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Today’s customers are a tough nut to crack. They have such high expectations. Yet no one can blame them. Their options are countless now, thanks to the digital revolution. If one business is not meeting their needs, they move on to the next with a few clicks.
Therefore, you must go the extra mile to impress your customers in the present business landscape. And if you’re unwilling to do what it takes to give them the desired experience, you’ll be shown the door.
But it’s not all gloom and doom. Let’s look at the bright side. If you get customer service right, 62% of your customers will recommend you to a friend. Great news, right? Now, you have only one goal – to satisfy your customers so much that they become your brand loyalists and ambassadors.
There are several ways to achieve this goal, but effective customer service agent training tops the list. And to learn how to transform customer experience through effective agent training, you have only one task – keep reading.
What is customer experience (CX)
Customer experience is your customer’s total perception of their interaction with your product or brand. It involves everything you do to deliver value, growth and an enjoyable customer experience.
Everything you do in your company should be geared towards giving the customer an amazing experience.
A customer’s experience with your brand starts from the first time they contact your business and lasts for as long as they remain your customer. Customer experience can be either positive or negative and it goes without saying that a positive experience attracts and retains customers while a negative one pushes them away.
The importance of customer experience to business
Every business’s sustenance depends on how well they can get and keep customers. Therefore, creating a consistently great customer experience should be a priority for every business. Here are reasons to prioritize customer experience in your business.
Improved customer engagement
Customers engage better with brands that give them a satisfying experience. If you invest in creating great experiences for your customers, you’ll reap the rewards in how they engage with your product and brand. A remarkable experience keeps the customer consistently connected to your brand and increases customer engagement.
Enhanced customer conversions
When a prospect interacts with your brand for the first time and gets a pleasant experience, they return. If that satisfaction momentum is maintained in subsequent interactions, they become customers. Now imagine everyone who comes across your brand having this experience. The result is improved conversions.
We’ve all had a family member or friend refer a brand, product or service to us. These referrals happened as a result of one satisfied customer. If you keep your customers satisfied by giving them remarkable experiences, you earn and build customer loyalty and they’ll bring more customers to you.
Savings in marketing costs
Marketing costs money but you can save a tidy sum by creating a satisfactory experience for your customers. As mentioned before, when you give your customers great experiences, they become your marketers and you get more customers with less marketing efforts.
Who is a customer service agent?
A customer service agent is a company representative whose job is to interact with clients and respond to inquiries, orders, complaints and other issues. This agent also provides the required information about a company’s products or services to customers.
A customer service agent is at the forefront of creating enjoyable experiences for customers. That’s why ensuring they’re well-trained to do their job maximally is paramount. After all, happy agents lead to happy customers, right? Improving the agent experience is like giving them a snazzy set of tools – only instead of a hammer and nails, they get empathy, knowledge, and quick thinking!
Duties of a customer service representative include:
- Processing orders and transactions
- Taking the initiative on customer issues
- Collecting and analyzing customer feedback
- Troubleshooting problems
- Driving resolutions
- Responding to customer issues
- Documenting knowledge
7 steps to transforming CX through effective agent training
Training your customer service agents should not be an afterthought. It should be a deliberate and continuous plan. Unfortunately, many companies flop in this regard. They handle their agent training casually and get rewarded with poor customer service and experience.
How do you now create effective agent training that will transform customer experience from mediocre to excellent? Here are the steps to take.
1. Get feedback on training needs
Often, HR just comes up with routine training for every department without asking what their training needs are. Training efforts from such a decision often have little or no impact. Interview your agents and get honest employee feedback. This information will help organize much-needed training instead of a random one.
2. Use data from customer reviews
Effective training starts before the training. It begins with research. What is your present customer experience level? Would you say your customers are satisfied or disgruntled? What are your reviews saying?
Are your customers singing your praises or bashing your brand? What specific areas do your customers need improvement? Get answers to these questions before you organize the next training for your agents.
3. Ensure your training aligns with specific business outcomes
No part of your business should be isolated. Every activity must be tied to larger business goals and objectives. There’s nothing like general training. Identify the business outcomes you want to achieve with the training.
Do you want to improve knowledge documentation or reduce response time? Be clear on the purpose of the training and ensure it is linked to overall business goals. Don’t stop there; be sure to tie results to particular performance measures. Determine how you will know if the goal has been achieved.
4. Share important business data
Be open to your agents and share business data that will make the training more effective. For example, tell them what the books look like and why their role is essential in improving the situation. Let them know why the training has become necessary.
If there is any feedback from customers that has become worrying, let them know about it and how it affects the business. This transparency lets them see the training in a different light and approach it more seriously.
5. Be clear on expectations
After linking your training goals to overall business goals, ensure you make expectations clear. Let your agents know what the goals for the training are and what is expected of them during and after the training. Training is more effective if expectations are clear on all sides.
6. Leverage video training
Video training for employees is one of the best effective training strategies, and with good reasons. It is well-known that video learning does the job better than all other forms of learning as the brain processes videos much faster than text.
Videos include images, music, animations and other interactive elements that arrest the viewer’s attention and improve engagement. It creates a deeper connection and holds the viewer’s attention for much longer. You can even go a step further and incorporate a transcript. Happy Scribe can help you with that.
That’s not all. The viewer remembers the content of a video long after they have watched it, unlike a text document or presentation. So, take advantage of these numerous qualities of videos, create engaging video content and improve the quality of your next training.
7. Provide the right training tools
Not providing the right training tools for your agents will surely reduce the effectiveness of the training. Do they need notepads, folders and pens? Do they need items for role-playing? When all they need for the training is available, they’ll concentrate better and the goals of the training will be realized.
Benefits of effective customer service training
Organizing effective training for customer service agents involves time and resources but if done right, it comes with loads of benefits. Here are some transformations you’ll see in your business if agent training is effective.
Increased rate of customer satisfaction
When you take customers’ grudges and complaints into consideration while training agents, you come up with better strategies to improve on the affected areas. This, in turn, results in better performance and customer satisfaction.
Improved customer retention rate
No one stays where they’re being shabbily treated. Once you begin to make your clients feel like kings and queens as a result of effective agent training, they’ll continue patronizing you. And it’s a known fact that retaining the customers you have is a better marketing strategy than looking for new customers all the time.
Enhanced job satisfaction for agents
Everyone loves being a part of success. Job satisfaction comes from knowing you’re contributing significantly to the growth of your company. This is what happens when agents start seeing the fruits of their labor. They see themselves as an important part of the business and this increases their self-worth and job satisfaction.
Take your customers to the next level with effective agent training
Customer service agents interface with your customers everyday, so if any of your staff should get the best training, it should be these agents. Their interactions with clients will determine whether you’ll be in business or not.
When you create remarkable customer experiences, you witness improved customer engagement, enhanced customer conversions and more referrals. These benefits will, however, come only when you have a tight training strategy in place.
To make your agent training more effective, get agent feedback, use customer reviews data, let your training align with business goals, share business data, have clear expectations, leverage video training and provide the right tools.
In the end, you’ll experience increased customer satisfaction and retention. Your agents will also get more job satisfaction from knowing they contributed to the company’s growth.