In today's evolving business landscape, companies have shifted their approach to become more customer centric. And at the heart of the customer-centric methodology, we find the customer experience.
Customer experience focuses on how a customer feels and the emotional responses they experience as they interact with your brand throughout their buyer journey.
This customer-centric approach, with emphasis on creating a positive experience for each and every consumer, has completely changed the way companies market, sell to, and provide service for their customers. It has shifted business strategies away from the traditional sales funnel method to focus on the flywheel methodology.
But if your company is going to make the switch over to a customer-centric approach (and we recommend you do), you'll need to develop an effective customer experience strategy.
The very first step in doing this is training your team. Since service is one of the most important elements to creating a positive customer experience, each and every provider needs to be caught up to speed on how to adjust their professional practices to fit your company's new approach.
Remember that old proverb about the cart before the horse? You need to train your service team first; otherwise, they'll struggle to execute your new customer experience strategy successfully.
Customer Experience Training Options
In order for your company to be able to craft and deliver an awesome customer experience strategy, you’ll need the whole team on board. To pull this off, your service team will need the right tools and resources to learn how to deliver a top notch experience.
Ultimately, you want your team focusing on three areas:
- Customer Success – the process of working together with customers in a proactive way for long-term goal achievement.
- Customer Service – the process of clearing potential roadblocks before your customers hit them.
- Customer Support – the process of reacting to customers who raise their hands, signaling they have a problem.
Internal Training Ideas
There are plenty of different methods of training, such as:
Quarterly or Annual Training
With this method, you host training courses every year or every quarter to refresh all your employees on the best practices for providing quality service to your customers. It also creates a great opportunity for team building.
New Hire Training
This one is pretty self-explanatory – it’s important to train all of your new employees to set expectations and get them up to speed on how your brand handles service, including the core values your team follows and how to best serve your customers.
Crisis Management Training
Just in case there’s an emergency, crisis management training is a good thing to have under your belt.
It’s exactly as it sounds, really – it trains your team on how to handle even the most catastrophic events within your business. Think of it as a doomsday plan. You hope it never happens, but just in case... you’re prepared.
Customer Experience Training Ideas
This an exercise recommended for all customer service professionals old and new.
Having your employees team up to hold mock conversations between a service member and a customer can help your staff prepare for how to best handle irate customers. It’s a gentle way to test the waters before having to dive in to the real stuff.
A Mentorship Program
Mentorship programs are great for new hires or team members who may be struggling with some of their skills. Having a mentor gives the mentee someone to go to when they need help, advice, or feedback on the work they do, allowing them to constructively work toward success.
This is a great option for new hires to help them learn the ropes from one of your more veteran team members.
Having your teams create guides for your products and services is a great way to both test their knowledge on the material and develop a useful resource for them and new hires whenever they may need to check back to confirm something.
Having your team present live demonstrations to each other is another great way to test their level of knowledge. However, it also gets them to exercise their public speaking and interpersonal skills with an audience, which hones their techniques for customer service.
There’s nothing wrong with encouraging a little healthy competition throughout your staff.
Leaderboards and monthly or quarterly rewards for the team members with the best service reviews from customers is a great way to inspire them to reach their full potential and do the best they can.
In service, patience is everything. Service professionals often spend all day on the phone with unhappy customers, and all that negative energy can easily get to you.
Training your staff in mindfulness techniques such as meditation is a good way to help them deal with these levels of negativity in a productive, healthy way, and ultimately set them up for sustainable success.
10 Customer Experience Online Training Programs
In addition to running hands-on training exercises, there are a lot of great online resources you can encourage your team to take:
1. Customer Service Training by LinkedIn Learning
LinkedIn offers an immense amount of resources and training tools to help your service team hone their skills through their educational platform, LinkedIn Learning.
They provide an immense variety of customer service training courses, from basic foundation skills to working with upset customers and how to build rapport with your clients.
2. Customer Service Training by Go Skills
The Go Skills customer service training course teaches you about the seven essentials for excellent customer service. The syllabus includes the following lessons:
- Why Is Customer Service Important?
- The Psychology of Customer Service
- Understanding in Customer Service
- Response and Responsibility
- Empathy in Customer Service
At the end of the course, you even receive a customer service certification!
3. Customer Service Courses Online by Udemy
Udemy is an online learning platform for professional adults, and they also offer a wide variety of customer service training courses, with over 1,300 programs to choose from.
To give you a little taste, they include courses like how to build a customer service strategy, how to improve your retention rate, and how to develop customer centric metrics.
Pricing ranges per course, but many of them are as little as $10.99.
4. Writing Customer Service Emails by LinkedIn Learning
Another LinkedIn Learning resource, this email writing course does exactly as it says – teaches you how to write better customer service emails.
In this course, you’ll learn how to write effective apology emails, what key points you should include in a general response to a customer, and ultimately learn how to communicate with your customers professionally and with consistency.
5. Customer Service Lessons by HubSpot Academy
HubSpot Academy is another great free educational platform that provides courses on a wide variety of all kinds – marketing, sales, and service. They offer a few different service training lessons, including courses such as Inbound Service Fundamentals.
You should also take a look at the inbound methodology resources, as it discusses the flywheel approach in depth.
6. Customer Service Advantage by Bonfire Training
Now this one is really great – while Bonfire’s Customer Service Advantage course teaches you the six core skills of customer service, it also teaches you other essential elements for optimum success within the field.
These include things like self awareness, the difference between a growth mindset and fixed mindset, and the ability for individual team members to identify their own strengths and weaknesses.
This course focuses on building real, actionable skills to implement within your strategies once you’ve completed it. As the name of the course suggests, it aims to provide your team with an advantage in the customer service field.
7. Call Center Customer Service by Universal Class
There’s no two ways about it, working in a call center is hard. Luckily, there’s training available like the Universal Class Call Center Customer Service course.
This course covers everything from phone conversation etiquette with customers and problem solving techniques to active listening and diversity awareness training.
8. Support Professional Training by Service Strategies
The Support Professional Training course by Service Strategies focuses on two primary elements – providing great customer service and providing valuable and useful technical support.
If you work in an industry in which you need to provide lots of technical support over the phone to your customers, you should definitely consider having your team take this course.
9. Communication by SkillPath
SkillPath’s communication course does exactly as it sounds – it teaches your team how to communicate more effectively.
This course is not specifically designed for service professionals, but it does teach some vital skills, such as active listening and the art of negotiation.
10. Customer Service Refresher Training by Business Training Works
If you’ve already got a fully trained service team but you think they might need a little refresher, this course is a great option for them.
Some of its key touchpoints include reviewing the best practices for phone and email communication with customers, as well as how to soothe angry clients.
It also discusses how customer expectations evolve over time and reinforces the importance of service standards.
Setting Your Team (and Your Customer) Up for Success
With the right training, your service team will be well equipped to support and guide customers throughout their entire experience with your company.
As a result of this positive collaboration, customers will thrive and continue to be delighted by your brand – ta-da! You've established how to implement a great customer experience.
This can lead to a whole range of benefits for your company, including higher retention rates, more referrals, and a booming positive reputation. All of these great benefits make your flywheel spin faster, thus fueling sustainable growth for your business.