Introduction To Customer Service Academy /Training (Basics)
Having happy customers starts with having high quality customer service, and having high quality service starts with effective training of customer service employees. The most forward-thinking employers are always looking for more customer service training ideas to bring their support teams to the next level and improve their customer service.
The following guide is aimed at becoming a single, streamlined source of information covering not only customer service basics, but also every single aspect of it, including both theory and practical advice. Everyone involved in customer service – from frontline support reps to service managers - can benefit from this guide and use it as a helpful resource for free help desk training, ticketing system, call center and live chat training.
Customer Service Definition
What does modern customer service really mean? Customer service can be broadly defined as the support and assistance businesses offer to their customers – before, during and after they purchase and use their products or services. Quality customer service adds great value to a product and helps to build long-lasting relationships with customers.
Today’s customer service, however, implies much more than a traditional phone support. Rapid tech advancements reshaped the way businesses interact with customers and created the proliferation of digital service channels. Being able to receive fast (preferably real-time), efficient, personalized support and a seamless experience regardless of the channel is what consumers generally expect from brands now, when it comes to customer service.
Why Customer Service Should Be a Top Priority for Any Business
As consumer expectations have risen, delivering excellent service is one of the most valuable things a business can do to stay competitive and successful in the long run. Numerous studies have proved that happy customers are more loyal and spend more, while those facing bad service easily switch brands which costs businesses financial losses and reputation damage. Below are some of the recent stats demonstrating the importance of providing outstanding customer service:
- Poor customer service is costing businesses more than $75 billion a year, 42% of consumes reported leaving a business due to inadequate customer service, but 55% would be more loyal if provided with better customer service. (The 2018 Serial Switchers report by NewVoiceMedia)
- For 95% of respondents customer service is important to their choice of and loyalty to a brand, and 61% have switched brands due to poor customer service. (The 2018 Global State of Customer Service report by Microsoft)
- Consumer expectations for service via digital channels continues to increase - 81% of consumers indicated that their expectations for digital customer service are higher today than they were a year ago. (The State of Digital Care in 2018 report by Conversocial)
- One in three consumers is willing to pay more to receive a higher level of customer service. (The 2018 State of Customer Experience research by Genesys)
- Two-thirds of consumers are willing to pay for great customer service, 31% willing to pay as much as 10% more for exceptional service. (The 2018 Consumer Experience Index survey by Aspect)
- 97% of consumers say bad customer service changes buying behavior, 87% say good customer service changes buying behavior, and 46% continue to change their buying behavior two years after a bad customer service experience. (The Quantifying the Business Impact of Customer Service report 2018 by Dimensional Research)
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10 Major Reasons to Invest in Customer Service Initiatives
- Customer service expectations are constantly changing and increasing every year.
- Consumers value high quality service and are ready to pay more to receive it.
- Customer service can significantly influence consumers’ buying decisions.
- Good customer service helps to increase customer satisfaction, improve customer relations and retention.
- Happy consumers tend to share their positive service experiences creating positive word-of-mouth for brands.
- Outstanding customer service can turn customers into brand advocates bringing more traffic and referrals.
- Consumers are not willing to tolerate bad service and easily leave brands that fail to meet their service expectations.
- Unsatisfied customers can damage a brand’s reputation by sharing their negative service experiences through social networks and review sites.
- Investing in service improvement is cheaper than dealing with damaged reputation caused by bad service.
- High quality customer service ultimately results in continued revenue growth.
What is Customer Service Training and Who Needs it?
Customer service training refers to teaching customer service employees the knowledge, competencies, tools and skills required to better serve and support customers so they derive more value from a company’s products and services.
Since the quality of customer service a business offers will never exceed the quality of the people providing it - no matter how talented and experienced service employees might be, there will always be more to learn and skills to develop. In fact, any customer-facing employee whose job implies interacting with customers either personally or online should undergo at least basic customer service training. In addition to service representatives, this could also include other positions such as technical support and sales representatives.
The Importance of Customer Support Training
Customer service employees are usually the first point of contact consumers have with a brand. They are literally those who create first impressions that impact the customer's perception of the company. Incompetent, untrained or poorly trained service agents are not likely to deliver great service. On the other hand, when customer service is executed well by properly trained employees, it results in increased customer satisfaction and improved customer experience. That’s why training customer support teams is just as important as training marketing and sales teams.
Best customer service training enables service employees to effectively meet the expectations of highly-demanding, tech-savvy consumers. Moreover, investing in training gives employees a feeling of value, improves their morale and motivation. And when employees feel valued, they value their customers and are willing to go the extra mile to delight them and exceed their expectations.
Customer service has become a key brand differentiator helping businesses stand out from the competition in the oversaturated market of similar products and services. Some of the world’s most known customer-centric brands like Amazon, Zappos, Ritz-Carlton and Southwest Airlines spend a big share of their earnings on delivering excellent customer service and training their employees to consistently delight customers – their success proves that it’s worth the investment.