In a world where ‘the customer is always right’ and ‘the customer comes first’, providing a great customer experience is vital to the success of your business.
This can be a challenge, especially for a large organisation, where management might discuss a customer-centric focus as their aim for their new software update for instance, but they are surprised by the failure to deliver this at all levels.
This failure to deliver (especially at the vital point – interaction with customers) is usually due to a lack of training.
Many business underestimate the significance of training; they stick with the initial ‘new employee’ training, which generally covers a limited amount of customer service topics, interspersed with health and safety, security, and so on, but fail to understand that training should be a continuous development that is crucial to their success.
It is quite obvious why customer-centric plans fail to achieve their targets when training, and education of staff, are left as an afterthought.
Operational training is an essential part of any business; mentor training, soft skills, cultural awareness training, customer services training and so on, are all vital to customer satisfaction, brand faith, business success and growth.
If you’re still not convinced that staff training is intricately linked to success take a look at the following five points:
1. The Human Element
Customer experience that contains a human perspective, or element, is likely to be far more fulfilling an experience than one which depends solely upon computer generated responses, automated voice recordings, and so on.
Emotional interactions are vital to human beings; we recall how we felt during an experience, what was positive or negative, how we learned from that experience, and what to do differently next time.
By providing a human customer experience, especially one that is positive, well-informed, and well-trained, will give more satisfaction to customers than an otherwise computer generated customer service.
2. Fight or Flight
However unnecessary it may seem in our modern world, we are still wired for a fight or flight response in most tense situations.
It takes a concerted effort, quality training and plenty of practice to override our natural responses and remain calm in the face of hostility, adversity or rudeness.
By providing the right training for your staff, you can teach them how to handle delicate or tricky situations, and customers, with ease in a constructive and positive way.
This can deflate tense situations in store, improve customer satisfaction around resolution issues, and can lead to a positive conclusion of problems.
3. Practice Makes Perfect
Top athletes and actors know that practice makes perfect. No one walks out of college, or university as a master of their field – they have to put in some serious training in order to reach the top.
The same is true for top quality service; regular training, continued updates, and focused review plans, mean that staff are less likely to fall into bad habits, can maintain a confident and self-reliant manner, and are aware of their emotional and motivational influence.
4. Training Promotes Priorities
Discussing a customer-based priority with the board, or even with your employees, is not enough to show that you are serious about a customer satisfaction ethos for your company, especially if you aren’t prepared to invest in your team to help them achieve your objectives.
Providing a thorough and comprehensive training program shows your staff your priorities, and gives them the skills and assurance to confidently fulfil your plans.
It also highlights to customers that you are serious about their happiness and satisfaction, and, it promotes more faith in your brand.
5. Training Promotes Staff Satisfaction
There is a quantifiable link between staff training and staff satisfaction, with lots of evidence that suggests staff are happier, more productive, and effective, when they receive good quality, continued training at work.
While it may seem difficult to be able to fit in staff training alongside all the daily requirements of running a business (especially in today’s understaffed, overworked areas), the dividends can far outweigh the costs in both financial, and other ways.
Good leadership rests upon the ability to make informed decisions and prioritise. By offering your staff the quality training they deserve, you can fulfil your own potential.
Consequently, if you want to improve your business, staff training is paramount to this. The choice is yours as to which type of training you opt for – either in-house workshops, eLearning, or bespoke, scheduled training provided away from the work environment – but whichever you choose, make sure you use a quality provider that has experience with the type of training you require.
Your employees, your customers, and your shareholders, will thank you.