Does this scenario sound familiar? More of your customer service representatives have left your company. Those who stay seem less enthusiastic about their jobs. They’ve been calling out sick more often, and your managers are struggling to properly staff your customer service department and meet customer expectations.
Employee job satisfaction and turnover are constant challenges in customer service. But the good news is you can address them immediately! Offering your team members great training opportunities equips them with the skills they need to do their jobs well — and have fun doing it.
Develop and retain exceptional employees with training
Finding and keeping excellent employees is harder than ever before. That’s especially true for customer service professionals: a recent study found the average rate of agent turnover in contact centers was 58% per year! And one of the top reasons they leave? “A lack of career development opportunities.”
Employees without opportunities to grow and learn lose enthusiasm for their jobs quickly. They’re then unable to bring the energy and passion required for standout customer experiences, and your customer satisfaction scores suffer. Once those employees finally leave, you could end up spending 50-60% of their annual salary replacing each one.
If you employ 100 agents, and you calculate the costs using the average agent salary of $37,381, that’s over $1.3 million in turnover costs — every year!
It’s clearly in your company’s best interest to create a place where employees want to work and stay for the long term. That means your goal is to build an employee experience that energizes your people, and a critical piece of that experience is incorporating regular training opportunities. Deloitte’s research shows that companies with a strong learning culture have employee engagement and retention rates 30-50% higher than companies lacking such a culture.
And training makes employees happier with their work, too. A recent Gallup poll found that 71% of employees say job training and development increased their job satisfaction. Employees enjoy their jobs more, and companies hold onto their employees longer. Training is a true win-win!
Onboard team members right and empower their success with great customer service training
Training will help you build and maintain a top-tier employee experience — and there’s no better time to start than during a team member’s initial onboarding! Best practices for onboarding include teaching and demonstrating your standards for customer service excellence. And your employees should have chances to practice meeting those standards through targeted training.
For instance, an undertrained employee may inadvertently irritate a customer by citing “policy” or telling customers what they “can’t/don’t/won’t” do for them during a call. This friction makes their job much more challenging and lowers customer satisfaction and cooperation. There’s a more positive way to rephrase such a message, and you can easily train your representatives on more effective message delivery.
This exemplifies the kinds of transactional and interactional needs your customers have — and the ones your employees should practice resolving. Transactional needs rely on your people’s technical skills to solve — like the ability to correct a billing error. Interactional needs call upon their people skills and how they work with customers to achieve a positive outcome. Training on both fronts empowers your employees to handle any situation with ease while providing the excellent customer experience you expect.
Onboard your employees with the basics of great customer service, and then sustain their development with regular training opportunities and supportive leadership. Just as front-line professionals need training on skillfully handling customer interactions, their managers need to practice coaching and motivating their teams. Well-trained managers can set effective, personalized growth plans and involve their teams in long-term professional development plans. By working together, you’ll unite your teams under a common banner and let everyone share in the success.
Empowered by the right skill set from day one, and encouraged by their managers’ commitment to growth and development, your team members will provide outstanding customer experiences and feel less on-the-job stress. Stay committed to training your people, and you’ll see absenteeism and turnover drop!
Happy employees, happy customers
Training is key in reducing turnover and creating a place where employees enjoy coming to work. Develop a supportive employee experience with training that elevates their skills, and you’ll end up with happy employees and happy customers!
If you want to strengthen your employee experience in a fun, engaging, and effective way, reach out to us at Bonfire Training, and we’ll work together to build your best path forward.