3 Reasons Why Your Customer Service Training Stinks


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You spend hours preparing and delivering customer service training to your team members, but your customers keep getting the same lousy service experience. Sound familiar? It’s not that you aren’t motivated, or that you aren’t talented, and no, your people aren’t incompetent. The problem is that effective customer service training is a process with action, not just a research project.

Half the money I spend on training is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.

-John Wanamaker

Too often, customer service trainings are turned into research projects where we sit around talking about the principles of service, and doing little to actually practice real customer service. Talking customer service has its time and place. It’s critical use customer service training time to inspire team members to deliver great service, and then brainstorm scenarios, cases, examples on how to go about delivering an exceptional customer service experience.

Think about recent training meetings attended and how many of them lacked that special something that turned the meeting from just a customer service chat, into a customer service training.

Begin customer service trainings and training programs with the end in mind, define expectations, hopes, and successes. Determine the action steps that need to be taken following trainings and create the support system and structure so that it can be accomplished.

Too often customer service trainings are used a just pep talks. Real training isn’t just a discussion. It requires discussion, motivation, practice, and review.

During the training presentation, you can teach and instruct, but the development of customer service skill comes through continued practice. And this won’t happen with just one practice session during a training meeting.

2. Your Employees Don’t Take Customer Service Training Seriously.

The first step to an effective customer service training is to communicate your expectations, and provide the tools that employees need to serve customers. Many times the lack of tools or ability to practice and receive continued feedback on performance makes customer service team members unable to actually develop the wanted service skill. With continued lack of support, employees quickly realize that the organization is focused more on service talk and less on service action.

Let employees know the proper procedures to solve common cases, and provide feedback on tackling the difficult, uncommon cases. Communicate the uncommon solutions to other team members. Gather common situations and customer scenarios and create a process for team members to practice the process in various scenarios.

3. Your Customer Service Training is Bad.

It’s not that the material is wrong or that you don’t know customer service. But if your material is bland or irrelevant to the needs of your team, your customer service is bad for your organization. Your people are unique, your organization is unique, and your customers are unique. So why are you using an off-the-shelf customer service training with generic?

The trainer can’t just be a ‘trainer’, or a teacher or a facilitator – he (she) needs to be part evangelist, part salesperson and and part entertainer. He needs to connect with the audience at a level far beyond rote skills.

-Shaun Belding, Author “Win at Work”

We’re past the days of “make sure you smile” and “use Sir or Ma’am”. I think that customer service team today know that you have to be polite and treat people well. If you want your customer service trainings taken seriously, take service seriously. Focus on creating positive customer experiences with your product or service offering during your customer service training. Focus on eliminating red tape and “policies” that cause customer frustration. Focus on creating efficiences your customers don’t get with competitors, additional benefits or perks that they only get with you.

Great customer service and exceptional customer experiences is about appealing to people’s emotions. Great service is having customer’s perceptions exceed their initial expectations. One of the easiest ways of doing this today is by getting people connected with people. The expectation of customer service today is dealing with a computer or a bland customer service agent that is filled with apologies but can do very little to actually help customers.

Great customer service training creates energy and excitement, is centered around sound principles and effective resources. By avoiding these 3 customer service training mistakes you can teach employees to deliver positive customer experiences with impact.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Flavio Martins
Flavio Martins is the VP of Operations and Customer Support at DigiCert, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise authentication services and high-assurance SSL certificates trusted by thousands of government, education, and Fortune 500 organizations. Flavio is an award-winning customer service blogger, customer service fanatic, and on a mission to show that organizations can use customer experience as a competitive advantage win customer loyalty. Blog: Win the Customer!


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