This post was originally published on lessonly.com.
Skills pay the bills—period. Whether you heard it in the 90’s Beastie Boys classic or if you experienced skill development in real life, you’ve likely figured out that dedicating time and focus to customer service skills training will help drive real results (and pay the bills.)
Let’s talk about how to create a customer service training program built with skill development in mind. We’ll walk through both soft skills and technical skills.
How to improve soft skills for customer service
If you’re looking for customer service training ideas, start with soft skills development. At the most basic level, soft skills are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively with customers to create a pleasant service experience. Let’s look at some examples.
A rep with great soft skills…
- Prepares effectively
- Shows the ability to build relationships
- Provides a clear path to success
- Displays genuine empathy
- Asks clarifying questions
In order to develop these soft skills, it’s helpful to establish a base in order to measure progress. This base is likely different across each of your reps. Each rep comes to your team with unique skills and experience. That’s why you hired them, right? An easy way to develop a base with each teammate is to simply ask the rep to evaluate themself. This can be done through a survey or a formal assessment. Let’s talk about what this assessment could look like.
Holistically assess skills
If you want the best online customer service training, you’ll need something that scales with your growing business. With Lessonly Skills, teams can request a skillset self-reflection where reps rate themselves on skills that are identified as important to a specific role. Acquiring this data will help you as a leader better uncover opportunities for training. You’ll start to discover trends in particular skills that could lend to further training needs.
In order to get a holistic view of your team’s skills, it’s helpful to obtain both formal and informal assessments. An example of an informal assessment would be a skillset observation. This could be something like sharing a review of a recent customer interaction that you observed.
On the other hand, a formal assessment would be a skillset review. These are meant to be more of a quarterly assessment depending on your business cadences vs. in-the-moment feedback.
In a recent webinar discussing customer service training for employees, we brought in two customers who shared helpful tips for getting started with this. When asked how to narrow in on which skills to tackle first, Dwight Hulse from Kognitiv Inc. said, “Once you have the [skillset] data, it surfaces really quickly where the focus needs to be.”
How to improve technical skills for customer service
As you’re thinking about customer service training topics, your business may have areas that require complex expertise. A great way to level up your team’s technical skills is to categorize the technical topics that are commonly covered in your business. Then, list each skill needed for each technical topic.
For example, Sendinblue categorizes their technical topics by product line. Each product line requires a unique skillset in order to best support their customers. To ensure learners are qualified to speak with customers on a particular product, they use certifications. Kaitlin LaCaille, Customer Operations Specialists from Sendinblue, said, “When a learner completes a certification quiz [in Lessonly], they are given a skill in Zendesk and can then receive tickets related to that skill–automatically.”
If you use a ticket handling tool like Zendesk, it’s helpful to match your skill categories with categories listed in the ticket handling tool. For example, in Zendesk you can prompt customers to select which category their ticket relates to. If you know the category of the ticket, you’re now able to easily route that ticket to the highest skilled rep in that category.
For more details on how Sendinblue streamlines support ticket handling by skill level, check out this on-demand webinar. Moral of the story, as you’re creating your customer service training program outline, categorized skillsets are a must-have.
That’s a wrap! Whether you’re skilled in crowd surfing like the Beastie Boys or increasing CSAT scores, I hope this blog post helped you get some creative ideas for your customer service training programs–with skills that pay the bills. To learn more, check out this ebook for free customer service skills training ideas.
If you’re in the market for better training, enablement, and skill coaching on your CS team, feel free to book a demo with us. We’d love to chat!