Are you helping your customer service team unlock its full potential?Sadly, many companies aren’t. In fact, according to a stat-filled infographic created by the team at SHIFTelearning, ineffective training costs over $13.5m each year yet a staggering 74 percent of workers feel they aren’t achieving their full potential.
Even if you invest in training to help your customer service team work to a higher standard and develop valuable new skills, you could be wasting big bucks — unless you strive to maximize engagement.
How can you do that?
Turn Training into a Game
We all love to play games from time to time, right? Well, use this to your advantage and make training more impactful for your customer service team.
There are different games you can play to increase engagement during learning. One option is to try role-play: have one person play a customer while the other is a hard-working agent trying to resolve an interaction. However, the ‘customer’ has a bad attitude and makes increasingly-ridiculous complaints.
This can escalate to become silly and light-hearted, but there’s a serious matter at its core: customer service agents have to remain professional, cool-headed and helpful no matter how difficult the other person is.
Colleagues should rate the agent’s performance at the end of the role-playing game, and discuss the effectiveness of their service to identify opportunities to improve.
Find or Create Dynamic Videos
Documents have their place in training your customer service team. So do slide presentations. But long stretches of time reading blocks of text or listening to one person talk on and on about good service can cause employees’ minds to wander.
And that makes it incredibly unlikely they’ll actually absorb the lessons being imparted.
So, help to make your training sessions more engaging by incorporating videos. YouTube is packed with videos covering customer service, though you have to be selective in which you show — not all of them will be relevant to your industry or team.
When presenting videos during group training sessions, be sure to pause at key points to take questions or add your own insights. This is crucial for longer videos, to encourage employees to think about what they’re seeing and how it relates to their work.
But training can be undertaken at workers’ computers too, at their own pace. Another advantage of videos is that they can be watched again and again, to help employees understand certain points more easily.
Of course, if you have the budget and the resources, you could consider having bespoke videos created instead. Why? Because they would be even more relevant to your business and the type of customer-service challenges your workforce faces.
You can also draw on reactions to previous training sessions to keep your videos engaging — basically, if videos of a certain length or tone cause groans, you know what not to do! And don’t be afraid to actually ask your team which aspects of videos they like best and what they’d want to see in future videos.
Incorporate Different Types of Visual Content
For an employee undertaking targeted training at their computer, learning courses should be stimulating and engaging to maximize their effectiveness. You have to avoid boring your workers during critical training as much as you can.
One way to keep your learning courses satisfying is to mix the materials up. Don’t just send over a hundred-page document detailing the intricacies of handling customer complaints. Pepper your training with images, videos, infographics, slides, animations and audio. Help your workers connect with the information they’re supposed to absorb however you can.
The best quality assurance software makes distributing training to your customer service team quick and simple. You can monitor their learning progress and identify which workers need a little more assistance to reach goals.
Test Employee Knowledge with Quizzes
Another major benefit of a great QA software is the ability to create quizzes and send them to your customer service agents.
This is a fantastic way to test their knowledge and gauge the effectiveness of your learning courses. Working through the quizzes is fun and easy for employees, taking up next to no time out of their day.
You’ll see where your workers are making progress and where they need extra training. It may be that face-to-face coaching is required to get employees where they need to be, and this can open the door to further learning opportunities.
Quizzes can be revised and updated based on worker feedback too — perhaps your agents feel the questions are unclear or irrelevant to their job. In any case, send quizzes to your customer service team on a regular basis.
You can incorporate quizzes into group sessions too: have agents split into teams and compete as in a game show. Again, you can use this experience to gauge the efficiency of your quizzes and inform new ones in the future.
Keep Learning Focused and Relevant
Finally, all training you provide should be relevant to your customer service team. Avoid bombarding them with generic presentations or documents that seem impressive but offer little value to their day-to-day work. The more training speaks to your workers, the more engaged they’ll be.
Make sure you gather insights from your employees about your learning path. Do they feel they’re picking up helpful new skills? Are they receiving all the support they need to actually integrate said new skills into their work?
Use any and all helpful feedback when putting training together to maximize relevance. Keep learning courses focused and accessible to all employees who will undertake them.
Planning a learning path for your customer service team doesn’t have to be daunting or difficult. With the right software and strategy, you can help guide your employees to a higher standard of performance that leaves customers satisfied.
Each learning course should be put together with engagement in mind. Use a variety of materials and approaches to keep training fresh: videos, images, documents, games and quizzes all have the power to make learning more compelling for your customer service team.
Follow the tips explored above and you can make a learning path with the power to achieve real improvements. What would you add to this list and why? We’d love to know what ideas you have to make your training engaging!