Getting new customer service agents trained can be frustrating. There’s a learning curve that takes time, and it can be frustrating for customers to deal with the new employee who may not know what they are doing. However, there are some ways you can train new customer service agents that will speed things up and improve their customer interactions in the meantime. Here are a few tips.
Use of technology
Customer service is only as effective as their technology they have available to help them. Make sure your new agents have an are properly trained on all the technology they will use to do their job. This includes training them on how the artificial intelligence technology works. If you don’t currently have an artificial intelligence startup working with your customer service department, that is a big mistake. Not only can AI chatbot answer customer questions through text and chat, but the right artificial intelligence can also listen to a customer call or chat and give recommendations on how to respond properly.
Focus on one type of interaction
Some people will hire a new recruit to work in customer service and then immediately have that person start working on all interactions with customers. They will answer calls, texts, emails, chats, and even have face to face interactions. Not only is that extremely overwhelming for your employee, it can make that agent far less effective without the ability to really learn any one part of the system well. When hiring a new recruit, start by putting them on one interaction; give them time to learn one part very well before asking them to start working on something else.
Don’t waste their time
An employee who is sitting at a desk reading a list of dos and don’ts probably won’t let the material sink in and probably won’t be good at their job. An employees success can be just as dependant on the training they are given as it is on the employee themselves. Group trainings and one on one trainings, especially in the beginning, can be very helpful. Make sure all information they are getting is necessary and that you are presenting it in a way that shows why the information is valuable in a customer interaction.
Use role-playing wisely
Sometimes, role-playing can be very helpful in getting new agents to understand how they should interact with customers. Don’t expect that they will automatically know all the answers to all the questions that come their way. However, they should know how to respectfully and cheerfully greet and work with customers to get a solution, which is the main purpose of a role playing effort.
A customer service agent’s biggest job is to be creative and come up with solutions to problems. They need to be able to listen to the customer, understand their needs, then find a solution that satisfies the customer without sacrificing too much for your business. Creativity is extremely important to this process. The work environment should be conducive to creativity, and training exercises should include creative thinking to encourage this type of thinking.
Avoid threats of job loss
One way to quickly scare any employee is to threaten job loss for lack of performance. While this may be necessary in some situations where employees are showing a lack of commitment to the job and company, a new employee might be too afraid of the job loss to really be able to perform and learn the necessary job functions.
Many customer service departments really struggle with the balance in this area. In fact, many will threaten job loss to agents for things that are outside of their control entirely. It can cause customer service agents to lie or to do illegal things to try and keep their job secure. One example is Wells Fargo where their pay and jobs were based entirely on how many new accounts were opened, causing employees to open many fake accounts in the names of their customers and getting in a lot of legal trouble for it down the road.
Ultimately, with the right training and equipment, a new customer service agent can be just as effective as an old one. Just make sure they have all the tools and information they need available to them right from the start.