This week we feature an article by Kristin Eriksen who shares great customer service training tips and ideas that will help your company build brand advocacy. Remember customer service training is not something you di, it’s something you do. – Shep Hyken
What is the most important thing you can do to improve relationships with your customers? The answer is as obvious as it is overlooked: improve customer service. Excellent customer service is the intangible that sets you and your company apart from others.
What is brand advocacy?
Brand advocacy simply means that people who love your brand will continue to support your company and promote your services or products to new customers organically.
Customers service training ideas for better brand advocacy
Integrating a brand advocacy strategy into your customer service training will allow you to receive support not only from customers but from your own employees too. Leveraging employee advocacy is like killing two birds with one stone. Not only will it solve your content reach and trust issues, you’ll also get the best customer service team in the world – a group of loyal and highly-engaged employees.
The people over at Deputy compiled a list of customer service training tips and ideas that will help your company build brand advocacy:
Communication is key
If you are not a great communicator, you will probably not go far in customer service. While product knowledge may be vital to providing good customer service, the ability to communicate with customers is just as important.
Some key communication skills include:
- Listening – The better you listen, the better you are at communication.
- Empathy – Being able to look at a situation through the eyes of a customer is an extremely valuable skill that can enable you to provide the highest degree of service.
- Show respect – Don’t multitask while communicating. Make sure what you’ve said is professional and respectful. Make eye contact and use people’s names.
- Positive body language – A person slouching their way through the store, with a sour or surly facial expression doesn’t look approachable. Use positive body language and engage with customers.
Setting the right goals shows you understand the needs of your customers and what your team can do to better support them. An obvious reason for setting customer service goals is that it allows the entire team to focus and work towards one common objective.
Here are several things that need to be kept in mind when setting goals and objectives for your customer service:
- Be specific: The goals set should be specific and strictly defined so that success can be easily determined.
- Choose advocacy goals that align with your overall business objectives: if the team perceives that their performance has a direct positive impact on the company as a whole, they will certainly be more motivated to work more diligently.
- Measurable goals: goal tracking software is one way to view and keep track of your goals. It makes it easy for employees to set and keep a record of their goals and it reminds them when they haven’t updated their goals for a given period.
- Review often: Rather than having one big goal for the year, separate your goal time frames into quarters or months. Monthly check-ins can help refine goals and drive progress.
Provide necessary tools
Employees are only as productive as the available tools allow them to be. It is vital that your business has the right infrastructure such as communication and scheduling software that will help your employees be productive.
Train your sales team using the right technology. Some key sales technology to consider are:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software – this allows you to track and manage your customers as they move through the sales funnel.
- Web Conference Software – This tool allows you to give product demos, connect with people anywhere, record conversations, and share screens.
- Employee Scheduling Software – From training and scheduling to keeping employees motivated and ensuring they’re doing their jobs correctly, employee scheduling software can help automate tedious tasks.
- Employee Advocacy Platform – this tool gives your employees a simple way to share curated, pre-approved content across their social networks.
Ask for feedback
Your advocates won’t take action unless you engage them. When you actively solicit feedback, it empowers your employees and sends a clear signal that you’re willing to work on you, too. To help your employees succeed, you need to understand what they deal with on a daily basis. Asking the right questions will give you valuable insights for improving sales and building brand advocacy.
Ask your sales team the following questions that will not only result in your team performing better, but will also help you become a better manager:
- What is the biggest obstacle to adding new customers? – the answers to this question can reveal operational issues, such as a lengthy procedure for setting up new accounts or order processing problems within your company.
- What is working and what isn’t? – open-ended questions like this will quickly identify chronic complainers as well as uncover significant problems.
- What do you need from me to make the next week better than the last? – Every rep needs something a little different from the coaching process, and asking this question is a quick way to hone in on exactly what assistance your rep needs to grow.
The benefits of focusing on brand advocacy in your customer service training:
Having happy customers starts with having great customer service, and having great customer service starts with effective training. Customer expectations are higher than ever and word of mouth travels fast! In fact, a happy customer tells about nine people about their experience.
Overall, A well-trained and motivated team benefits your bottom line in terms of more sales and also improves team morale, branding message, employee churn, and business dynamics. Encourage your employees to become advocates, and your entire company could reap the financial rewards.
Kristin Eriksen is a creative and results-driven content specialist at Deputy. Deputy is the ultimate employee management tool, simplifying scheduling, timesheets, tasks and workplace communication, helping businesses transform operations and empower employees to work the way they want.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
Read Shep’s latest Forbes Article: Business Lessons From NAMM 2018 And The Music Industry