Training is an on-going process because employees change as they learn more about their job and how to interact with customers. They learn more about your business and everything it entails. However, business needs change and quite often your products do as well so it’s essential to keep employees up-to-date with their knowledge and how they handle customers.
Employees have two main functions. They sell goods or services and they also have to provide excellent customer service, regardless of the situation. While product knowledge can easily be tested, evaluating how employees treat customers is a different matter.
Many offices and stores use cameras to record what’s happening in the workplace. They’re mainly used for security purposes. However, you can also use them to monitor staff to see whether they need extra training. While this might sound a little shifty, it just may detect behavior that needs improving and more training.
Sometimes it’s a good idea to have refresher training sessions anyway. If you have a mix of newer and more experienced staff, you can have general training on customer service and open the floor to discussions about how to handle difficult customers. Everyone has experienced them and some people find them harder to deal with. By sharing experiences, it means staff are supporting each other and it doesn’t actually feel like training at all.
Part of this training could be role plays where one staff member plays a disgruntled customer and the other one has to deal with a specific situation that has been pre-planned with the manager. Maybe it could be a version of an actual problem that has occurred and can be used as a subtle way of teaching employees how to handle such situations.
Get managers and supervisors involved. Make them the customer service staff and the staff can become disgruntled customers. This is a great way to teach the staff how tough scenarios should be handled and, at the same time, build rapport with supervisors in a slightly different way.
It also clearly demonstrates that supervisors actually know what they’re doing, regardless of their background and whether they have worked on the front line with the company or not. It can help build a stronger bond between the staff and managers too.
Regular performance appraisals are necessary to ensure all employees are performing at their peak and to pick up any areas that may need work. This is a golden opportunity for employees to bring up any issues that may be bothering them, whether it’s related to training or anything else.
On-going customer service training is critical to the smooth running of any organization. If staff aren’t happy, they don’t perform at their best. This can affect the way they handle difficult customers even though it shouldn’t. Everyone has an off day but if employees can’t handle the job, they need further training or some other action if the training isn’t sufficient.