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EMPLOYEE TRAINING

Take Time to Train Your Customer Service Staff

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Make sure your customer service staff understands their responsibilities and are aware of the resources available to them before they start interacting with your customers. For example, your company will appear unprofessional if your customer service representatives are not familiar with your goods and services. Furthermore, if your reps are unprepared, they will be frustrated with their jobs and more likely to leave. Use your training time to ensure that your new employees understand these basics:

Outline Responsibilities of Your Customer Service Reps
Before you let a new service representative interact with a customer, outline the responsibilities involved. For example, what kind of authority does your representative have to resolve problems and make deals? When should your rep call in a manager to deal with a problem? Outlining these boundaries ensures that your customers get the attention they need - and that your customer service reps do not become overly frustrated in the process.

Enumerate the Problem Resolution Resources Available
It is critical that you make both internal and external resources available to your customer service representatives. These should include any existing training materials and policies, as well as catalogs and promotional material. Your reps should appear knowledgeable about your products and services, or you risk losing the customer's trust in their ability. External resources, such as online training, books, trade magazines, and conferences, are also helpful.

Take Advantage of FAQs
Using your company's frequently asked questions with customer service in mind can accomplish several goals. First, your service representatives can refer customers to the FAQs for answers to standard questions, or use the material to create "stock" answers. In addition, taking full advantage of your FAQs means using it as a metric. For example, if your customer service department gets repeated queries about the checkout process, it may indicate the need for some kind of site change.

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