If your business is typical, up to 80% of next years revenues will come from this years customers. Despite this many organisations give little or no thought to customer service, viewing it merely as a cost to the business.
In many cases customer service is a cost to the business, however, survey after survey shows customer service as a core component of your brand. In certain cases some brands who understand the commercial value of great customer service, use it as an opportunity to cross sell and upsell, thus driving additional revenue into the business.
There are so many great statistics for investing in sales and service training once you look into it, it’s difficult to ignore. As an example studies show that 82% of customers leave because of a poor experience and of those 73% leave because of a reaction to rude staff.
Structured and well supported training can help your team meet your customers expectations and even exceed them. The right sales and service training can make your team more adept at winning customers’ trust, whilst boosting your teams confidence.
The best sales and service training programmes are designed to help companies move away from customer service and towards customer experiences.
How can Sales and Service Training help my team?
Often the biggest challenge in business is winning new customers. Given that’s the case it surely makes sense to do everything possible to not only keep those customers, but to maximise the revenue from them.
Most service issues have a simple root problem, for example, 55% of customers are leaving because of delays in resolving a dispute and 51% are leaving because of poor staff training. What’s possibly most important to note, is that all these problems can be easily remedied.
Sales and service training can give your team a system to measure, track and consistently improve your customer service and sales. This will help change the mindset of your team, enabling them to make a real impact by being able to identify what matters most and take action to improve.
When done correctly training can enhance your workplace culture substantially and provide your sales team with additional skills that can benefit them personally throughout their careers.
Close More Deals and Learn New Skills
Most companies are unaware of the potential sales opportunities they have with existing customers. With repeat customer spending up to 67% more, sales and service training is more than just handling complaints and returns.
A big part of resolving customers problems should be finding new solutions to the problems customers encounter. In most cases the problems that customers experience are actually the best opportunities for cross selling and upselling.
Training can introduce your team to new strategies and tactics that they may simply never come across before. In addition to external input, there are often great lessons that can be shared internally, and these should be captured and documented for the benefit of others.
Training will help your team become more familiar with your own company’s best practices. In a well structured sales and service training programme, your staff will not only learn new techniques, but also find out why they are so effective and which situations they should be deployed in.
Benefit from External Sales Specialists
Often a key benefit of sales and service training is that it gives your team a chance to take onboard new ideas and strategies from outside the business. In many cases they are more open to learning from external facilitators with an in-depth knowledge than from internal colleagues.
Sales and service specialists can give your team more than just the skills they need to engage potential customers in meaningful conversations. They can help you explain on your customers terms why your products and service may be a good fit for them.
Sales and service training will help your team use the product knowledge and information that they have about your products and services, and turn this into powerful questions that make the buyer want to buy rather than them having to sell to them.
Retain the Best Staff
Many companies are now switched on to the fact that it’s easier to retain quality staff when you invest in training courses for them.
If your team members feel you aren’t investing in them, there’s a high possibility that they will move to a company that will. Investing in training shows your employees that you are eager to help them improve.
When staff receive quality training, they tend to feel more supported, which in turn boosts their confidence. Recruitment costs to replace team members can be incredibly expensive and take up an inordinate amount of management time.
It’s therefore important to try and keep hold of the employees that you have already invested in and continue to develop them.
Should Managers attend Sales and Service Training?
Sales Managers are responsible for the day to day activities and performance of those activities for members in their team.
Your Managers set the bar in terms of what is acceptable performance and what is not. With this in mind, it’s important that sales managers attend every sales and service training along with their staff so they can hear the information first-hand.
When managers know exactly what’s covered and agreed during training, they can ensure their staff apply this knowledge to real-life scenarios and coach them if they are struggling.
Sales training often includes an element of goal-setting, which is yet another reason why it’s so important for managers to attend. It’s important for the managers to set realistic, yet achievable goals, rather than targets that are out of your team’s reach.
Failure to do this will simply harm the confidence of the team and demotivate them.
Increase your Customer Satisfaction Ratings
Training like everything else in your business needs to deliver a return on your investment. Whilst not everything should be judged by customer service scores, any service training should ultimately improve your customer satisfaction ratings.
Customer expectations are arguably higher than they have ever been and today’s customers expect to receive high-quality service more than ever before.
If they have a bad experience with a member of your team, they’re likely to make their opinions public and Social Media can amplify bad news like never before.
Customer Service training will not only teach your team to deliver the best customer experiences possible, but also turn your happy customers into advocates for your brand, thus generating new business referrals.
Omnichannel Customer Support
Modern customer service training often starts before your customers have even made a purchase. In most cases your customers first interaction with your brand is either your website or social media pages.
It’s important to include these as part of your wider customer experience strategy. This is supported by many statistics for example, using three channels instead of one for marketing campaigns results in a 287% higher purchase rate.
Providing Omnichannel customer support helps your team keep your clients happy across a range of channels and mediums. It can help them communicate with your customers better not only over traditional channels like the phone, but also via live chat, email, social media, SMS and other platforms.
The most successful customer service teams around today adopt an omnichannel approach with research showing that companies with an omnichannel approach experience a 23 fold increase in customer satisfaction.
We believe it’s really important to include these areas in your service programme. Many companies are failing to meet their customers’ expectations which makes it easier for you and your team to stand out from the crowd and win business from them.
Build Expert Product Knowledge
No matter the industry customers want to deal with experts and not agents who are simply following a call centre script.
Sales and service training encourages your team to get to know your products inside out so they can answer any and every relevant question they might be faced with.
If sales reps don’t have the knowledge that they require, they are more likely to leave customers feeling frustrated, with the customer going on to air their feedback publicly.
The more your reps know about your products and services, the better they can address customer pain points and explain why your solutions are the answer to their problems.
Enhance Customer Loyalty
Repeated studies show that customers tend to be much more loyal to companies that offer outstanding customer service. Many of today’s customers say that customer service is more important than price when they’re deciding who to do business with.
By investing in sales and service training, you can attract and retain more customers and gain a real edge over your competitors. Part of your overall programme should include how you plan to collect and share customer reviews.
With 70% of people taking action based on customer reviews this is an essential component of every sales and customer service training.
Resolve Disputes Quickly
Delays when resolving complaints can often be the straw that breaks the camels back with 55% of people leaving a brand because of delays in resolution.
Sales and service training can help your reps resolve complaints quickly which is important when dealing with angry and frustrated customers.
Training can help them show tactical empathy when they are dealing with an angry customer and enable them to steer the conversation in the right direction, no matter which medium they are communicating on.
Understanding active listening skills can turn your team into better, more helpful listeners that pay close attention to what your customers have to say and then use the skills and information they have to deliver the best outcome possible.
Getting the right Tone of Voice
Tone is one of the most undervalued skills in customer service and often can be the cause for escalating complaints rather than resolving them.
Getting the tone of voice right when speaking to a customer over email, text and social media can be difficult even for experienced service agents.
Reps can sometimes seem aloof and unhelpful when they are only providing short, unempathetic answers to customer queries. Tone accounts for 83% of communication on the telephone and is therefore hugely important.
Using the right tone can help your reps appear friendly, engaged and helpful whether they’re discussing matters over the phone, via email, live chat or on social media.
How important is retaining your existing customers?
How valuable would the extra revenue be if your customer service team were actively cross selling and upselling throughout their day?
Investing in sales and service training will make your staff and customers much happier. If you look after your staff they will in turn look after your customers.
If you feel you need to make improvements in these areas, please give us a call. We would love to work with you and make the sales and service goals you have in mind a reality.