Most customer service training a waste of time

Most customer service training is ineffective and is turning businesses off on-going programmes

That’s according to Chris Bell, whose company, Customer Experiences, is a leading training provider.

Bell said many businesses had no idea about how to treat customers to create loyalty but were reluctant to invest in customer service training because of poor past experiences.

He said a Colmar Brunton survey found that 62% of people had stopped dealing with a company in the past year, of those 70% had done so because of a bad customer experience.

“Don’t blame business for these results. Customer service training providers need to look at themselves, their training products, there approach to skills development training, the environment business is operating in and be more accountable for their results.

“This is the only way business will be encouraged to invest more money in this area. They must see real results, otherwise their investment will just be seen as another business cost,” Bell said.

“What’s really happening is that customer service training is currently being addressed in isolation and is usually a reaction to customer complaints or customer defection. But it should be treated as a vital part of the total business strategy to develop a sustainable competitive advantage.

“When customer service training is carried out without a proper customer experience foundation, the training itself has very little impact on changing employee behaviour and ultimately little impact on improving customer experiences.”

Bell cited the recent example of an organisation, which contacted him, concerned about their new receptionist.

“They had already sent the person on a customer service training programme and nothing had changed. If a proper pre-workshop evaluation had been carried out, the training provider would have found that the company had employed the wrong person and no amount of training was going to change the situation.

“Unfortunately, it had already cost them $395 plus the recruitment costs and any damage done to the customers’ perception of the organisation.”

Bell said businesses must understand that everyone within an organisation played an important role in the ultimate experience a customer will have.

“You must have the right people in the right roles.”

Bell said customer service training providers must stop marketing their products just to fill a workshop. He said they must take the time to understand the businesses they are dealing with and ensure they have an effective follow-up programme in place to maximise any skill development programme.

For further information, please contact:

Chris Bell, Customer Experiences, 027 279 2360

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