How Customer Service Training Improves Sales, Referrals, And Your Bottom Line

Training & Development  |  December 6, 2019

Bad customer service can sink your company. 

It can lead to lost sales, low conversion rates and dropping profits. Basically, customer service MUST be a priority for your company, or you’re going to end up paying the price. 

Before we talk about customer service training, let’s talk about the idea of customer service and why it matters. 

Unhappy customers don’t stick around

You may not ever hear from unhappy customers, but that doesn’t mean they’re being quiet about their negative experience with your company. Not only are they leaving, but they are telling their friends about it, too!

One study found that 96% of frustrated, unhappy customers choose not to tell the company about their negative experience, but they tell up to 15 friends about how angry, annoyed or disappointed they are. 

Yikes! 

Unhappy customers cost you money

When your customers are unhappy, they cost you money.

You might end up spending more money to satisfy them when things go wrong. Examples: giving a full or partial refund or offering free services in the future. 

But think about staffing costs, too! When management has to come in and solve problems that have escalated from the first tier of customer service that means you are spending valuable senior resources on what it takes to solve customer-service issues. This isn’t the best use of a leader’s time. Measuring and quantifying “lost opportunities” is difficult, but instinctively you know the time spent putting out fires keeps leaders from doing what’s necessary to be proactively growing the business.

How does customer service training help with all of this?

Here is what it comes down to: Most people aren’t naturally good at solving customer service problems.

Those who are good at it? They need training, too.

Customer service training is about being intentional with your employees. It is about making sure that your workers feel prepared, confident, and capable of meeting consumer needs in any situation. It means understanding that customer service is the responsibility of everyone in a company, not just the people who have “customer service” in their job title. 

When we provide training, we help workers and managers alike understand the importance of delighting customers with positive encounters. 

What do we teach?

Customer service teams need to ask more questions

Emotional intelligence is the skill of understanding another person’s emotional needs in any given situation. We teach emotional intelligence skills in our workshops, and one of the tactics we use is this: You’ve got to learn to ask more questions. 

Asking your customers questions helps in so many ways! It gains you more information, first of all, but it also does much more than that. It helps your team identify the specific emotional needs of the customer. The practical needs, too!

Does the customer need a refund?

An apology?

An item replaced as quickly as possible?

A coupon for future use? 

What does the customer NEED to be happy, to feel as though you have made it right? Asking questions can make you confident in your ability to answer that question. 

Reframe from “selling” to “helping”

It is common for customer service reps to be asked to upsell as they serve because, when done well, doing so can be a great line of additional revenue. However, when customer service employees think of themselves as salespeople who have to hit an upsale quota, they may end up feeling pushy.

In fact, we have people refer to how being sales-y makes them feel “dirty.” Nobody wants to make anybody else feel dirty or unethical or anything like that!

We talk about the importance of HELPING customers, not just selling to them. 

You can help customers in a ton of different ways. Answering their questions. Solving their problems. Giving them a little extra motivation to finalize the deal. 

The important thing is that you’re not thinking of them just as a sales target, but rather as someone you can help with your expert knowledge and experience. 

Understand that sales and customer service are natural extensions of one another

None of what we said above means that the sales department is unimportant—or that it is something that is icky or dirty. On the contrary, we believe that sales and customer service are natural extensions of one another.

A great customer-service strategy is about more than just segmented groups within a company, working independently of each other. A strategy that works is one that is cohesive and collaborative! 

Your team needs great customer service training

Check out our guide to customer service training, and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you have!

Let us help you create targeted, practical solutions for customer service training for your company. Whatever your time frame or budget, we are ready to work with you to find the solutions your company needs!

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