How To Enhance Client Management Skills In Online Training
Repeat business is the lifeblood of your organization. Clients are more likely to return if they receive a high level of service the first time around. This requires a well-trained staff who knows the nuances of time management, problem-solving, and communication skills, just to name a few. But how do you give your employees the online training resources they need to provide the optimal client experience? Here are 7 tips to enhance client management skills in online training.
1. Encourage Employees To Assess Their Strengths And Weaknesses
Employees who interact with clients regularly may not even be aware of their current skill gaps. They are unsure why clients are dropping off their list and not referring friends and colleagues. However, a self-assessment can help them identify areas for improvement, as well as personal strengths. Develop online training assessments that center on client management skills, such as active listening, time management, and organizational skills. This may even be in the form of online training simulations or serious games that test real-world application of these skills. Employees can evaluate the results and plan a course of action to bridge the gaps.
2. Test Employees’ Project Management Skills With Online Training Simulations
Online training simulations mimic real-world challenges, which gives employees the power to master more nuanced skill sets, such as their ability to manage projects effectively in order to achieve the client’s goals. These Project Management simulations should feature every phase of the process, from the first client consultation to the final team evaluation meeting. You can also employ online training simulations if your organization deals with more straightforward transactions, such as product sales. Simply narrow the scope. For instance, focus on a crucial part of the sales process or introductory client meetings. At the end of the online training activity your employees are able to evaluate their Project Management performance and identify areas for improvement.
3. Incorporate Real-World Examples To Facilitate Problem Solving
A crucial aspect of client management is solving problems effectively. Employees must use all their resources and skills to overcome challenges and keep the client happy. But how do you prepare your employees for every eventuality? The solution is setting the example so that they have a practical reference. Incorporate real-world stories, examples, and case studies to help them navigate common obstacles. Highlight which skills and knowledge are necessary to resolve the issue, then mention the many benefits that critical thinking and creative problem solving can bring. Employees need to know how the information ties into real-world applications so that they can use the information on the job.
4. Use Social Learning Tools To Build Communication Skills
Employees must keep the lines of communication open. Clients need to be informed of important changes or setbacks that may impact their decision making. For example, you’ll require additional resources to finish the product in the specified time frame. Social learning tools give employees the opportunity to build essential communication skills with their peers. They can provide meaningful feedback tactfully and express their opinions without devaluing others’. They must also be able to engage in conversations and collaborate with group members to solve work-related challenges. For example, collectively brainstorm new and innovative ways to increase their prospect lists.
5. Create A Microlearning Online Training Library For Quick Troubleshooting
There are times when employees need quick reference tools to get the job done. Comprehensive online training courses won’t fit the bill, because they cover too much ground. However, a microlearning online training library allows them to focus on specific challenges and find viable solutions. For example, an online training tutorial that improves task proficiency, or a podcast that explores negotiation techniques to increase sales numbers. Create bite-sized online training tools that cover secondary skills, tasks, and tips. This gives employees the support they need to troubleshoot the problem and keep the client content.
6. Expose Employees To A Variety Of Customer Personas
The idea of an "average" client is a myth. Every client that your employees encounter has unique objectives and expectations. However, you are able to divide your client base into distinct groups based on their buying history and needs. These customer personas will be a valuable teaching tool that facilitates real-world experience, especially if you integrate them into real-world examples, branching scenarios, and online training simulations. Customer personas prepare your staff for the unique personality traits and challenges they’ll encounter on the job. Thus, they know how to work with clients more effectively and provide them with personalized service.
7. Foster Time Management Skills With Serious Games
Let your employees race the clock to build valuable time management skills. An integral component of client management is managing the client's time. More specifically, respecting their time and meeting deadlines. Serious games test how your employees perform under pressure and how they can streamline their strategy. For instance, they must complete a task or solve a problem within the allotted time in order to advance to the next level. At the end of each level you provide targeted feedback to help them improve. In addition to serious games, you might also consider a gamification strategy that rewards top performers. For example, employees who hone their client management skills earn special badges or accrue in-course points.
Client management skills are challenging to teach. This is due to the fact that they involve a broad range of secondary skill sets and personality traits. While some employees may have a knack for time management and planning, others require more work in that department. For this reason, it’s wise to offer personalized online training paths that center on individual gaps and goals. Research your employees beforehand to gauge their backgrounds and preferences, then create a skill-building strategy that works best for them.
Do your employees have the essential skills they need to succeed? Read the article 8 Essential Soft Skills Your Online Learners Need For 2017 to discover 8 crucial skill sets that online learners should cultivate in order to succeed.