Are you hiring one or more new employees to join your company? If so, then employee onboarding and training are likely the first things that come to mind. But the question remains – does your new employee hiring routine include training beyond how the cashier software works or how to clean the counters at the end of each shift?
Most importantly, does your employee training focus on customer service? If not, it should. Training new employees in customer service is one of the smartest, and most profitable, business strategies.
Why Focus New Employees on Customer Service
If your company has customers, your company must train new employees on how to deliver excellent customer service experiences. Why? The reasons, especially in the digital age, are clear. Everyone in your company represents your company.
What does that mean to your company?
First off, your employees likely meet past, current, and potential customers on a regular basis. Even the ones who don’t directly work with customers can run into customers in and out of the workplace, at networking events, or in other social situations.
Next, your employees use at least one social network, such as Facebook. For companies that hire more technology-savvy employees, that list grows to YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and so forth. If your employees list your company as their employer, then they may interact with customers online.
Lastly, your employees could always end up the center of a viral sensation that reaches millions of viewers if they handle a customer service situation wrong and are unfortunate enough to be recorded by a customer with a smartphone.
This is why you want your employees fully up to speed with how your company wants customer service to be handled in any situation. Otherwise, that super-friendly image that your company has been trying to build into their branding will go away in an instant.
How to Focus on Customer Service During Employee Onboarding
The easiest way to make sure all employees have the right mix of customer service training is to divide them into two or more groups. For example, you at the least you will have:
If your company has more advanced customer service needs, such as training for supervisors and managers that are pulled into customer service situations not handled by entry level staff, then those employees will need advanced customer service training.
Also key to customer service training is separating how to handle customers in different situations – in store, by phone, by email, and on social media. Know where your customers will have access to your employees and train those employees for those specific situations.
If you have employees that won’t be working directly with customers, but may cross paths with them, then those employees should be trained on the basics of customer service.
Employees working directly with customers, on the other hand, who will be the recipients of most customer service requests should be able to do everything.
Supervisors and managers, in turn, must be trained to efficiently solve any customer inquiries that come their way.
With the right customer service training during employee onboarding, all of your company’s employees will be prepared to create amazing customer experiences. Customer service training also boosts employee confidence, satisfaction and retention. As researched in Smile: Sell More with Amazing Customer Service, companies that engage with customers the best will ultimately win in sales, customer loyalty, customer satisfaction, and word of mouth referral rates. All of which will help your company continue to grow the bottom line.
Train current and new employees with Kirt Manecke’s award-winning books Smile: Sell More with Amazing Customer Service-The Essential 60-Minute Crash Course and Smile & Succeed for Teens: Must-Know People Skills for Today’s Wired World . Learn more about Kirt on his website.