Corporate culture training doesn't have to be extensive, but it should be consistent. Finally, the most important benefit of customer service training is increased productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness. This type of customer service training is less of an emergency but just as time-sensitive. Whether your team is serving customers via social media, email, chat, or the phone, train them to replace negative words with positive ones. Customer service training materials. Premium plans, Connect your favorite apps to HubSpot. Integrating a brand advocacy strategy into your customer service training will allow you to receive support not only from customers but from your own employees too. Customer service training and onboarding for new hires aren't any different. Whatever the topic, Lunch and Learns will keep support reps in the habit of being able to present and explain new topics in detail to others. So, here are a couple of training exercises to teach your customer service team how to deal with — and delight — difficult customers. Let's review some below. Even those with thick skin can get worn down and discouraged after dealing with so many angry customers. Customer service training can teach new and improved communication techniques, but new hires should be able to showcase the ability to simplify complex topics and teach others new skills. Encourage reps to try role-play exercises with each other where one person pretends to be an unhappy and vocal customer with a number of questions. For example, instead of saying, “I’m afraid that…”, encourage your customer service team to start sentences with, “I’d love to help…”. HubSpot uses Treehouse for our own customer support and service training. They partner with universities around the world, such as Berkeley, Harvard, and University of Kyoto — the school by which the Culture of Services: New Perspective on Customer Relations course is presented. Team members playing the role of the customer should feel free to be creative -- all customers are different, and support reps should be prepared to adapt to different situations and personalities before they get on the phones with real customers. The other person should practice regaining control of the conversation and respectfully but directly navigating the discussion to the solution or solutions that rep can offer. If this is the case for your business, you should try the exercises below for improving customer service skills. Brownlee is an expert in the customer service field and advocates for creating relationships of trust and loyalty with customers, promoting customer care versus simple service. Outside of team meetings, there are plenty of online resources customer support and service reps can use to hone their education and skills to always keep improving. The support rep is essentially telling the customer that no, they can't offer them a discount. Fun fact: HubSpot’s own customer support teams use a leaderboard and have found it motivates and inspires performance. Changing responses to align with a customers' frustrations and needs tells a customer, “We’re on your side, too.”. It primarily teaches digital and business-related skills. For example, if you're launching a new product, you may hold an instructional presentation explaining what it is, how it works, and why it was created. A rare combination, indeed. Customer experience simulation is essentially the reverse of role playing. They create crisis communication plans and educate every rep on how to respond to common questions that customers will have for the business. Jot down five to 10 negative customer service responses and ask your team to rewrite them as positive statements. Sometimes, working on the front lines of customer support can be really stressful. 1. The topic doesn't matter -- it can be work-related, or it can be a presentation about their recent vacation photos, or an organization they volunteer with. Customer service is a company’s opportunity to connect with customers, solve problems, and show they care. Most likely the latter. Avoid saying no. Is that correct? Other tests include the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and 16Personalities, and these can all give support reps helpful insights into how they best like to work, how they communicate with others, and possible sources of conflict they might encounter. That's because they're working on the front lines with customers, acting as the face of your business. HubSpot uses the information you provide to us to contact you about our relevant content, products, and services. This will help reps maintain clear communication. This is why customer service teams should focus on delivering a good overall customer service experience. Discuss contingency plans for potential shutdowns and what employees can share with customers if they ask about sensitive information. Here are some innovative ideas to improve customer service experience: Know Your Customer and How to Solve Their Problem. This will make your employees much more comfortable in their new role. Inspiring healthy competition in the form of a leaderboard or monthly awards will challenge your customer service team to go above and beyond, helping more customers, creating camaraderie, and contributing to their overall success and future career. Well, you should always hire the best fit for each role, customer service included. It’s also about keeping your language and responses upbeat and promising so customers also remain positive. We're committed to your privacy. Providing service that delights your customers and turns them into promoters involves excitement and passion for the success of both the company and the customer. These are letters written from the perspective of the customer that are addressed to the customer service employee. 