6 tools for training kick-@$$ customer service teams

Aug 18, 2015

By Mitch Macfarlane

In a world where the customer is always right and has several social media platform to voice any grievances when they feel your company is wrong, having an awesome customer service team in place is more important than ever.  

Training Customer Service Bridge LMS

So, how do you train your customer service teams to not only avoid the bad PR that comes with an epic customer service fail, but to actually succeed in keeping the customer happy—a feat that can generate up to nine referrals per positive encounter?

According to Salesforce, more than 90 percent of incidents where employees are rude stem from them not knowing how to respond to a customer request. That’s a huge problem and a huge opportunity. Training can make all the difference between a team that inspires tears of joy or makes you hang your head in shame. But where do you begin? For starters, make sure you have a learning management system (LMS) in place to quickly and effectively deliver the goods, aka training.

However, not all LMSs are the same. Look for one that provides:  

1. Customized Curriculum: One Size Fits All is for Moo Moos

“You know like nunchuck skills... bowhunting skills... computer hacking skills…”

— Napoleon Dynamite

Start by identifying the strengths of your team members, then build a training curriculum that will help build them up. Customize your courses based on job title, experience, performance, product lines and any other parameters you set.

2. Mobile-friendly Courses: 24/7 Access Means 0 Excuses

Picture this, you’ve got 500 reps in 12 states and need to roll out training for a major upgrade to your company’s product. Would you rather schedule 20 separate meetings to go through an in-class presentation, or quickly develop and deploy a short course or video that can be seen by all 500 reps right in the palm of their hands between service calls, (if needed)? And if they need a refresher, they can review it whenever, wherever and as many times as it takes to get it.

3. Real-time Reality Checks: No BSing Through Lessons

Anyone can nod their head and fake their way through a presentation. But it’s a little more difficult to fake it till you make it when you’re quizzed on the information. Real-time assessments not only help you gauge the effectiveness of your courses, but allow you to “grade” your learners and tweak the materials if your reps just aren’t getting it. There’s no hiding off-the-mark messaging either, as any holes in your courses will be quickly identified through quizzes and need to be addressed by revising your courses.

4. Analytics: Verify who Actually Took the Course  

The right LMS will allow you to quickly see who in your organization has taken their assigned courses and who hasn’t. Then you can gently nudge those who still need to complete the training in one fell swoop—so your people can avoid the public embarrassment of not knowing the material. You can also use this data to reward your most committed departments or reps. A little interoffice competition could help motivate them to finish first and score highest on assessments.  

5. Easy-to-Design Courses: Drag and Drop It Like It’s Hot

Spend hours creating a course while struggling with software? Ain’t nobody got time for that! Look for an LMS that allows you to easily import existing presentations from PowerPoint and other sources, as well as create your own content in a matter of minutes—maybe even less time than it takes to handle a service call.

6. Rapid Deployment: Pull the Trigger Enterprise-Wide

What if you need to train non-employees who still need to represent your company on some level? Six degrees of separation are no sweat with the right LMS. By using cloud-based and responsive courses, you can rapidly deploy training to thousands of reps who don’t work for you, but need to be able to speak about your product intelligently. All you really need is a name and email address, in a matter of minutes, thousands of people (vendors, employees, whatevs) could take the course at once.

Today’s consumers have zero patience for a bad customer service experience. Make sure your service teams have the tools they need to surprise, delight and retain your valuable customer base—they can be found in a single learning management system built with the user (ahem, customer) in mind.

Which training tools or tactics have taken your customer service to the next level? Please share in the comments below.

Mitch Macfarlane
SVP of Customer Success, Instructure


Topics: Bridge

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