EMPLOYEE TRAINING

Checklist: Hire and Train Your Customer Service Staff

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It takes more resources to attract new customers than it does to keep existing customers happy. So spending the time and money to train your customer service staff now can pay big dividends in the form of customer retention later. Successfully training your customer service staff to solve problems for your customers will depend on choosing the right people for the job and making resources available to help them tackle difficult customer situations. You'll also need to develop internal guidelines and training manuals and implement monitoring processes.

" Develop Internal Customer Service Guidelines and Training Materials"
Focus your customer service guidelines on instilling high standards of attitude and service in your staff. Your training manuals should concentrate on communication skills, assessing and responding to customers' needs, and dealing with problem situations. Giving your staff these tools will help them keep your customers happy.

" Hire a Quality Customer Service Candidate"
Choosing the right employees for your customer service center is critical to retaining customers. Not everyone is suited to dealing with complaints from the public. Understanding what qualities the ideal customer support candidate should possess will make the recruitment and interviewing process more efficient.

" Take Time to Train Your Customer Service Staff"
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 therefore be more likely to leave.

" Monitor Customer Service Success"
Once your staff has successfully completed the training program and has had ample time to put their new skills to the test, there's still one more thing to remember. Customer service is an ongoing process. Assess your staff regularly, and perhaps even conduct follow-up training sessions to make sure they continue to represent your company well.

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Last updated: Apr 1, 2000




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