A well-trained employee can make all the difference when it comes to customer service and how the employee deals with customer escalations, solves customer problems, and upsells or cross-sells your products. When you invest in training programs for your employees, you’ll probably find that your employees come out of the training motivated and better equipped to work with customers. However, over time, their enthusiasm fades and you may find yourself dealing with some of the same pre-training issues.
Before you start to get frustrated with your employees about their “training amnesia,” take a look at your training service training reinforcement methodology. Do you have training follow-up programs in place? One article estimates that within six months, as much as three-quarters of training will be lost without follow up, and less than half of what employees learn in training will be transferred to the job unless there is adequate follow up.
Customer service training is one of the most important steps you can take to improve your employees’ customer service skills, so make the training lessons stick by formulating a smart service training reinforcement plan. We’ll show you how.
Summarize training points on handouts
Unless your employees are fortunate enough to have a photographic memory, they probably won’t remember a lot of the important points they read and learned at their training. Compile a handout that highlights key points from the training, uses diagrams and pictures (if necessary), and is short – between 1 and 2 pages. Encourage employees to hang the sheet up at their workspace so that they can refer to the training information as needed.
When the training ends, the coaching begins
Training sessions are typically a mix of theory, blended with examples of how to incorporate the skills in real-life examples. When your employees return to the workplace, they’ll likely remember a lot of the theory, so to help them put it into practice by observing them and correcting inappropriate behavior. Demonstrate the correct methodology, and reinforce their proper behavior through praise and feedback. This type of coaching – particularly right after training – helps solidify what your employees learned.
Check-in with during meetings
Use workplace meetings to reinforce the lessons that your employees learned during their training sessions. Take the opportunity to ask them to review the key concepts they learned at their training, discuss how their newly acquired skills are helping them, and give them a chance to talk about any problems they are having applying their new knowledge to practical situations. By debriefing periodically, you’ll reinforce the training lessons and help your employees work through any issues they may be having as they start to apply what they learned.
Lead by example
If you think your employees don’t notice your own behavior, think again. One of the best ways to reinforce training lessons is to lead by example. Bring the training lessons to life by carefully monitoring your own behavior – make sure that you are consistent with applying training lessons to how you work with customers, treat your employees, and treat your co-workers.
Make your workplace a classroom
Customer service training doesn’t have to end when your employees leave the classroom. Get the most out of your training investment by following our tips for reinforcing training skills and using your coaching skills to maximize what your employees learned in their training.