Why wait for problems before doing Customer Service Training?
I once heard a very wise man say that all good Customer Service training can be summarised as demonstrating effective problem resolution and then having the capacity to turn around the problem into possible future opportunities.

This made complete sense to me, as I had seen a very large South African bank doing just that. When people came in to complain about something, whether it be charges, delays and anything else, the correct staff on the Customer Service desk did two things. Firstly, they demonstrated effective problem resolution skills. More importantly was the second step because it automatically suggested something else. Perhaps the person had the wrong type of account? Maybe what they were using the account for could be of better value if they opened a second account which is different? They may have wanted to know more about a credit card or an investment account. Whatever was offered, the designed intention was that once the initial problem was fixed, a person could be tied further into that bank and not think of going elsewhere.

Investing in a company’s Customer Service team is probably one of the biggest investments a company can make. If the skills are implemented by a company, they will see a positive return on their investment in no time at all.

I see an even bigger benefit to investing proactively in such training. Most good courses will also include a section on being proactive in order to reduce future complaints from happening at all. If this section is effectively put into place, you could even see the size of your Customer Service team coming down in the future which can save on salaries. As well as looking at things like Root Cause and Effect, Brainstorming and other techniques, one very simple solution can be to put a Staff Suggestion Box in place. You could even offer an incentive to reward employees that make a suggestion which is implemented. These suggestions might even then see spinoffs for other areas within the company.

Here is one such example. One company offered a £100 incentive to any staff suggestion that helped them save money. One of the staff suggested sending clients emails by email, rather than by posting them out. When the director approached the accounts department, it became clear that they could be saving thousands and the idea was immediately put into place. The staff member received his reward, but the company benefited the most as they were able to save a lot of money. In today’s world, more and more companies are going the way of digital statements but, when this was done, it was well ahead of the curve.

So, why wait for something to happen before giving your staff training? Why not give them proactive skills that could mean you actually cut costs and save enormous amounts of money? Isn’t that what training should really be for?