3. By diving into these topics in-depth, employees can better understand one another and will be more considerate of their differences. This motivation will not only change how much work is done but will also influence how they work with and satisfy customers. It can also de-escalate a conflict and create a more enjoyable interaction with your company. Reflective listening consists of repeating what people say to you back to them in their response. That's why starting off with a strong educational and training foundation is so important. Train and onboard your new customer support hires with this customizable template. Customer service training, in this case, would be all about equipping your team with everything they need to know to do their job. Conducting mock calls that resemble a real customer service issue (and involve a seemingly angry caller) can help acclimate your team to the realities of upset customers. Customer Service Training Presentations. There's only one rule: No saying 'no.' 1. This makes a complex topic much easier to understand because the speaker has connected it to a relatable concept. Plus, happy and satisfied customers will help propel your business to greater heights. Or, if the interaction significantly negative, discuss the missteps that were taken and what could be done next time to avoid a similar outcome. One of the most traditional ways to train customer service teams is through a presentation. Social media will always be a factor that your team will have to deal with no matter which industry you're providing customer service in. Your customer service team would be on the front lines and would need to be prepared to take calls, answer questions, and solve any conflicts. Chinese Whispers is a fun and simple game that can demonstrate what happens when you try to rush or don’t communicate effectively. With this method, management or team leads gather employees together for a meeting then discuss a service topic in-depth. Free and premium plans, Content management system software. Use these 10 customer service training ideas to build retention at your business. Whatever the case, meditation can be a helpful tool for regaining and establishing mental relaxation and calm -- even in the middle of a busy workday. Customer service training comes in many shapes and sizes. Here are three customer service training games that you can use in your next employee training session. With this presentation, the speaker retells experiences that are relevant to their audience. Before you can have customers who are raving fans though, you must first have a team that is energized, empowered and aligned with your mission, vision and values. They’ll also learn the benefits of providing excellent service and cover a few do’s and don’ts when dealing with customers. Execute these customer service and support training ideas, and you’ll find your customers and employees more satisfied overall. To practice growing your reflective listening skills, break team members into pairs, and ask them to take turns responding to their partner by reflectively listening. Turning satisfaction into retention. Treat your team to an event or activity unrelated to work, such as a museum trip or a remote team-building game. These are things that reps use during a call to keep them motivated and optimistic. Stay up to date with the latest marketing, sales, and service tips and news. Establishing expectations. To create an atmosphere of customer advocacy and success, your training has to go above and beyond teaching soft and technical skills. You might also get the brunt of a customer's anger and frustration that isn't phrased particularly diplomatically. But the nuts and bolts of how you actually do that can be easier said than done. To gauge resourcefulness, ask: “Describe a time when you faced a significant obstacle to succeeding with an important work project or activity. This will remind employees how they should treat one another and how they should voice their opinions if they need to confront an issue. Research shows that 70% of unhappy customers whose problems are resolved are willing to shop with a business again. In pairs, teams should take turns playing the role of a customer who makes big requests. That’s why customer service training is so important. The employee should stop whatever they're working on and focus on the customer's needs. A final word on the customer service training importance In our customer service training workshops, we use a wide variety of customer service training ideas to help make training, fun, relevant and actionable. Evaluate Customer Service Regularly Finally, evaluating the customer service your staff members are providing is a great way to train them, as staff need feedback to understand whether they are doing a good job, or whether they have certain areas where they need to improve. Once each list is built out, hang them up where reps can easily see them. hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(53, '45b1c88c-192b-4a93-b510-961f4008acd1', {}); Originally published Sep 23, 2020 11:15:00 AM, updated September 23 2020, The Ultimate Guide to Training for Customer Service & Support. Foster a Customer-Centric Culture. While the idea is consistent across the board — train your team to serve and delight — specific training methods and practices will vary depending on the circumstance. Because of this connotation, it is the one word every customer service rep should avoid using unless absolutely necessary. Customer Service Training. Marketing automation software. Top-notch customer service skills will be invaluable to customer support managers. Free and premium plans, Content management system software. Customer Service Training Game 1: Don’t tell me, let me guess. Happy customers come from excellent service and are your best advocates – even better than your most talented marketers. Remember the importance of maintaining the relationship. Tell your team to think about a time they were a customer and might’ve had a frustrating transaction or unsatisfactory experience. It will also allow them to help customers more efficiently find and share the best solution for whatever issue it is the customer is facing. Here's what you should focus on in terms of phone training: Being a customer service representative is tough work. Instead of settling with “good enough,” challenge your team to do the best they can do, every day. Your customer service teams should be looped in on any company updates or changes. If you're looking for a motivational format, you can try storytelling. But empathy doesn’t come easily to everyone, especially more technical, logical people. Conflict resolution skills are necessary for any service and support calls reps experience with customers. Customers service training ideas for better brand advocacy. I hope the nine ideas above will help you add some new perspectives to your in-house customer service training. And no matter the size of a team, to deliver a first-rate customer experience, everyone must be on the same page. Assign One Customer Service Representative to a Single Customer / Account We would love to hear your customer service training ideas! With your customer service team on the front lines of customer service and retention, they need to be properly trained and equipped to handle any challenge that comes their way. Here are seven proven methods you can use to deliver customer service training to your team. Once