Inspiring Customer Service Employees to Want to Learn and Grow

By Tim Anderson, Platform28 on February 28, 2017

Effective call center training is one of the most important factors in ensuring a great customer experience. It is potentially more important than your hiring process, because it is something that you have complete control over. All other factors in creating a great customer experience (QA processes, leadership, systems, etc) are reliant on effective new hire training. Over my career, I have found the new hire training tends to fall somewhere in the range of one of three categories:

Sit Down and Figure it Out – I saw a company that literally spent an hour going over the HR forms and basics of the company and then sat an employee down at their computer and said if you have any questions feel free to ask the employee next to you. While the company was doing surveys that were fairly simple, you can imagine what is going through that employees mind, “this job is so important, you did nothing to train me how to do it.”

Here’s the Information you Need  – A lot of companies fall into this group. These companies have great content on what the product is, what the company does, and how to use the systems to get the information you need. When an employee successfully completes this training, they will have they knowledge that they need to do the job. This is usually complemented with QA processes and up-trainings to reinforce and update as needed. Employees will do what they are supposed to so that they get the right scores and meet the right KPI’s, but will lack the motivation to go above and beyond.

Join the Team and Grow with Us – 

The best trainings that I have seen, inspire employees to want to serve customers in an environment where they can grow and learn. This inspiration comes from knowing the story of the company and how it is going to change the world, or at least the specific customer’s world they are talking too. These companies tend to have training that spends a substantial amount of time on the story, vision, team building, and culture immersion. That is followed up with everything else because once they are immersed in the vision and culture, they want to learn the rest to be part of it not just pass a test.

Amazing training involves an employee buying into the vision of the organization and being inspired to serve customers because they believe that the company they are working for truly changes the customer’s life. Once that is in place, the employee is no longer learning how to use the systems and how the product works, they are learning skills to serve the customer and ensure that the customer is able to see the vision and get the most out of the product.

Effective training should include the following:

  • The Story of the Company – Why did it start? What problem is being solved? How has it evolved?
  • The Vision of the Company – Where has the company been and where is it going? How is it changing customer’s lives?
  • What Makes the Product/Company Amazing – Product knowledge positioned in a way that shows the value, in addition to how it works.
  • Soft Skills – How does an employee interact with the customer to allow them to be a part of the vision?
    • Value Proposition
    • Call Control
    • Communication
    • Overcoming Objections
    • How to Find Answers
    • Teaching the Customer
    • Re-engaging the Customer
  • Training on Systems and Servicing Tools
  • Policy and Procedure Training

Each company and situation will have varying training needs. The key is in the first three parts that set the stage for why everything else matters. You can teach the other parts and a rep can pass a test and know how to do them. However, without the first parts, the inspiration to learn and use them effectively are missing. The amount of time you spend on the story and vision inspires your employees to learn everything else to serve vs learning to get a paycheck.