Improving customer service skills can directly impact the level of your frontline customer experiences. Good experiences lead to happy customers, which generate more sales over the longer lifetime of their existence as customers – it’s a proven fact that it’s harder to get new customers than it is to retain current ones. Taking into account that every loyal customer is worth at least ten times as much as their first purchase we are left with the reality that businesses should be doing everything in their power to keep customers coming back.
As a result, a lot of companies talk about improving customer service skills across the board, and start implementing training programs left, right, and centre. More times than not, even the greatest intentions for a solid training program doesn’t really have the right impact. Chances are that the company isn’t always sure where the best of its energies should be spent – identifying areas, or certain skill sets, that need focussed training is the first step to addressing the problem.
In the past, we’ve touched on different types of communication skills and tactics to help frontline employees get the most out of their time with their customers. Improving customer service skills has to start with identifying which skills are most lacking in the customer-facing frontline – is it communication? Salescraft? Maybe your frontline staff is not being patient enough?
A lot of different factors can come into play when it comes to improving customer service skills. Is the frontline stressed? Do they need more people helping them with an influx of customers during a heavy sales period? A stressed, overwhelmed, or overworked frontline staff is more likely to throw patience, active listening, and any other empathic skills out the window. In order to get the best out of any frontline staff, it’s important to give them what they need, whether that’s time, additional support, or targetted training. A scattershot approach to improving customer service skills isn’t going to help anyone, least of all your bottom line.
Also read this article: Retail Customer Service: Reality of Retail Industry
Avoiding the Scattershot Approach when Improving Customer Service Skills
- Identify the Problem
- Design a succinct Training Program about the specific problem
- Have a clear Training Program schedule and an action plan for what comes after
- Don’t overload your staff by making them sit through hours of training, break it up
- After the Training has been delivered, keep track of how it works in the real world
- Do regular check ups to see if the problem needs additional training or attention
Improving customer service skills isn’t something that happens overnight, nor is it something just happens by itself. It reqiures effort and planning, and constant refreshing – people change and your customers might be looking for something completely different in a month or two.