Customer service expectations are rising. Clarity Voice® has 15 tips for training new or promoted employees.
Today’s customers expect more than just an answer to their questions. They want real-time, personalized support delivered by a skilled employee. As a result of this change, businesses are investing more time, money and effort into developing of employee training and development programs, so that their employees will be prepared to meet the increasing expectations of their customers.
Use these 15 tips to enhance the training and ongoing development you provide to your employees so they can better meet the needs of your customers.
#1 Introduce the team.
Kickoff training with an introduction live or by web/phone video from a manager, supervisor or team leader. Encourage employees to introduce their role on the team, as well as how the new employee can contact them. This will help new employees put face-to-name and give them a future “lifeline” when needed.
#2 Educate your new employees about your business.
Your new hires should have a comprehensive understanding of your business, products and company operations. They should also be provided information about your company culture, mission, core values, vision, and general purpose. Connect these company credos to help them understand their role in achieving your businesses goals. With this understanding, your employees will be more prepared to interact with customers in a manner that is consistent with your core business values.
#3 Explain the importance of schedule adherence.
Many new hires or transferred employees are unclear on how schedule adherence impacts your business. Make sure your employees are “in-the-know” by having someone from your operations team explain the impact that schedule adherence has on key performance indicators such as service levels, wait times, etc.
It would also be helpful to give new hires information on which key performance indicators you as a manager will assess, how these will be tied to their performance evaluations, and practical tips on how to hit their personal KPI benchmarks. Doing so will prepare your new hires to be mindful of these KPIs and adjust their approach when interacting with customers.
#4 Bringing top-performing employees to training.
Encourage your most successful employees to come to the training for new hires and give practical tips on how to be a top performer. This will set the bar high for new hires and enhance their insights into how to be effective at their jobs.
If you use Call Recording, remember to save specific customer interactions to enable new hires to hear first-hand how idea interactions are conducted. This provides valuable information to new employees and recognition for existing team members which encourages top performance throughout the team.
#5 Explain their role in building customer relationships.
A great way to enhance employee motivation is to provide outstanding onboarding assistance to help them understand the role they play in building customer relationships. Educate them on customer lifetime value, as well as the cost of bad interactions. Let them know how the quality of the service they provide impacts customer conversion, retention, and loyalty. Once they have this understanding, they will be more motivated to provide top-notch service.
#6 Teach employees call handling best practices.
New employees should be provided examples of appropriate greetings, call transfer techniques, and how to end a conversation. Allow them to listen to previous call recordings and also provide them with any helpful tips or scripts to get them started. Encourage them to practice with each other until these become natural and a script is no longer needed.
#7 Teach employees call etiquette.
When your employees have a concrete understanding of what to say, and what not to say, they will be more prepared to provide excellent service. Accomplish this by teaching them about call etiquette and informing them of etiquette guidelines.
#8 Educate them about their desired outcome.
Their overarching goal (apart from providing amazing service, of course) might be to increase sales, resolve customer issues on the first contact, or resolve the customer’s issues as quickly as possible. Regardless the goal, employees should know it and know how to achieve it.
#9 Show employees how to find answers to their questions.
Do you have a company knowledge base? A reference guidebook? Teach new hires how to use it. Do you have a technical support department? Teach employees how to conference them into calls. Do you have managers that are available to jump onto a live call? Tell employees who to ask for help when facing common customer questions.
Do you have a rockstar employee in the department they can ask for assistance prior to escalating to a manager or another department? Tell them who that is and when it is okay to ask for their assistance.
Trainees will inevitably come across questions they don’t know how to answer. Showing them where to look and who to ask for help, to resolve the issue, is an important step in their success.
Clarity® phone features like Whisper and Join will help your new employee.
#10 Train your employees individually.
According to the national studies conducted by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), the time for new employees to become fully proficient can vary depending on:
- the educational level of a new employee
- the complexity of the product or service
- training protocols: ease of use/understanding
- management strategies and clear directives
Keep this typical variation in mind when training employees. Keep your eye out for learning or knowledge gaps and do your best to adjust your approach to training in an effort to help fill them.
#11 Make sure your training is hands-on and practical.
People often learn best by doing. Team-up your new hire and have them role-play common call scenarios. Allow them to get their hands dirty playing with your product or riding along for a day on service calls. Give them sufficient hands-on time to learn your business software. These hands-on training experience are essential to cultivating a capable workforce.
#12 Use videos or samples of “good call handling” in your orientation.
Videos are a great way to engage your new trainees. Don’t have the budget to produce your own training curriculum, don’t worry, there are great how-to videos you can use for icebreakers on YouTube. Just start searching for the topics you would like to talk about or train.
Here are some topic examples to get you started:
- Call handling skills
- Empathy vs sympathy – ways to connect with customers
- Ways to get an angry customer to back down
If a video isn’t a good solution for your work environment, then phone tools that help employees listen to your team rockstars will help them quickly Listen-In in real time to quality call handling techniques.
Listen-In offers employees the ability to hear live scenarios of your best calls.
#13 Provide call recordings that demonstrate a specific point.
One of the best ways for new employees to learn how to interact with customers is to hear recordings from previous successful calls. Choose recordings that will help you demonstrate a specific point (such as how to handle angry customers, what to say if you don’t know the answer to a question, and how to give a customer refunds, etc.) Letting your new employees hear for themselves how more seasoned employees interact with callers will give them a better understanding of what they should do.
#14 Consistently evaluate their progress.
Throughout your initial training program, consistently monitor your new hires performance and provide them with timely feedback, both positive and negative. New hires should know exactly what is and what is not working so they can adjust their approach accordingly.
#15 Training and development of people never stops.
According to Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), an experienced employee receives an average of six training days per year. Make sure your employees keep their performance high by continually providing refresher courses, training on new products or software and training to enhance their professional development.
The Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) offers a number of free templates.
Make training easier for your new hires by arming yourself with a host of Live Call Monitoring business tools.