7 Customer Service Coaching and Training Tips

Author: Wil Sokanovic | Date: 02/09/2022

It’s no secret that customer service demands are evolving. A recent survey showed that over 65% of consumers have higher expectations for customer service than they did 3 years ago.1

This shift in demand — and the fact that 73% of companies offering above-average customer experience perform better than their competitors — has led to an increased focus on delivering outstanding customer service outcomes.2

Unfortunately, providing consistently excellent service isn’t always easy. In order to overcome problems and offer the service consumers demand, call and contact centres need to utilise:

  • Effective tools
  • Top-tier procedures
  • Sophisticated software

Even with these in place, however, there’s no guarantee for the delivery of customer service that leads to a competitive advantage. 

Customer service agents need to be equipped with skills and knowledge that enable them to provide excellent support during each and every customer interaction. As a result, contact centre leaders are always on the hunt for ways to bring out these skills in their agents.

That’s why today we’re going to be looking at a range of customer service coaching tips you can deploy in your contact centre. Let’s dive straight in.

Suggested reading: For a comprehensive look at how you can drive contact centre improvements, check out our free eBook — Your Contact Centre Could Operate Better… A Lot Better

#1 Seek out dedicated agents

The basis of any strong building is a good foundation. Similarly, all strong customer service is built upon the dedication of the agents.

According to Bloomberg, employee turnover in the customer service industry has, in some extreme cases, risen to 300%.3 This is to say that hiring new agents that really care about providing a superior customer service experience can be easier said than done.

It’s therefore important to think about how you can make your customer service team stand out and be attractive to potential employees. The best way is by creating a positive, caring work environment.

Artificial intelligence has the capability to monitor interactions between agents and customers to see if agents seem burnt out, depressed or simply distracted. This helps you to:

  • Increase employee satisfaction index
  • Decrease employee turnover rate
  • Improve productivity (but not workload!)

And, crucially, potential employees will hear of your company’s reputation as a supportive workplace, helping you to bring on the most dedicated agents. This will save you a lot of time and money in coaching, as you’re starting out with a set of top-tier customer service agents.

#2 Invest in training and development

In the customer service industry, training is integral to everything that gets done. Agents need to know how to respond to a range of customer concerns, the intricacies of the company’s products and services, how to use a variety of software, and how to be calm and polite throughout.

That’s why coaching customer service skills is such an important investment for you to make. While it can feel like a huge financial commitment, long-term you’ll actually make great returns on your investment. This is because customers:

  1. Have positive experiences.
  2. Feel an increased sense of loyalty to your company.
  3. Make more purchases.

#3 Simplify training processes

While training is such a major part of the customer service experience, it doesn’t have to be tedious and drawn-out. There’s a misconception that, the longer you spend training your team, the better. However, this isn’t necessarily true.

The best way to simplify your training process is to make it a two-way street. It’s important to make the best use of your time by actually tailoring your training to what agents need, rather than using a generalised system that leaves gaps in their understanding.

Further, it improves employee satisfaction by engaging them and showing you actively care about their inputs.

Pro tip: You can learn more about how to simplify your customer service training with this guide.

#4 Identify areas for improvement

To encourage your customer service team to be the best they can be, you have to pick out areas for improvement. However, when you have a large team who are all fielding countless phone calls a day, it can be really difficult to pinpoint where their soft skills can improve. 

That’s the value of Conversational AI in insurance, as it can generate scorecards for each agent based on the emotions of their customers, their responses, how they adhere to scripts and a wide range of other factors. This turns drawbacks into learning opportunities.

Using artificial intelligence to simplify training processes can make the entire coaching experience enjoyable both for you and the agent. Conversational AI will:

  • Analyse how conversations go using voice and speech analytics.
  • Collate all that information into scorecards to give clear-cut room for improvement.
  • Improve job performance and agent productivity.

#5 Provide constructive feedback

It’s extremely difficult to expect your team to know where to improve if you aren’t giving them feedback. Your agents ought to be told on a regular basis where they could improve, so that they have goals to work towards.

That being said, feedback should always be constructive. Simply pointing out what someone is doing wrong without clarifying how to improve is only going to affect company morale and reduce job satisfaction. Tying back to getting agent inputs, having a regular two-way conversation with your team members can make them feel heard while also giving you the insights you need.

#6 Deploy dynamic scripting

Customers come to your support teams with a variety of requests, concerns and questions that they hope to get resolved. However, giving your agents a script can restrict them and make it difficult to answer niche questions. This can lead to them going off-script, risking compliance breaches.

Cutting-edge AI allows scripts to consist of a system of controls that act as building blocks. These can provide a single interface point, and the right script can be presented to agents at the right time to ensure correct processes are always followed.

Furthermore, dynamic scripting tools can guide your agents through a conversation, helping them identify the Next Best Action without having to think on the fly. This tool can reduce training time by up to 70%, and improve your quality assurance for your customer interactions.

#7 Utilise cutting-edge software

Offering your team the training and coaching they need to meet your company’s customer service standards can be difficult and tiresome. This is especially true when you’re trying to assess how everyone is performing manually, without the help of software to monitor performance, organise it and present it to you. 

It’s also the case that without cutting-edge software, you’re expecting agents to be able to remember dense amounts of information and think on the fly when something unexpected comes up.

Using top-of-the-line AI software can reduce human error and give you a 360º view of how your team is performing, ensuring how you coach and what you teach is always rooted in the agents’ needs.

Reduce training time and improve outcomes with Awaken

Awaken Intelligence can bring the expertise, support and range of software you need to make coaching, training and the overall success of your customer service easy. From scorecards to dynamic scripting, and from compliance monitoring to agent wellbeing checks, excellent customer service will be a breeze when letting our range of tools take the lead.

Ready to level up your customer service? Book a demo with Awaken today.

1 State of Customer Service Report in 2021

2 50 Stats That Prove The Value Of Customer Experience

3 Customer-Service Wait Times Triple as Staff Shortage Vex Call Centers | Bloomberg