Agent Experience

4 Ways to Provide Effective On-the-Job Training for Customer Service

To deliver world-class customer service, your team needs effective on-the-job training. Here’s how to offer it.

There’s an increasing focus on on-the-job training and how it can help bridge the gap in customer service. Managers often have teams comprising both experienced agents and new hires. These agents have experiences, strengths, and focus areas that have to come together to reinforce a winning customer experience. On-the-job training has become critical for companies that want to leverage their customer service reps effectively. Here are four ways to offer on-the-job training for your customer service team.

Create an Overarching Curriculum

There’s an important place for ad hoc training as learning opportunities arise. But in many cases, the best step you can take to provide effective training is to anchor it to effective basic customer service training. Often, it is best to integrate this into the new hire process—and then have modules that roll out over time. Not only can this training method help keep skills fresh, but it also assures your team that you’re investing in their future and that committing to professional development remains an important priority.

Don’t Overlook Mentoring

Group training and curriculums are helpful for establishing standards. Yet your team may learn best from personalized one-on-one feedback. Commit to whatever you can offer at scale; mentoring sessions might happen monthly, quarterly, or every 6 months. Observe each person’s performance, and offer individualized suggestions. These might focus on specific competency-based training or areas to check on during the next mentoring session.

Schedule Time-Sensitive Training

Often, issues or changes in the business come up that affect customer service. Stay ahead of these issues and changes by scheduling time-sensitive training in advance. These sessions might involve training your team on new products or product changes, imparting the details of a crisis strategy if you’re managing specific challenges, or training your team on a new channel (such as social media or video) that you plan to roll out. The more context you can offer your team as the market changes, the more likely they are to be successful.

Invest in Skills-Based Training

You can also focus your ongoing on-the-job training on specific skills. Skills-based training helps your team focus on incremental improvements by centering on an area such as effectively using your knowledge system or working on building rapport with customers. By mixing role-playing opportunities, discussions, and other learning sessions, you can fit skills-based training into frequent but short sessions that help your team improve over time.

Training can help your customer service team stay on the cutting edge and wow even the most demanding customers. Invest in a mix of training solutions, and your team will be prepared to execute your customer service vision.