Customer service is ever evolving and with influences from social media and online forums, this adds another layer of complexity that didn’t exist in the past. So developing a solid training manual for your team is key to successful customer relationships.
Here are some important customer service statistics to keep in mind when developing or updating your manual.
- 73 percent of customers fall in love with a brand and remain loyal because of friendly customer service reps.
- 68 percent of customers said the service rep was key to a recent positive service experience. 62 percent said that this was also due in part to the rep's knowledge or resourcefulness.
- 78 percent of customers have backed out of a purchase due to a poor customer experience.
- 93 percent of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies who offer excellent customer service.
So, as you can see training customer service reps can either make or break your customer relationships. And if your customer service manual could use improvement, we’ll walk you through the process to create an effective one.
What are the benefits or a customer service training manual?
If you don’t have an official customer service training manual, you may wonder if you really need this document. And if you have one, what value can it really offer? Here are some reasons why customer service manuals add value.
1. Gives context to the job
Every employee has daily tasks, but sometimes they don’t understand how their role truly impacts the company bottom line. By creating a customer service training manual, you can show your employees how a job well done helps keep and get more customers to buy. This in return motivates and engages customer service reps to connect better with customers.
2. Teaches soft skills
Most employees are hired based on their skill set to get the job done successfully. However, much of a customer service job is based around soft skills. These involve things like listening, communicating, understanding the customer issue and critical thinking. Many soft skills need to be taught once on the job to give it better context. Adding in scenarios and offering solutions within your customer service training manual is a great way to teach these.
3. Improves customer satisfaction
As we’ve mentioned before, happy customers are more willing to be repeat buyers. In addition, they are more willing to tell their friends and family about the great customer service they received from a company. So, if you can increase your overall customer satisfaction, you will increase your profit margin. Training via your customer service manual can teach how to resolve common customer complaints and decrease the number of call backs from a single customer. This also saves time and energy so that customer service reps can interact with more customers.
4. Retains top talent
Your recruiting or HR department spent time and money to find qualified customer service reps. The last thing you want is your top performing team members to leave for competitors. Training is key to keeping these employees happy. The more skills and customer scenarios you can equip them with the better prepared they will be to do their job. And the more prepared they are, the more successful and happy they will be in their current role.
What are the steps to create a customer service training manual?
Now that you know the benefits of customer service training manuals, how do you go about creating one? Here are the steps to writing a training manual that properly educates and helps your team do their jobs more effectively.
1. Define your customer
Although customer service training is the same in many ways across industries, the types of customer interactions can be unique. For example, if your company is a hotel, you may need to train team members on current business promotions, or if your company is a clothing company, you may need to train on return policies. So look at who your customer is, what their needs are and how your team of reps can help meet their needs.
2. Align with company mission
Your customer service manual needs to align with what your company stands for. In other words, what does your company offer customers that competitors don’t? Once you have this answer, define how you can train your team to carry out this company mission. In addition, all employees from new hires to senior managers should understand this shared customer service mission. That way, your training manual will fit within the company culture.
3. Create a customer service policy
Once you know your customer and understand how your company can better support them, you’ll want to create a customer service policy based on the company mission. For example, Disney’s mission is “We create happiness by providing the best in entertainment for people of all ages everywhere.” So with this in mind, Disney’s customer service policy includes always being friendly to guests, accommodating requests and even keeping the park clean by throwing away trash as they see it. So figure out what tips will make sure your team members are successful when interacting with customers.
4. Have frequently asked section
Although every interaction is different with a customer, there are some themes. For example, if your company is an online book company, you may get questions regarding receiving the wrong book, wondering where a shipment is and how to place an order. So with this in mind, list common customer questions with detailed responses as to how these should be answered. And to further illustrate your point, use real-life examples in your questions, so this paints a better picture for training purposes.
5. List tools for reference
Think about any tools or other company contacts that would help with customer service. This should include a summary of different product lines or services. It’s also helpful to have contacts within the company if customer questions arise that are better served through a different department. That way customers can get their answers quicker.
6. Include training on key systems
If you have call center representatives, you’ll need training on how to use the phone system. But beyond that, think about what other systems this individual may need to access. For example, a rep may need to reference the company CRM or the logistics software to further help with a customer issue. Think about all software and technology a person needs to know in order to serve the customers better.