More than $87 billion was spent on training in the United States last year. Clearly, businesses and organizations are investing in their workforces — but are they spending their money wisely enough to see improvements?
Research reveals many aren’t, with much of the money spent on corporate training in the U.S. considered ineffective. Why? Because while it’s viewed as a ‘must-have’ element of running a successful company, brands are failing to choose training that’s tailored to their team’s specific needs.
Some of the most important education in any business focuses on the customer experience. Your customer service team is responsible for representing your brand, keeping your audience satisfied and fostering loyalty. And a quality training program is critical to maximize its performance.
Two aspects of training you can deliver with Playvox are Learning processes and Coaching sessions. Both can make a big impact on your customer service team, but how?
Learning Processes: Training Your Customer Service Team
Our Learning module is designed to help businesses just like yours build a better customer service team through custom courses.
As a manager, you’re free to collaborate with team leaders / supervisors, admins, customer-service reps and other key figures to determine the most effective learning plan. But this isn’t about throwing a generic training session together for your entire team, the kind likely to bore them to tears during its four-hour run.
No — your Learning courses are much different. First and foremost, workers can access them right at their desk and improve their skills without having to sit in a stuffy conference room. They can dive into training courses they’ve been invited to as and when they like. You can even add images, videos, audio and other media to make learning a more engaging experience too.
But how do you know whether your customer service team’s actually absorbing any information and applying it to their daily work? Test their knowledge using custom quizzes. These are a terrific way to gauge your Learning process’s efficiency and impact in an interactive process.
On top of this, managers, team leaders / supervisors, admins, employees (basically, anyone with authorization) can track Learning progress based on clear results. View scores for each quiz, monitor who has completed which courses and gain powerful insights into your customer service team’s development.
Analyzing these results informs your future Learning courses. Is your current content focusing too much on certain areas of customer service and neglecting others? Should you add more videos and audio to increase engagement? Are your quizzes too difficult?
Answering these — and many other — questions helps you improve your Learning program over time, along with the level of service your team delivers.
Basically, Learning courses focus on teaching skills, techniques and processes integral to an excellent customer experience. Putting time and effort into creating an effective program can lead to real rewards, driving your employees to increase overall satisfaction and retention rates.
Coaching Sessions: Driving Excellence in Customer Experience
Coaching sessions are a vital complement to your Learning processes, but they’re very different.
While Learning courses aim to educate at a more technical level, Coaching involves providing valuable feedback and practical advice to improve performance. Managers and team leaders / supervisors may look at different areas — customer engagement, productivity, collaborating with colleagues etc. — and guide employees in a way that suits their individual skills or working methods.
In customer service, good Coaching sessions lead your team to communicate better, complete tasks faster and make the most of their role. This can make a significant impact on those with no experience of customer service and those with plenty alike.
Actually managing your customer service team’s Coaching sessions is simple too, thanks to the streamlined platform design. It’s based around customizable forms and, as with Learning processes, allows employees to access help right at their workstation.
You can find coaching forms from your dashboard and initiate a session within moments. Scorecards used to measure performance during customer interactions (as part of your quality assurance program) may be included in the Coaching session to illustrate points raised. You can identify focus topics and provide feedback, before actually setting goals.
This is incredibly important to achieve practical results and motivate employees to up their game. You can get specific with objectives and make it clear exactly what you expect to be accomplished within a specific timeframe. That eliminates the risk of vague instructions (such as lazily telling workers to ‘get better fast’) and offers explicit targets to hit.
Such clarity helps maximize your Coaching sessions’ efficiency, especially when combined with Learning processes. Incentives help too: the Karma Points system featured within Playvox offers rewards and recognition for your customer service team’s hard work — show your appreciation by assigning points and badges. These can be redeemed for gifts in the Karma Store, such as gadgets, gift cards, snacks and more.
Make sure all goals set through Coaching sessions are realistic and attainable within the allotted time. Don’t put too much pressure on your team: this can be counterproductive and inspire resentment. Discuss options with team leaders and customer service agents to ascertain what can or can’t be done.
Overall, then, Learning processes and Coaching sessions are a must-have combination for your customer service team.
You want to encourage your employees to work harder and better in a cost-effective way — and that’s exactly what Learning and Coaching does. You can engage and inspire them directly at their desk, without the disruption traditional training sessions cause. It fits into their everyday schedule much more comfortably.
Being able to track progress and make changes on the fly is a massive benefit too. Review performance and productivity to determine whether the current plan is achieving the results you want, and adjust it as required. It’s streamlined. It’s effective. And it’ll build a stronger customer service team.
What are your thoughts on training and coaching your customer service agents? What techniques do you use to improve their performance? Let us know!