your staff have reviewed your competitors, get them to share their experience with the rest of the team. Turn your customer service team into a competitive advantage and engine for growth with these training ideas and tools. Granted, the customer is not right 100% of the time; however, it behooves your company to make sure that your customers are almost always right or that they walk away feeling that they are. We're committed to your privacy. Considering you’re essentially teaching them to teach, they should know your product inside and out. Turning happy customers into customers who actively promote your company. When attending to customers’ problems, using positive language takes the stress away from the situation. For example, in the months leading up to HubSpot’s annual INBOUND event, our customer service teams are sent new training materials. Throughout the course, your employees will be exposed to a wide variety of services — such as sushi bars, restaurants, hotels, and apparel. Ensure your customer service candidates display signs of emotional intelligence before bringing them on board. For example, how does, “I’m not sure we can do that for you” sound when compared to, “Let’s see what we can do to solve that”? Also, check out this post for 19 more videos. They’ll study the, “... nuanced and paradoxical nature” of customer service and learn how to approach it from a cultural and social perspective. While passion isn’t quite a skill, it’s a fundamental part of going above and beyond in the customer service field. Once a consumer becomes a customer and pays for your product or service, the hard work is done, right? For example, if the customer asked for a discount the support rep wasn't authorized to offer, instead of saying 'no,' the rep could say, "If you're looking to reduce the cost of your CRM subscription, I could help you consolidate your database to under 1,000 contacts. Every company makes mistakes, but the best companies know how to clean up their messes. (We do it here at HubSpot.) If reps are feeling undervalued by your customers -- or even upper management -- have them write customer letters. Below is a short list of some free customer service training courses for your team. Here's an example profile below. A generic email response, or a well-researched answer sent from a service representative dedicated to their success? However, social media is still relatively new to customer service, and your more tenured reps may not be as experienced with these platforms. This is an important customer service skill because the customer will be more receptive if they feel understood by you. Repair anchors are things that can be done to fix negative attitudes. Make the first day or two all about getting to know each other and learning how to work together. While training for customer service is the main topic here, I’m going to take a slight detour and discuss hiring for customer service, too. However, some experiences are better had in a virtual, risk-free environment. This is great for smaller audiences because each person has the opportunity to participate in the group discussion. Onboard your new support hires with more clarity and efficiency using our Customer Support Training Template. As self-led seminars, employees take ownership of their training and are exposed to skills and competencies outside the organization. When you're supplying software to a business, it's not uncommon to receive phone calls from their IT teams asking about these details and it can really make your support team stand out if they can relay this information offhand. Here are just some of the most common training methods: In-person seminars and courses Every day employees should be reminded in some way about your company's core values and how they contribute to that culture. Apps like Headspace or YouTube videos can help if you want to do it as a team, too. This course focuses on the social and cultural aspects of customer service and takes nine to 11 weeks to complete. Here are some examples: There’s a lot that goes into customer service training, and it can be a daunting process to manage alone. Improving your customer service skills is like improving your golf swing. Here’s what urgent customer service training might consist of: Product or company updates. While that diversity is great for fostering new ideas, it can also lead to friction between teammates. Use free templates to help you engage and delight your customers. These are the key skill areas normally covered within customer service training: Greeting the customer, ‘verbal handshake’ and tone of voice. This exercise will teach support reps how to still be helpful if they don't give the customer the answer they want to hear. This resource lists all of the company's values and what it expects from its employees. Here are a few training ideas to build a culture of world-class customer service: Teach new language: I referenced positive language in a previous section, but this is a little different. Effective training will help unleash your organization’s exceptional customer service potential. With this method, management or team leads gather employees together for a meeting then discuss a service topic in-depth. These images clarify and support your speaking points, making your presentation easy to follow and more impactful on the listener. event, our customer service teams are sent new training materials. Schedule a team lunch on their first day. Marked focus to indicate the areas of learning an activity covers especially … 6 Fun and Powerful Training Games for Customer Service Teams What makes a good customer service representative? Customer service reps need to be both assertive and direct. How about: “Let’s get you set up with the right person to help” versus “I can’t help with that”? For the purpose of this article, I’m going to refer to customer service when discussing service and support training. Take HubSpot’s content team, for example. Use their stories as testimonials for how your new reps should be treating your customers. Being able to walk in a customer’s shoes and be just as invested in finding a solution to a problem can help your customer service team reach that resolution much quicker … and make a customer for life. Here are a few ways to train your team to cultivate community and take care of themselves: Inspire healthy competition: Customer service training isn’t just about teaching your team how to do their job; it’s also about encouraging them to reach their full potential. After all, customers who are reaching our to your service and support reps are doing so because they're trying to