In the corporate world, a sale is only halfway to business success. When a purchase is completed, and the new customer starts using your product or service, it’s up to customer-facing teams to ensure customer satisfaction and increase client loyalty. And as your business grows, you will have an increasingly greater need for scalable and unified training for customer service specialists.
A systematic alternative to both rote learning of service instructions and sporadic face-to-face training is online customer service training via online courses on learning management platforms.
Who Needs Customer Service Training?
Customer service training is especially relevant for companies in the retail, hospitality, civil aviation, healthcare and software industries, in which customer or tech support is an important element. Such companies tend to conduct customer service training for these four purposes:
- New hire onboarding. Medium and large enterprises might onboard dozens of new customer service reps every month.
- Scheduled regular training. A number of training events are assigned to each employee during their life cycle in the company.
- Training on customer service pain points. If higher management identifies bottlenecks in service delivery, they can elaborate new practices to fix customer service issues and train staff in them.
- Product knowledge training. Employees become acquainted with updates, new features, and new products or services as soon as they are available with product knowledge training.
Customer service is the face of your organization, builds up your reputation and is at the forefront of successful businesses. As such, customer service training should be firmly established and adopted by customer-facing companies. Online training is highly applicable to the training of frontline workers, and customer service is no exception.
Why Move Customer Service Training Online?
Here are some reasons the online format is effective for customer service training:
- Scalability: You can train numerous affiliates along unified standards. Regardless of where they’re located, all your employees get systematic training and work according to uniform policies.
- Mobility: Learners can access training materials from their mobile devices and take courses at a time that is convenient for them.
- Reduced training costs: As it is conducted online, training doesn’t entail repeated venue, travel and accommodation costs. It’s time- and effort-savvy.
- Better assessment: You can get an unbiased assessment of how learners gained knowledge. As well, you can set time limits and shuffle online quizzes, and this will help eliminate cheating.
- Adaptability: You can use the same courses many times over and revise them easily when needed.
Plus, online training combines well with face-to-face training and workshops, so you can make it a part of your blended learning program. For example, you can conduct live training after online courses to enhance knowledge retention. Or move a part of your training online to offload trainers’ tasks and conduct training while travel is restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
How to Prepare to Launch Online Customer Service Training
To initiate stable and effective online training for customer service, you must understand your customers’ needs or pain points, identify skills and knowledge gaps and understand whether or not your content is ready for virtual delivery.
Below are a few important questions to ask yourself when planning to organize customer service training and move it online.
- What are their pain points?
- Why have they chosen your product or service?
- What would an ideal customer or support experience look like?
- How do they perceive your brand?
- How do you want them to perceive your brand?
- What experience do they expect to have with your service or support?
- What’s the best way to connect with your customer?
- What goals do you hope to accomplish with customer service training?
- What knowledge do you expect them to gain?
- What knowledge do they want to acquire during the course?
- What purpose does each member of the team serve?
- What improvements in their work do they expect to realize after completing the training?
- What training content does your company have?
- What kinds of media (text, video or audio) do you plan to include in online courses?
- Will you need to create courses from scratch?
- How will you structure information?
- Do you plan to develop courses on your own, or look for external help?
- How often do you plan to update the courses?
After you answer these questions and know exactly what you need to deliver, you can start selecting the proper authoring tool — the software for building online learning content. It differs in usability and pricing, and if you haven’t decided on the tool yet, feel free to read this comparative guide on five popular course creation tools.
Also, you should think about content delivery: Namely, the way your learners will access online training materials and how you will manage this process. Learning management systems (LMS) are another type of software that is designed to facilitate and automate the training process in an organization. With this five-step guide, you’ll learn how to choose an LMS that fulfills your needs.
Types of Content for Online Customer Service Training
With the help of your authoring tool, you can make a range of interactive and cost-effective learning content for online corporate training.
Theoretical Online Courses
If you have existing materials like PDFs with instructions or manuals about customer service regulations, putting them in the form of online courses is entirely worthwhile. This will allow allocating information in a convenient form and allow learners to remember it better. With pictures, backgrounds and animations, your course will be more appealing.
You can record a video course with seasoned customer service managers in which they will share tips and insights on communication with customers, self-efficacy, coping with stress or another training topic. Recording such short presenter-style videos will take only a webcam, an authoring tool that supports decent video editing and sound design, and a presenter.
Interactive assessments like quizzes and mini-games will help make your courses engaging and effective. Placing them at the end of each module will let you know how learners go through training and what mistakes they make. You can also set grades, penalties and time limits, and provide feedback to go beyond “passed/failed” statuses.
Dialogue simulations are interactive exercises that allow learners to interact with a fictional customer. They are a risk-free way to practice communication skills and handle various customer service scenarios, like dealing with an angry customer. Dialogue simulations presuppose that the outcome changes depending on the answers and may lead to other options. Making such branching scenarios is no hassle with a user-friendly authoring tool.
Working with cases is another exercise that’s helpful for in-depth assessment. With authoring tools, you can create free-form assignments and prompt learners to describe certain procedures, such as signing someone up into the customer loyalty program or refund policies.
Moving training online is a flexible yet systematic way to establish a customer service training process in your organization. It may be presented in a variety of content formats that are easy to create. With the tips from this article, you should be prepared for a strong start in online training.