How to Teach Customer Service Skills

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A company’s reputation isn’t solely based on the products it manufactures. How customers are treated plays a part in their overall opinion of the company and what they say about it to their friends and family. Having good customer service can set your business apart from competitors and keep customers coming back. This is why it’s important that you know how to teach customer-service skills to your employees.

Talk to employees about basic customer-service skills—in group settings, if possible. Some people don’t provide good customer service simply because they don’t know what this entails. When teaching these skills to people, make sure they know what good customer service is and how to incorporate it into their jobs.

Offer examples of poor customer service. Most people have experienced poor customer service at least once in their lives. Ask employees to share such experiences and how they made them feel. Encourage employees to discuss what could have been done differently so the customer would have had a positive experience instead of a negative one.

Encourage role playing in group sessions. Allow participants to try out the skills you are teaching by role playing with one another. Offer examples of situations they might encounter in their jobs, such as an angry customer, a co-worker who is not providing good customer service or a client who requires lots of assistance.

Watch employees practice the skills they learned in role playing in actual customer interactions. Give them feedback after the customer has left about what they did well and what they can do better.

Remind employees about what is important. Employees can become complacent about customer service over time. Combat this by creating reminders or visual clues. For example, you could place a message pad near the phone that reminds employees to smile when talking on the phone even though the caller can’t see them.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consider asking customers to rate employees or give feedback on customer service.

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