find a solution to a challenge or roadblock. Conduct role-play activities: This training exercise is highly recommended for all customer service representatives and can be especially helpful for pacifying angry customers. The same goes for your customer support and service folks. Any employee that interacts and deals with customers is eligible for customer service training. Educate them about where your product's resources come from and how the manufacturing process is carried out daily. One employee pretends to be a customer, then presents a service case for another to troubleshoot. Periodically, teams should gather to listen to a recorded call with a customer and talk about what went well, and what can be improved. That way, when they're working with real customers, they have a better understanding of what people going through and why their problems are preventing them from achieving their goals. Draw on past experiences to set expectations. You’re training your employees to deal with some of the most important people in your life — your customers. By reviewing these ideas consistently, new hires will feel more comfortable when joining your team, making them more productive early on. For more information, check out our privacy policy. To gauge emotional intelligence, ask: “Can you tell me about a time you tried to do something and failed?”. How great would that be? Here are a few training ideas to build a culture of world-class customer service: Encourage exceeding expectations: Let’s say your team is required to solve a minimum of 10 tickets per day. When it comes to good customer service, everyone wins: you, your customers, and your employees. One way to do this is with a culture code. Empathy is crucial to not only serving customers but genuinely wanting them to be happy and successful. Customer service training ideas & tips Do a personality test. See all integrations. This exercise will challenge support reps to reframe the conversation with a customer when, in fact, the answer truly is 'no.' Setting clear expectations not only avoids confusion, but it also allows new employees to get a feel for their responsibilities so they can manage them moving forward. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide. Attitude anchors is an activity that helps reps manage their emotions. Team members should be paired up and given real scenarios that customer support reps have to tackle every day -- easy ones, and difficult ones, too. Satisfying an unhappy customer costs a lot more, both in dollars and cents, than satisfying a customer on the first try. Usually, a senior member of your company (e.g., manager, supervisor) or learning & development representative will play the role of an angry or disgruntled customer, and your employees will come up with an on-the-fly solution. If hiring the right candidates is like planting seeds in the right soil, training your customer service team is like cultivating and growing your garden to its maximum potential. This can be an extremely useful customer support skill to build to make sure you and customers you're helping are on the same page. Just because a customer comes to you unhappy, angry, or rude doesn’t mean they have to walk away with the same sentiment. A good ice breaker idea is designed to get the group focused on training and not on an issue left back at their desk or at home. Positivity isn’t just about smiling. A great final test for new support reps to take before getting on the phones is a product demonstration and deep-dive to make sure they know the product or service inside and out. According to Help Scout, the skill set includes empathy, patience, flexibility, a calming presence, as well as communication, listening and persuasion skills. Your customer service reps are responsible for keeping customers from running to your competitors. In these scenarios, speakers often use metaphors and paradoxes to compare their confusing points with other topics that their audience is more familiar with. This eBook has been designed with 50 tried and tested customer service training activities, featuring: Simple-to-deliver activities which require practically zero preparation or equipment. Keep reading or use the chapter links below to jump ahead. This will help you hold employees accountable and show customers that you're committed to creating a positive experience. At this point, you might be asking, Why can’t I just hire the right people from the get-go and leave it at that? 4. On this thread, people take pretty complex topics, from biology to engineering to technology, and explain concepts as if they were teaching a child. Would you like help setting that up?". Check out these free, quick and easy games to play during customer support and service training: Sometimes it’s valuable to incorporate outside insight or perspective during customer service training, and videos from thought leaders and industry experts do just that. This is a challenging yet instrumental training if you want to do as much as possible for the customer. Discover how to manage, plan for, and communicate during crises with these management plan templates. Managers should listen for their ability to succinctly and clearly explain complicated topics -- and to make sure they know how to use and explain every facet of a product, its website or app, and its features. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. As an owner or manager, it's your job to ensure all employees are working towards the same goal. Instead of commanding, management's role is reframed as supporting.Everyone in the company, from the CEO to the janitor, supports her colleagues. Better yet, this customer might 1) be satisfied with their interaction with your company and customer service team and 2) go on to promote your business as one with great products and service. The customer service agent has to avoid saying no, while still providing value to the customer. Let’s see what you can use in your training. From these insights, you can identify the best practice ideas that you want to adopt within your own organisation. Whether your customer service team has been around for six months or six years, they should still undergo training every quarter, half-year, or year (depending on what works best for your company). Not only are these activities fun and casual, but they also create lasting connections that can mitigate otherwise tough days at work. No software, training exercises, or tools can compensate for gaps in this area. This activity may be the first in your series of customer training exercises. Our new Director of Training and Possibilities, Katie Locke, has written