Train Your Staff To Follow Processes And Elevate Your Customer Service

Follow Processes And Elevate Your Customer Service By Training Your People

Great customer service is built upon the integration of the team that delivers service. This is not a big secret, of course; team integration is a matter that has been prioritized in the list of "people management deliverables" for Service Managers, and a hot discussion topic in senior management meetings. With many organizations depending on their success on the efficiency of their customer service (and very rightly so), HR Departments, Learning and Development Managers, and Service Managers continually increase their investment in the training and development of their team.

What These Development Programs Can Actually Do

These development programs include service delivery techniques and guidelines, while the most sophisticated ones also integrate cultural aspects (the company’s vision, the mission, the customer service culture of the enterprise, etc.), in order to:

  • Reinforce the organization’s commitment to customer service amongst the Service Desk staff.
  • Improve employees’ alignment with the corporate policy.
  • Increase consistency of the service delivered.
  • Address key employment issues in Customer Service Departments, like a high turnover or low job satisfaction.

I have seen many of these development programs (which are usually provided online as eLearning courses, to accommodate the needs of a large and disperse workforce) and have to say that both the technological platforms and the quality of content often provide a rich learning experience for the employees who are being trained. Some of these programs are really impressive and comprehensive in both their approach and delivery. Some even integrate smart motivation technologies and social features, to make the training more interactive and inclusive, or just relevant to the younger generations. But I also have to say (being a Service Desk Manager myself, with years of experience in managing service teams) that development programs alone don’t bear long-lasting effects. Yes, they can spark the team’s motivation and instill the right message, they can set the rules and educate people on customer service, but unfortunately, they will not help maintain the required service delivery standards in the long term. To ensure consistency in service delivery, organizations need to establish processes, and then train their staff to understand the value in following them.

So, the training is over, and your people get back to work, where they have to deal with hundreds of calls and customer requests every day. They can become overwhelmed by the pressure and stress of a very demanding, customer-facing job. Working on a Service Desk is not an easy job; every customer is important, of course, and has to be treated as such, but some of the customers will be difficult or even rude to the agents who take their calls. Even the most experienced and capable members of your Service Desk staff can have bad days when they have to deal with complicated situations. This is exactly why you need good processes, to help your employees overcome their challenges and feel that the organization provides a protective net to support them, while they are performing their crucial but difficult job.

Following Processes Does Help Your Staff

Processes define a framework for your employees to manage customer service. Great, proven processes define a framework for your employees to deliver a great customer service. They define the paths that need to be followed every time so that the customer receives the same, impeccable experience at any occasion and interaction with your organization, no matter who takes their call and how skillful or well-trained they are.

Processes will help your customer service staff to:

  • Feel more confident when interacting with your customers.
  • Know exactly what is expected of them.
  • Provide a consistent customer service which is not dependent on their personality or skills alone, but on pre-defined guidelines and policies too.
  • Feel more protected and appreciated by the organization they work for.
  • Increase their sense of belonging to a team that is aligned, coherent, and homogeneous in its approach.
  • Improve their job satisfaction and engagement with your organization.

While training and development programs are important for new hires (and your older staff, occasionally) to help them understand the concept of customer service and get started, it processes that will keep them going and help them integrate their practice into one consistent service experience for your customers. And that’s why good, proven processes are important; and so is training your employees to follow them.

Most people strive to make an impact on customer service, and great processes and technology are there to help them do it successfully.