Customer Service Training’s Dirty Little Secret
Why customer service training fails
Is your company investing in training for your customer service teams? I’m talking about training intended to sharpen the skills of employees who interact with your customers but are not part of your formal sales force. They work in functions with names such as customer service, customer support, technical support, marketing, account management, client services, help desk, inside sales, and others.
The umbrella term I use to describe these employees is Customer Relationship Professionals (CRPs). I say “professionals” not because most of them actually deserve that title on the basis of their skills, but simply because building customer relationships is what they do for a living–supposedly, at least.
Differentiating your company’s support service can give you a strong competitive edge, so training these people seems like a perfectly sensible business practice. Hey, it must be a smart thing to do, since expert sources like TrainingIndustry.com estimate that companies will spend more money next year than ever before to train customer service people. A quick internet search on “customer service training” yields a ton of programs available.
But, I say that training your support teams with the current lot of training options is a colossal waste of money and time. I’ve recently completed research on the myriad options available to train customer service people (a.k.a., CRPs). My research shows that providers of training programs for CRPs are all using outdated methods that are bound to fail. My conclusion: The customer-service-training industry needs a wakeup call.
How do I know these training options are destined to fail? I know because what I see today in the customer-service-training marketplace looks exactly like what I saw when I entered the sales training market in 1990. The only difference is that the internet and other newer technologies are used more often to deliver the failed training. Let me explain.