Customer service is an area where more and more value is placed on having a highly performing team. In a competitive market where costs are squeezed to the limit, customers are looking to areas other than the bottom line to differentiate between companies looking to win their business. When there’s not much in it between two firms in terms of price, customers are likely to value customer service even more highly than before and those falling short of the mark will see those customers voting with their feet.
Training your staff at all levels to provide excellent customer service at the core of all they do will have a number of knock-on benefits. The attraction and retention of all-important customer sales is just one of them, but alongside that you can count staff retention, customer and staff satisfaction and an all-round better working environment.
The staff benefits of good customer service
Understandably, the majority of focus when it comes to providing good customer service is on the customer and their satisfaction with their encounter with your company. However, this is not the only group to benefit from a team that has great customer service skills and the ability to carry this ethos into all they do.
While customer care is often seen as dealing with difficult people and turning on the charm to reduce their degree of disgruntlement, the majority of customer-facing roles have very pleasant and rewarding encounters with the people they’re serving on a day-to-day basis. Learning how to find out about customer needs and making them feel valued has its rewards in terms of the immediate feedback staff receive from the customers they’re dealing with. Satisfied customers are likely to make that satisfaction known, and that translates into a satisfied staff member and a more positive team environment.
When things do get tough with customers who have complaints or are just downright difficult to please, customer service training supports staff to handle those people courteously and helpfully while taking care of their own wellbeing. Being unprepared for a verbal tirade over the phone or in person can really knock a person’s confidence, while having the skills to deal calmly and politely with difficult people can help staff better manage some of the more challenging areas of their jobs.
The obvious benefits of training staff to provide a better service to the company’s customers are those of better customer attraction and loyalty. Getting new purchasers and keeping them once they’re on the roster is of vital importance to the on-going success of any business. However, there are other things that may be less obvious at first glance.
Training your staff to offer good customer service, including the promotion of good teamwork and dealing with difficult customers, will make your staff feel supported in their work. No-one likes to be the one to deal with someone who’s unhappy, but by giving your staff the skills to deal with this sensitively and effectively you’re helping build their resilience.
On the more positive side, by enabling your team to develop good customer service skills you’re facilitating the growth of a supportive and convivial working environment. If your people see all the people they work with – including their colleagues – as customers, they will treat them with the same degree of careful listening, respect and helpfulness. This feeds a virtuous circle where happy colleagues provide better service to customers, whose positive feedback increases the feelings of achievement.
Customer service training isn’t just about teaching people to handle members of the public and deal with complaints. It’s a company-wide ethos which, if adopted, can bring better team work and increased employee satisfaction, making your company a sought-after place to work as well as a chosen supplier.
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