“The customer is our top priority.” “We always strive to deliver excellent service.” “If we don’t take care of our customer, someone else will.” How many times have you heard customer service mantras like these or repeated them to your employees? The challenge of how to improve customer service training is not in phrasing your philosophy, but putting it into action. To do that, you need to engage your employees with a new training approach. Read below for some fresh ideas.
10 Creative Ways to Improve Customer Service Training
- Use an acronym to help employees remember important customer services steps, like this: GUEST: G – greet, U – understand, E – eye contact, S – speed of service, T – thank you. Introduce this concept through an online course and follow it up with pre-shift exercises.
- Play a game. Engage employees in a quick game of “hot potato” where you present different products or services customers want and employees say a feature or benefit while tossing a balloon around. Whoever the balloon goes to has to add to the description.
- Create a hall of fame. Celebrate your employees who deliver exceptional service by putting up a hall of fame with employee photos and positive comments from managers, other staff and, of course, customers.
- Role play. Preparation is often the key to keeping customers happy. When you spend a little time before each shift or at regular training sessions role-playing both positive and negative interactions, your employees will be more prepared to handle situations. Have employees play the role of both customer and associate.
- Recognize positive interactions. When you catch an employee delivering exceptional service, offer them sincere appreciation and praise. A little “thank you” goes a long way.
- Schedule refresher training. Customer service training is not a one-and-done proposition. Whether you use online learning, leader-led training, or a blended training approach, do it regularly to keep customer service strategies top-of-mind.
- Be a role model. The way you treat your employees determines how they’ll treat your customers. Practice exceptional service with your internal customers, too, starting from the very first interview.
- Implement a suggestion box. The key to this idea is to follow up on anything submitted. Get employees involved by putting a different employee in charge of suggestions every month.
- Mystery shop. It pays to use mystery shoppers to uncover hidden problems in your service delivery, but not all stores can afford the cost. Trade out mystery shopping services with other local businesses, such as restaurants and retail stores.
- Share stories. Employees are customers, too. During training sessions, ask employees to share their experiences as consumers with other businesses and brainstorm ways your store can replicate the good and prevent the bad.
Customer Service Training for Convenience Stores Online
You can implement #1 on the list above with our online Be Our Guest training. Click here for more information and a preview.