You just implemented the top customer service training program that the organization has ever undertaken. The session ratings were sky high. The employee feedback was positive. Everyone is energized.
In so many organizations, when customer service training hasn’t been done for a while and customer complaints start to rise, management’s answer is often “let’s put everyone through training.” That might be a fine answer. But that would be an incomplete answer.
If we focus purely on part of what training is supposed to do – improve staff service skills, get everyone on the same page in terms of expectations of behavior and focus, and create some motivation – then a solid customer service training program can be considered a success for the short-term. But if you look at what training is supposed to generate in terms of long-term results, there needs to be something more.
As staff and managers move further and further away from the training date, the need to keep the momentum going gets greater and greater.
To make the skills stick, the common focus continue, and the motivation move forward, the organization needs to create a training reinforcement plan. The plan should be focused on tapping into managers and supervisors to set the expectation that they will perform exercises or facilitate discussions with employees that reinforce the skills learned, discussing customer issues, and having staff learn best practices from each other.
There should be a standard frequency of at least monthly, an accountability if supervisors do not reinforce the skills, and a core set of exercises and facilitation guidelines from which supervisors can select and use in their staff meetings.
If you feel good about your customer service training, make sure you implement a reinforcement plan so that your customers will feel good that staff skills will continue to improve.
Make the successes of customer service training stick for the long-term.
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