It’s tough to get much return on investment (ROI), these days, so the recommendation to invest in customer service is often met with “Yes, I know we should, but…” And then there are the excuses “too expensive”, “not in the budget” or “the money is better spent elsewhere”. So why invest in training? By definition, “invest” means to put valuable resources into something you expect will give a personal or financial gain; to spend or devote for future advantage or benefit. So let’s look at how and why an investment in your customer and technical service team can pay off.
Your service team is the “mouth” of your organization. No matter what your marketing department tells the world, 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated (McKinsey and Company). And studies show that 92% of service interactions take place via the telephone. This is an incredible opportunity to impress customers with attentive, professional service. Sadly, it’s also the point at which, as the result of poor service, many customers never return.
New Trends Demand Training Updates
Many call centers are following the advice of market research, as well as responding to consumers, by tailoring the service experience to meet the growing expectations of their customers. Here are five reasons to bring out those training manuals:
#1: 24/7 Service
Multi-channel communication allows consumers to get help any time of the day or night—at home or on the go—with the choice of email, SMS, web chat or phone. However someone gifted in handling phone inquiries may not be skilled at email or web chats, and visa versa, so bring all staff up to speed.
#2: Stellar Customer Experience
Some predict that customer experience will be the next corporate battleground, meaning it’s where companies will win or lose. That’s because loyal customers are money in the bank.
More and more, service and tech support staff are expected to cross sell and upsell. Consumers are aware of this trend and will get annoyed when the pitch is unrelated to their needs. Proper training is imperative so that the upsell/cross sell is personalized and meaningful.
Your tech support team needs a strong technical background and good troubleshooting skills to quickly get to the source of a problem. A targeted process for opening, identifying, resolving, and closing issue-related calls is necessary to deliver a consistently positive customer experience.
#5: Soft Skills
In the not-too-distant past, it was all about metrics, and minimal average handle times (AHT) were considered key to a healthy call center. Today, best-in-class call centers are those where staff is well versed in the skills of listening, respect, positive attitude, communication, creativity, and the ability to ask the questions that get to the heart of the customer inquiry.
Sales strategist Dan Waldschmidt suggests five reasons of his own:
- Better customer service is cheaper than more advertising.
- Training your people to be amazing is easier than teaching managers how to put out fires.
- It’s cool when you don’t have to bribe your customers and they still brag about you.
- Buyers want to do business with companies who are serious about “getting it right”.
- People will pay more to do business with people who make them feel good.
Your Call Center Speaks Volumes!
Your service staff is truly the mouthpiece of your organization, and consumers know if they’re being treated well. If you’re still not convinced, think of it this way: an increase in customer retention levels can result in a huge increase in the value of the company. Not a bad return on investment!
About the Author
Jodi is a Marketing and Customer Experience fanatic. Some might say "guru", but she prefers it the other way around, as there’s always something to learn and grow as it relates to Marketing and the Customer Experience, and how each is connected to one another. In the past three years, Jodi has dedicated her career to thought leadership in both realms through her work at MHI Global, and has earned honors as Top 100 Customer Success Influencer from Mindtouch, Top 15 Most Influential Customer Service Experts To Follow on Twitter from GetApp, and Top 50 Contact Center Thought Leader on Twitter from ICMI. Connect with Jodi at Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter; or email her at email@example.com.