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How Training Programs Improve Customer Service

date posted:

Thursday, December 28, 2017


How Training Programs Improve Customer Service

December 28, 2017

Lisa Whealon - Cheif People Office - GL group, Inc.

Most of the time, when those of us in the learning and development world think of creating training programs, we tend to look at the outcome we are hoping to achieve. We work on compiling data and research to reach this goal, and we craft the curriculum from there. But what if I told you that every training initiative should be built with the mindset of improving customer service within the business?

Theoretically, every training you offer your employees should have customer service training woven into it. That includes everything from a training program for the accounting team on the latest software to your marketing team’s professional development. Why? The heart of everything we do within our organizations comes down to service and communication, regardless of what industry we’re in, how many employees we have or how high our organization’s revenue is. The core of our success should be consistent no matter the department or reach. It isn’t enough to separate customer service training as a single event. It should be incorporated regardless of the training topic. Not only will you enhance your business’ impact, but you will continue to build upon the foundation that solid, consistent and stellar customer service is the pillar of your business.

The heart of everything we do within our organizations comes down to service and communication.

We all know that customer service is key to growing a business. But, like so much in the business world, customer service evolves. According to Gartner, “By 2018, more than 50 percent of organizations will implement significant business model changes in their efforts to improve customer experience.”

Think of a business you know of that has awful customer service. It could be awful because there is little training, no one is being held accountable or the business isn’t hiring with that skill set in mind. When you think of a business that knocks it out of the park with customer service, it’s likely because its employees are treating you, the customer, in a unique way. They create an experience every time you interact with them, and you can feel that same level of care and thoughtfulness no matter where you go within the organization. Starbucks is a good example of how a company brought its business back from the brink by improving customer service and bringing customers back in the door. Through intention and careful design, you can help create that overall customer service feel in your own business.

Customer service training is, too often, not built out enough. There is always a new flashy system that we want to teach employees, a team that is completing a process training or a leadership program that causes customer service to take a back seat. When you realize that everyone plays a role in customer service, you start to build the business case for creating programs that train on these skills. When your buying team contacts a vendor, they are representing your company. When someone from IT works with an internal team, he or she is providing service. And when the Jimmy John’s driver walks in the front door, your receptionist is giving him or her a moment of customer service. By weaving customer service elements into established programs and encouraging teams to complete customer service training as well, you will help increase the level of productivity internally and communicate your mission and values as a business.

How you treat employees sets the stage for how they will treat your customers, vendors and suppliers. When you communicate your expectations organizationally, in everything you do, you will build a culture of engagement around customer service that will grow sales and keep your customers happy.

How you treat employees sets the stage for how they will treat your customers, vendors and suppliers.