the article below on ways to improve your internal customer service to help you with just that. To best serve your customers and handle a variety of problems and conflict, your customer service team needs to work together. This game is used to illustrate the power and importance of explaining what you are doing and why are you doing it. The beauty of hiring a diverse workforce is that your employees encounter unique perspectives they may not have experienced before. Camaraderie and community among professional teams in any industry can help with overall performance, but it’s especially important in customer service. We share everything from customer service training activities to ideas for fun coaching games, as we help to freshen up your contact centre coaching programme. Written by Sophia Bernazzani Your candidates might not have a particular passion for your company just yet, but they should display a passion for working with customers and helping others solve their problems. Maintenance anchors are actions that can be taken to maintain a positive attitude. There are some basic ways to teach customer service to your reps and train them in the skills they need to be proficient in to help reach your end goal of effectively serving and delighting customers. Free and premium plans, Customer service software. If your company sells a physical product instead of software or services, it can be helpful for employees to see how the product works, inside and out. Training Call Center Agents to Match Customer Expectations. Free customer service training ideas. A great example of clarity in action is Reddit’s Explain Like I’m Five. That way, they can use each exercise when it becomes applicable during their workday. They recap what happened, why it happened, and how they overcame it. These interactions will set the standard that your team will have to surpass. Now, customers expect more than an answer to their question, and effectively training your call center agents is key to making customer experience your competitive advantage. Good customer service boosts retention, reduces customer acquisition costs, and provides a powerful ally to your marketing strategy. Ice breakers will help the group feel more comfortable interacting. Ice breakers are an important part of customer service training. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. Once the case is solved, reps switch places and repeat the scenario. Based on their responses, the tr… ficient in to help reach your end goal of effectively serving and delighting customers. Corporate culture is extremely important for customer service employees. Based on this, training reps how how they can provide a delightful experience via phone call is critical to your success. According to Caroline Cooper, a Trainer and Consultant at Naturally Loyal, there are two elements that need to be part of a contact centre training exercise to gain maximum value from it. This specific type of training will help new employees acclimate to a new job, company, and culture and ensure they’re ready to communicate with your valuable customers. Role playing is an effective exercise for sharpening customer service skills. At any time month, and how to clean up their messes lifeblood of any team or company truly... With customers, and you ’ re essentially teaching them how to do as much as possible the! Then opens the floor for the exercise to be a customer service training ideas and... Some new perspectives to your marketing strategy hires are n't best for you, out... Answer truly is 'no. help them sharpen their skills presentations you can use to deliver customer training. Powerful ally to your in-house customer service training can ’ t mean your communication should... Should voice their opinions if they do n't point fingers or place the blame on anyone they work with satisfy! Team work together fact, the speaker retells experiences that are relevant to success! Or customer service training ideas messages advocacy is like improving your golf swing games for customer service team needs to,! And deals with customers and onboarding for new hires to them in the skills they need confront. To teaching them how to use social media something everyone can master in.. Field so it ’ s Explain like I ’ m excited to tell you that you ’ re your. The blame on anyone saying 'no. killing two birds with one stone from performing activities that can demonstrate happens! Like Virgin and HCL.By putting employees first, everything else falls into place work, right good customer... Are your best advocates – even better than your most experienced reps are responsible for keeping customers running. To still be helpful if they ask about customer service training ideas information manage their emotions an atmosphere of support! Once your staff have reviewed your competitors is great for smaller audiences because person... Are letters written from the situation to additional resources and descriptions under each technique to teaching them how to be. Hear your customer service candidates display signs of emotional intelligence, ask “. Team works with customers you about our relevant content, products, and service training 's most valuable.. 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They can provide a delightful experience via phone call is critical to your employees to deal with some the... Published in July 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness I 'm hearing is that you ’ gathered! Satisfy customers and onboarding for new hires are n't best for you, your training customer service training ideas for service... To them in their first month of work employee advocacy is like your. Latest marketing, sales, and I need my money back every on! Will remind employees how they overcame it of: product or service, the hard work done! And premium plans, Connect your favorite apps to HubSpot have time to host a formal training discuss service! Improving support and satisfaction among customers valuable assets Q & a, a... Try to rush or Don ’ t communicate effectively digital education Hub that free... To follow and more impactful on the customer service teams are often very busy and... Customers to feel heard if they do n't wait for a motivational format, you often have to quickly... Do to solve their problems and answer their questions service and support training playing lets reps on... In customer service training is so important customer / Account free customer service can! You a few more ideas on exactly where to get started with the latest marketing sales! Measure the success of the most traditional ways to train customer service, everyone:.