your customer support team. Essentially, both aspects are based on the fact that you always treat people with respect. It all boils down to maintaining long-term service and engagement.

Continuous Learning and Performance Sustenance

Training is a very vital facet in the compilation of a strong customer service team. However, more often than not, such training may fail to translate into tangible results at a go. It is human to err and this is especially so at the maiden stages of introducing a host of new skills and infrastructure in any organization. Unfortunately, such redundancies may gradually start eating into your market base and slowly create a negative negate your level of customer experience.

In other words, there always exists a virtual gap between the moment when customer service employees receive training and when they actually reach full levels of independence in performing their roles. Even in cases where near-perfect training sessions have been conducted, there always are some minor hiccups as employees struggle to attain full levels of proficiency. In nature, human beings tend to learn best after repetition as opposed to grasping information at a single sitting. In fact, only geniuses seem to defy this rule.

So how can you get your customer service employees to quickly absorb what they learned in training and put it into good use? How can you equip your team with the latest skills without necessarily hampering the flow of activities at your organization? How can you sustain a seamless interchange of skills and infrastructure at your institution without the effect being felt by your treasured clients?

Unlike in the past when a single-phased training was enough to get things working, the recent wave of dynamism has substantially made things different. Increasingly, organizations are adopting a continuous learning strategy, one in which training continues long after the initial sessions have ended. Modern training leans more towards on-job training as opposed to boardroom or seminar-based training. The underlying idea is that the employees need to be in constant touch with the latest developments so they continue learning and growing without pausing at any given time.

We are living in a high-speed world where things are constantly evolving. As such there is need to foster a workplace that is dynamic and open to adaptation.

Technology is literary a door to new learning opportunities

Technology has clearly made continuous learning quite viable a choice. There are quite a few tech options available out there that purposely designed for enhancing knowledge and growing performance. These include – e-learning software, m-learning, YouTube videos, webinars and other social media platforms. These have in their respective capacities given birth to the buzzword “informal learning” which simply stands for taking the basic framework of office activities beyond traditional barriers. Software such as WalkMe, enable you to carry out thorough on-job training to your employees without necessarily fueling operational glitches. They help cut down on the amount of time needed for training a large workforce and by extension help you save a significant amount of money and other resources that are necessary for normal training to take place. It is only through tools such as WalkMe that you can get rid of redundancies while introducing a new way of doing things in your organization.

Some great tools necessary for providing in-work performance include:

New Relic: A highly effective crowdsourcing support tool.

Librato: Good for incorporating other systems to track training and create a constant learning environment.

PacketTrap RMM: IT management toll for tracking malfunctions within infrastructure or to spot grey areas in the system that need improvement to facilitate proficient learning.

How to Improve Customer Service Performance

All the above-mentioned tools boast a rich history increasing overall performance especially as they are a long-term strategy. They are all backed by a series of company testimonials and studies and are linked to heightened performance.

To a typical manager, these tools are a superb way to slash training costs and time spent away from core tasks. They can significantly help you eliminate that worrying period between training and actual conceptualization of skills and in turn improve your performance. The lesser employee error there are, the higher the levels of proficiency and the juicier the results. In a nutshell, these tools help tie learning to performance thereby increasing motivation and sense of ownership. This is alongside empowering everyone who is a part of your organization. Yet another of their numerous benefits is that they help reduce employee’s frustration and confusion alongside lowering customer frustration.

It is high time for customer service managers to take this message to heart and most importantly see skill growth as a continuous process rather than a one-off event. To see the difference, start by providing your team with the tools and support to allow them take full control of their individual dockets. Most importantly remember that a motivated and fully engaged team is all it takes to achieve exponential growth.

To get more great information, be sure you download my FREE customer support and engagement Whitepaper. Fill in your name and email and a copy of the whitepaper will be emailed right away.

is Specialist in Customer Success and chief writer and editor of I Want It Now, a blog for Customer Service Experts. Follow her @StefWalkMe