Whether your customer service team is working with clients face-to-face, through email, live chat, or via a mobile app, communication skills training is not only a good idea, it’s vital. Clear communication across all channels is the key to great customer service. What’s more understanding customer expectations is essential to providing concise answers to their most frequently asked questions.
Here’s how communication skills training will make your customer service team more effective and turn them into superstars for your clients.
Essential Customer Service Communication Skills
Customer service training has changed with all of the advancements in technology. However, the fundamentals of effective customer service communications remain the same.
- In-depth product and services knowledge
- Actively listen to the question or issue
- Repeat back to the customer for clarity
- Provide clear and concise solutions
A customer service representative (CSR) who has a thorough knowledge of a company’s goods and services is confident when they’re helping clients. While the team member must learn communication skills, part of what will make them a better communicator is the confidence that comes with knowing the answers to frequently asked questions. In fact, American Express did a customer survey that revealed 62 percent of their customers’ positive experiences were because of a knowledgable and resourceful CSR.
Providing a customer service knowledge base helps the CSR with reference material and it also gives the customer one more way to quickly access the information they need.
Customer Service Trends
Customers expect an answer within 10 minutes or less when asking a question online. That means the traditional line—send us an email and we’ll get back to you within 48 hours—doesn’t cut it anymore. That’s why your communications training program must cover a variety of devices including live chat.
Real-time customer support 24/7 means either have customer service reps online 24 hours a day or incorporating an AI chatbot for a few hours a day. A chatbot still can’t replace people who’ve had communication training for customer service. However, the bigger database of customer service information you have to start with, combined with machine learning, means that the chatbot will also become a better rep over time.
Resources for Customers
Resource libraries and video tutorials are other trends that aren’t going away. Finally, interactive resources provide engaging content for your audience. And, depending on the business, augmented reality and virtual reality are trends that allow customers to get firsthand experience with a product.
What this means for your team is that effective communications training should also include learning all of the new technologies that the company is using so the CSR can help teach others how to access the information if necessary.
Today, communications all comes down to customer experience (CX). Why? Because 88 percent of marketers know that the thing that will make a company stand out from its competitors is customer experience.
Communication Skills Training for Better CX
Your company can deliver better CX with performance led training. Performance-based communication skills training provides managers with insights into what areas need improvement. The software highlights areas that need attention based on goals and metrics.
What’s more, the manager can analyze the data to gain actionable insights on how to improve communication skills training to enhance CX. An effective communication skills training program includes a database of pre-loaded content as well as an option to add customized, company-specific customer service product and services information. With all these assets, a manager can assign training modules as needed and also bring on a coach who can guide the team to better performance.
Build Customer Loyalty
Brand loyalty starts with the company’s employees. Be sure to get feedback from your team on what will be most helpful to them as they embark on their journey to learn communication skills. Let them know that they’re important members of your business.
As we mentioned earlier, product and services knowledge is vital to excellent customer service. A communications skills class must include product training. Here’s the thing, even the most well-trained CSR won’t have all the answers. That’s why software that makes it easy for agents to source up-to-date and accurate information is also a piece in the equation.
Being able to quickly and effectively locate an answer is as important as their product knowledge. One way to train for this scenario is by using role-play techniques so the CSR can practice finding information while having a conversation. Hands-on training allows the CSR to practice effective communication skills during training.
Using recorded calls can also help develop real-life scenarios to help the team engage in hands-on training.
Training on Multi-Media Platforms
Whether it’s email, social media, live chat, or a telephone conversation at the call center, your CSRs need to be able to operate on all the platforms your business maintains. Customers don’t want to repeat themselves over and over again. The best CX means the CSR is available across the board.
That means communications training needs to include multiple touchpoints and multitasking hacks because it’s likely tha=ey will need to keep up with live chat, social media, and a ringing telephone. Understanding how to juggle and respond to the variety of technology is one aspect of what it means to learn communications skill today.
Develop a Winning Strategy
There are some basics to consider in developing a winning communications training strategy:
- Look at customer service touchpoints from blog comments to social media posts, emails, website, and call center
- Determine how the CSRs interact with customers
- What steps does the company take to increase engagement with its audience?
A winning strategy means building a CX that keeps customers coming back. The result is great reviews and brand loyalty. Be sure that your business is easy to reach on any platform and customer service is available and convenient.
Personalize the interactions. In other words, train your team to get to know your audience so they can provide the best communications possible.
Successful Communications Skills Training
Seekify provides software solutions that integrate training and a customer service database that you can use to gain actionable insights for effective communications training.
Let’s take a look at one of our success stories. One of our global B2B SaaS clients wanted to grow its NPS score and reduce
customer churn rate. They achieved their goals and grew the NPS score to three times its previous rating and reduced customer churn by 5 percent in 36 weeks by using Seekify’s CX Automation Platform.
Turning Data Into Actionable insights
Integration with Seekify and the company’s in their existing CRM software helped this client to understand what wasn’t working for their customer support staff. Using automation in CX and turning performance data into insights at multiple touchpoints such as live chat, customer support phone calls, and email inquiries helped find and fix the flaws in communication.
Not only that, but the customized features mean that CSRs can take ownership and find the answer to most questions quickly and efficiently. Streamlining the process is vital for today’s audience. They expect to get an answer almost immediately.
Getting rid of manual support processes makes CX efficient, resulting in happy customers. Additionally, the company found that the lack of insights from data in silos increased the dependency of a variety of software at different touchpoints. At that point, the data isn’t useful because it’s too scattered.
There was no way to accurately measure ROI. However, integrating Seekify’s platform means that the company was able to harness all that data and use the information to take action in areas that needed improvement.
Before using Seekify’s platform, the company found there was a misalignment between customer service communications training and what kind of information the customers expected to be able to get from their reps. There was a lack of knowledge and confident communication that led to a decrease in the NPS. Not only that, but there was an overload of volume to CSR and a lack of accountability in the department.
The support staff wasn’t equipped to handle the volume of troubleshooting needed. This team needed integration with their CMS and a communications training program that would get the staff up to speed. Seekify was able to identify roadblocks and provide effective communications skills training that increased both brand loyalty and reduced customer churn.
Ultimately, using the data and company database of knowledge also improved turnaround time and created an overall better CX. The Seekify software analyzed the client’s pain-points. Then it offered customized features to ensure ROI in less time.
By integrating Seekify in their existing CRM software, the company’s support staff got the training they needed and as a result, they were able to boost productivity. CSRs are now able to resolve customer issues faster and can take ownership of their part in the customer experience.
Build a Team of Superheros
In business today, CX is vital to brand loyalty. That’s why communication skills training is so important for your team. Are you ready to take your customer service to the next level?
Read our blog for industry insights and get in touch if you’d like a free demo of Seekify’s Performance Led Training Program.