Best Practices for Customer Service Employee Onboarding

employees working together at a computer

For organizations, a huge part of thriving in today’s economy revolves around finding and retaining top-notch employees. It’s more important than ever before to onboard customer service employees with diligence and intention—especially since reports now show that the cost of turnover is around 33% to 2x the employee’s annual salary.

Employee turnover is not only a high cost to employers; it also lowers morale, causes compassion fatigue, and decreases overall productivity among your employees. Successful and impactful customer service employee onboarding is possible—you just need to know the best practices. 

Below, we’ve provided some tips and tricks to spark your passion surrounding employee-focused onboarding, so you can retain happy and loyal customer care representatives for years to come.   

1. Introduce Values & Culture 

One of the best ways to start off meaningful onboarding is to give your new employees a comprehensive introduction to your workplace. This can look like ensuring they understand the values of your team as well as the important cultural aspects of the organization.

While it may seem like it can wait, it’s quite beneficial to start integrating your new customer service employee into the company and team culture starting day one. By welcoming new hires into the heart of your organization right off the bat, it helps make them feel valued and like they play a central part in your organization’s success.

2. Give New Hires a “Work Buddy”

Whether you’re hiring someone with entry-level experience or a seasoned customer service agent, they’ll still need some time to get used to your work environment. A great way to speed up this process is by assigning one of your long-time employees to “buddy” your new hire. This way, your new employee has a mentor who has already been through the hiring process and can answer questions or relay information in a friend-like manner.

Pick a “buddy” that knows the ins and outs of your business and is willing to provide hands-on support to the new hire. This person should exemplify high-quality customer service techniques and walk the new hire through the less obvious facets of acclimating to the company and role.

3. Utilize Simulated Tickets

It’s always a good idea to let your new customer service employee start with “test tickets” rather than throwing them into the fire without much experience. This hands-on, real-life experience is beneficial for both you and your new hire!

Create a batch of simulated tickets in your helpdesk software covering a wide range of your most common support issues. Have the new reps respond to the tickets and then assign your managers to help review them. They can go over any nuances and help your new customer care representative feel confident handling real tickets.

4. Track the Onboarding Process

While much of the employee onboarding experience falls on the company, your new customer service employees must be able to learn and understand the company’s processes. They obviously won’t pick up everything right away, but over time, they should be evaluated on their knowledge to ensure growth and efficiency.

As part of a comprehensive onboarding process, leaders should create a set of basic metrics to track and measure your new hire’s progress. This can be as simple as checking on the open rates of onboarding emails and the completion of specific tasks. You want to ensure you’re working for your employee while also ensuring they’re working for you.

5. Focus on Employee + Leader Relationship

The relationship between a new customer service employee and their leader can make or break their experience at the organization. Ensure your customer service team managers have the time and bandwidth to address onboarding issues and build relationships with your new reps.

New employees want to feel valued and supported when starting a new position—not isolated. Leaders can make sure their new hires are not left in the dark by being there to answer complex questions and keep an eye on team success.

6. Bonfire Customer Service Training!

Creating processes and policies like these will ensure your customer service onboarding is smoother, more efficient, and more cost-effective. Dedicated customer service training, however, is one of the best ways to ensure your new hires deliver the exceptional customer experience you expect.

As part of your onboarding process, consider enrolling your new hires into the Customer Service Essentials course. They will learn:

  • Proven, reproducible communication techniques to make every interaction a productive and successful one
  • How to leverage customer service skills to transform customers into loyal and enthusiastic advocates for your company
  • How to apply customized techniques to any customer service situation through real-life examples

—And more! By having this course as part of your onboarding process, you can ensure that each customer service representative has the tools they need to be successful.

At Bonfire Training, we’re here to help empower you and your team. We have the customer service expertise and three decades of experience under our belts to help grow and maintain your business. Contact us today to learn more about our courses and how we can help onboard and continually train your team for success.