Customer service training is an important component of an organization’s service delivery program. It is vital because employees deal with customers at various organizational levels every day. Therefore, it is important for organizations to furnish employees with the necessary skills and knowledge of ways to deal with customers. Customer service training involves equipping employees with knowledge and skills that enable them to increase customer satisfaction by treating them appropriately (Bonomo, 2002). Such a program would include training on diverse ways of dealing with different customers, effective communication methods, development of good listening skills, collection of feedback, and the appropriate use of language. A customer service training program is necessary because it helps to develop customer loyalty, increase organizational value and efficiency, and create value in employees (Bonomo, 2002).
Importance of a needs assessment component
A needs assessment would be used to identify weaknesses in employees’ performance. It is important because helps to identify performance gaps. Assessment results facilitate the provision of resources to underperforming divisions and departments. A needs assessment identifies performance deficiencies in numerous ways. First, it provides a means of determining the level of organizational performance by determining the necessary skills that are needed for the attainment of goals and objectives (Kamin, 2012). Secondly, it evaluates the knowledge and skills of different employees and compares them with their abilities to handle various tasks. It determines whether an employee possesses the skills and knowledge to execute their job effectively. Third, it facilities task analysis, which helps to determine the groups that need improvement (Kamin, 2012). Employees are evaluated based on their contributions towards the attainment of their group’s goals. Fourth, the assessment evaluates the level of customer satisfaction and determines whether it aligns with the goals and objectives of the organization. Low customer satisfaction implies that employees lack the necessary knowledge and skills to satisfy the needs of the customers (Kamin, 2012). This is evident from negative feedback that results in a lack of customer loyalty. Lastly, the assessment identifies performance deficiencies by determining the net effect of organizational policies on employee performance.
The implementation plan will comprise four main components: determination of customer needs, evaluation of employees’ knowledge and skills, the establishment of a training program and methods to be used, and evaluation of the effectiveness of the program. The first step is the determination of customers’ needs, tastes, and preferences. This will be achieved through research studies and interviews with customers. The knowledge and skills of employees will be evaluated through performance appraisal reports, interviews, and the use of focus groups. The results of the evaluation will be used to determine the components that will be included in the training program. The program will mainly focus on areas in which employees show weaknesses. After the determination of employee skills and knowledge, the most appropriate method will be chosen based on the information collected from the first and second steps. Training methods will include role-playing, presentation, case study, and simulation (Sims, 2007). Training will include a blend of different aspects of these methods. Finally, the employees will be evaluated to determine the effectiveness of the training program in improving their skills and knowledge. The evaluation will enable the organization to determine employees’ compliance with policies on customer service.
The training method will be a combination of role-playing, presentation, case study, and simulation (Barbazette, 2006). Each of the training methods will be used to deal with the different learning needs and abilities of employees. A single training method would be ineffective. Role-play will involve employees assuming the roles of customers and rehearsing possible situations they are likely to encounter at the workplace. It will involve the formation of groups of two employees each. The use of multimedia materials is effective for shy employees (Barbazette, 2006). It includes videos of successful and unsuccessful encounters between employees and customers. Employees will also form discussion groups in which they will debate the various methods that could improve their services to customers. Case studies will involve the evaluation of successful organizations with regard to customer service. The training will consider how successful organizations treat their customers in order to increase satisfaction and improve customer loyalty. The simulation will involve imitation of behaviors and reactions of employees who are successful at providing quality customer services (Barbazette, 2006). These methods will be successful because they will fulfill the diverse learning needs of different employees.
How to motivate an uninterested employee
An employee who lacks interest in attending a training class can be motivated in two main ways. First, the organization could offer remuneration in the form of employee incentives (Sims, 2007). Second, the organization could require the employees to attend the class as a requisite for future assessments. An incentive could include paying for the program. Many organizations require employees to contribute money in order to facilitate their attendance in the program. Paying for the program could motivate the employees to attend classes. Secondly, the organization could make attendance of classes a requisite for future assessments that will determine promotion and revision of remuneration (Sims, 2007). This will motivate the employee to attend the class and attain knowledge and skills that will enable them to improve their skills and knowledge.
Survey to collect feedback
A survey to collect feedback will include questions that will determine the effectiveness of the training program. The survey will contain questions that employees will answer regarding the program. Employees will base their answers on their experiences with regard to the effectiveness of the training program. The answers to these questions will be used to determine the effectiveness of the training program and its influence on employees and the organization. The questions will include the following:
How did you benefit from the training program?
What aspects of the training program imparted new skills?
How did the training improve your customer service knowledge and skills?
Were all sections of the program covered?
Which sections of the program were most effective?
Which sections of the program do you think were ineffective?
Would you attend such a program in the future?
Do you think the program will improve your performance with regard to customer service delivery?
Was the training method appropriate to your learning needs?
Organizations use customer service training to create customer loyalty and improve customer satisfaction. Satisfied customers improve organizational value. A training program includes components such as proper use of language, appropriate use of body language, communication skills, and ways of dealing with different personalities and characters. A plan to implement a training program would include the determination of customer needs, evaluation of employees’ knowledge and skills, the establishment of a training program, and evaluation of the effectiveness of the program. A needs assessment helps to identify and correct performance weaknesses. It is the responsibility of employees to treat customers appropriately in order to create customer loyalty.
Barbazette, J. (2006). Training Needs Assessment: Methods, Tools, and Techniques. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Bonomo, T. (2002). Customer Service: Aiming for Excellence. New York: Trafford on Demand Publishers.
Kamin, M. (2012). Customer Service Training. New York: Routledge.