How workplace training can improve customer service skills and ultimately sales performance

1st Aug 2016

No matter how fantastic your product is or talented your team is, without strong customer service skills, your product is likely to stay firmly stuck to the shelf. Training new and existing staff brings multiple benefits to a team, one of which is improving customer service skills. Offering workplace training can provide staff with the necessary skills to strengthen their customer service skills, including communication, empathy, patience and consistency, as well as adaptability. With strong customer services an inherent part of a team, sales performance is likely to improve.

Why customer service skills are important

Whether it’s in a restaurant, a shop or on the telephone to a call centre, we all experience poor customer service from time to time. The net result of our bad customer service experiences – we don’t use that company again! A strong, quality company has great customer relationships in place, and an even better company, will constantly strive to improve its customer service skills.

Whatever industry a business operates in, if it deals with customers, strong customer service skills are essential in ensuring customers remain loyal and a high level of customer retention is achieved. It is also vital in generating more business, as the customer service reputation of an organisation is one of the key motivating factors that helps create new customer opportunities.

As JitBit, a blog about customer support, writes:

“Excellent customer service is the lifeblood of any organisation.”

How strong customer service skills sell products

Research and statistics constantly prove the importance quality customer service skills play in helping businesses sell their products and services. For example, research conducted by NewVoiceMedia reveals that an estimated $41 billion of business is lost annually by US companies due to customers experiencing bad customer service. 42% of people switch to other companies for products and services after being put off by rude or unhelpful staff and, following a negative experience, 58% would never use the company again.

By contrast, following a positive customer experience, 69% of the participants of the NewVoiceMedia survey said they would recommend the company to others, and 50% would use the business more regularly to buy its products or services.

Some of the key customer service traits that customers expect to receive when shopping or doing business with an organisation are highlighted by Help Scout and include patience, attentiveness, communication skills, knowledge of the product, the ability to use ‘positive language’, acting skills, time management skills, the ability to ‘read’ a customer, a calming presence, a goal orientated focus, the ability to handle surprises, persuasion skills, tenacity, closing ability, and a willingness to learn.

How workplace training can help

The good news is that customer service skills can be taught and learned. Even if a business considers itself to uphold good customer service skills, such vital services can always be improved on. It therefore makes sense for companies to offer customer service training to all of its staff.

Investing the time and money in customer service training can prove to be an invaluable investment for businesses of diverse sectors and sizes. Teaching members of staff the competencies, knowledge and skills required to increase customer satisfaction and therefore customer retention is a shrewd way for businesses to ultimately increase their sales performance.

Workplace training that is focused on customer care will give employees valuable insight in how to develop and fine-tune customer service abilities. Such training will empower course participants to have to knowledge and confidence to provide effective solutions when they are faced with problems or ‘difficult customers’.

Training specifically designed to improve customer service skills will help members of staff adapt the essential requirements for strong customer support skills, including the ability to listen effectively, adopting a consistent, professional and positive tone, and remaining calm whilst under pressure.

Customer service apprenticeships

So invaluable are strong customer services to businesses that customer service apprenticeships are available, designed to equip apprentices with the knowledge and skills required to be successful in a customer service role.

What might seem like quite a hefty investment is likely to prove priceless, as arming staff with strong and constantly improving customer service skills, is the key behind every successful business.

This blog post was written CMS Vocational Training (CMSVOC), specialists in providing a vast range of courses and training programmes across diverse sectors. CMSVOC is committed to helping people of all ages, backgrounds and industries, find the right course and training programme so they can progress in their chosen career or embark on a new career.



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