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How To Effectively Train Your Customer Service Team

Mariel M.

How To Effectively Train Your Customer Service Team

Many of the top E-Commerce brands we see in the industry today have a secret weapon to their success – an all-star customer service team.

Though customer service isn’t the ONLY piece you need to build a successful business, it certainly offers a competitive advantage by helping your brand retain more loyal customers, reduce churn rate, and, ultimately, enhance the entire customer experience.

However, deciding where and how to start your customer service agents’ training while also staying on top of support queues can be difficult. 

So, the question is, how can you make customer service training an ongoing process that seamlessly integrates into your agents’ weekly, monthly, or quarterly tasks?

Why Should You Invest In Customer Experience Training For Your Agents?

Investing the necessary time, energy, and money into customer experience training programs or processes is a MUST if you want to truly make the most of your brand’s customer service team.

As we explored in our last post about the top customer experience trends expected to emerge in 2024, the standards for customer support will be higher than ever in the new year, and E-Commerce brands will be expected to deliver or risk losing customers for good. 

Here are a few crucial reasons why you should invest in customer experience training for your agents:

1. Satisfied customers become loyal customers.

Think about the last positive customer service experience you had. If the interaction and product or service you received were both excellent, you probably felt excited to share the brand with a friend or family – kinda like the other 94% of people who will happily recommend a company with “very good” customer service. That’s the power of a solid customer service experience. 

2. Good customer service is a competitive edge.

Did you know that after one bad experience, nearly 80% of consumers say they would rather do business with a competitor? Yikes – those stakes are HIGH. Therefore, offering customer service that encourages new customers to work with you puts you on the receiving end of this startling statistic (trust us – the view is WAY better from that side). 

Good CX Starts With Hiring The Right Customer Service Agents

Ongoing CX training aside, we’d be remiss if we didn’t note that hiring the right agents for your brand is the best way to build a solid foundation for your customer service team. 

After all, there are certain skills required for customer service that can’t necessarily be taught – think empathy, patience, emotional intelligence – and these qualities will naturally exude from those who embody them.

Plus, training the right agents will always be easier than training agents who may not be the right fit for your brand, as the process will be able to focus more on fine-tuning their customer service skills rather than overhauling them entirely.

If you’re not ready to take on the hiring process alone, however, customer service outsourcing companies like TalentPop (cue excited waves!) help by recruiting, interviewing, and training agents for you. 

All in all, it’s a cost-effective solution that helps you find the right talent without the hassle. TOTAL win-win, right?  

4 Customer Service Training Tips To Implement In Your Business

Whether your business already has a customer service training program or is starting from scratch, we’re here to help. 

Since training thousands of agents on a global scale and serving over 500 brands in the E-Commerce industry, we’re proud to say that we’ve gotten customer service training down to a science. 

Now, we’re sharing 4 of our top tips for totally nailing it with you.

1. Teach Product Knowledge 

Your products and services are unique to your business, and they’ll likely change and evolve constantly to better meet your customers’ needs. 

Therefore, your customer service agents must be kept up to date on new features, bug fixes, huge sales, and other crucial information they need to independently offer the best experience – especially when you consider that 83% of consumers expect to solve complex problems by speaking to one person. 

Here are a couple of ways we recommend teaching and offering ongoing training on your products and services:

  • Create job shadowing opportunities. Many customer service agents learn by doing, and pairing new agents with seasoned pros can teach them more about your products and services and how to work through troubleshooting issues with customers.
  • Develop a knowledge base. A knowledge base that your entire customer service team can access gives your agents an immediate way to check for updates, new features, or other changes to your products and services. Be sure to keep it organized and updated at least once per quarter.

2. Employ Crisis Management Training

Crises arise in every business, and when they do, your customer service team must be prepared to handle them. After all, it takes 12 positive customer service experiences to make up for just one bad one, which is why getting it right the first time is crucial to your business’ success. 

Here are 2 simple ways to incorporate crisis management into your customer service training strategies.

  • Conduct mock customer service calls. Practice makes perfect, sure, but it also makes your agents more comfortable handling real-life situations with angry or frustrated customers. Have your agents regularly practice mock calls that mimic situations where they will need to employ their crisis management skills to resolve a difficult inquiry peacefully.
  • Use the LAST method. LAST, standing for Listen, Acknowledge, Solve, and Thank, is the go-to approach for handling especially difficult calls. Have your agents implement it in both practice and real-life calls to ensure they’re following the steps to handle the situation appropriately.

3. Practice Customer Advocacy

When your agents go above and beyond for customers and actively advocate for them, your brand is rewarded with loyal brand advocates who will repeatedly purchase from and refer your business. 

Here are a few ways to encourage your agents to practice customer advocacy:

  • Collect helpful feedback. Customer feedback is the best way to gain helpful insights into what your customers think and feel about your brand. If a customer offers feedback willingly, train your agents on how to validate it (if it’s constructive or negative) or express their gratitude for sharing it (whether it’s positive or negative). Pro tip: if your team or brand actually employs the feedback, seize the opportunity to thank the customer who suggested it with an update and thank you.
  • Go the extra mile. Customer care means surpassing customer expectations to create a memorable experience. Encourage your agents to add a personal touch when appropriate to make your customers feel valued, and – similarly to our crisis management tips – train them on how to take accountability for hiccups and mistakes on the part of your team or business.

4. Encourage Team-Building

The customer service industry has the highest employee turnover rate (as high as 45%), which often results in a disjointed team. Considering your customer service team is the bedrock of your business, an unhappy one is the ultimate crack in your foundation.

When your team feels like they’re part of a happy community, they’ll feel more inclined to advocate for your brand and provide better experiences for customers, both of which benefit your business. Just take it from the 75% of customers who’ve said they’ve fallen in love with and are loyal to brands because of friendly customer service agents.

All in all, happy customer service agents = happy customers. ‘Nuff said.

Here are 2 ways to encourage team-building and positivity amongst your agents:

  • Schedule team outings. We understand that outings may be difficult for businesses with team members located across the country (or heck, across the globe!), but even digital gatherings or regular team meetings can be a fun respite from work that offer opportunities for agents to connect with one another. 
  • Offer incentives. Offering rewards to agents who go above and beyond encourages your team to do their best work and support each other through fun, healthy competition. 

Partner With TalentPop’s Trained Customer Service Agents To Elevate Your Brand’s CX

The best customer service starts with solid training, and at TalentPop, we pride ourselves on helping our customers nail this piece of their business strategy.

We not only recruit the best customer service agents and train them in all the top E-Commerce tools and software before you hire them – we also pair your brand with a Customer Success Manager to help you with ongoing training and ensure that each agent is consistently reaching their full potential. 

With scalable, month-to-month solutions and a super-affordable pricing model (as low as $8/hour per agent), outsourcing customer service to our team is a no-brainer.

If you’re ready to turn your customer service team into a competitive advantage in 2024, schedule a call with us today and we’ll show you how to get started.

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