At the heart of a successful business strategy is a customer experience that is elegantly simple and positive, where consumers are likely to come away satisfied – and return.” Andres Angelani
Every business wants to be successful, which depends on multiple interlinking factors but the most important one is ‘customer satisfaction. As Vince Lombardi once said, ‘It takes months to find a customer but only seconds to lose one’, neglecting customer satisfaction is not an option for any business.
Customer satisfaction again depends upon a number of factors including their overall experience with an organization. The secret of maintaining a happy customer base and creating a great customer experience is having the best customer service department.
As the sole purpose of the customer service department is to meet customer expectations and work on enhancing customer experience, creating an effective customer service onboarding plan is crucial for ensuring that new customer service representatives (CSRs) are able to provide high-quality service to customers.
What is the customer service representative’s onboarding plan?
Like any other onboarding plan, a customer service representative’s onboarding plan means familiarizing customer service representatives with the organization.
As customer service representatives are the people customers interact with most often, they need to be aware about your company’s customer base or customer persona, organization culture and policies regarding handling customers from day one.
Why is customer service representatives onboarding important?
As per Deloitte’s most recent global contact center survey, customer experience remains the top strategic focus for service industries with Thirty-six percent of the respondents saying customers have stuck with the same, familiar channels—primarily phone. That means though companies are adopting new technologies to enhance customer experience, their point of contact customer service representatives should be great.
In a competitive and customer-centric business world, onboarding can give your company an edge to reduce customer churn and maximize profitability. When CSRs are made aware of your company’s culture and ideal way of dealing with customers, they will be your greatest asset in retaining valuable customers.
Tips for creating an effective customer service onboarding plan:
Develop a comprehensive training program
Create a comprehensive training program that covers all of the key aspects of customer service, including communication skills, problem-solving, and product knowledge.
While giving the new hires training sessions, use a variety of training methods, such as online modules, videos, role-playing exercises, and on-the-job training, to ensure that new CSRs are exposed to different types of learning.
If you are looking for an alternative for your current physical training that is engaging, uses gamification methods that helps in retention of knowledge or role play techniques to better grasp the concept, we can help up with it.
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Provide ongoing support and coaching
Provide ongoing support and coaching to new CSRs throughout the onboarding process, to ensure they are able to apply what they have learned and develop their skills.
The best way of knowledge retention is when you use what you have learnt in the real world. So, try to incorporate continuous learning in the organization, provide them with a dedicated buddy or coach for the first few weeks who can give them instantaneous feedback and help them use the learning in the best way possible.
Make use of technology
Incorporate technology into the onboarding process, such as using customer service software and tools, to help new CSRs quickly become proficient in the tools they will be using on the job.
Using the latest technology in onboarding helps you understand your new hires better making the overall onboarding process easy.
Go for LMS, that will help you track your new hires progress, learn their completion rate, where they are struggling and provide additional support.
New hires should not be in confusion about what they should be doing, what the management and their superiors are expecting from them. how is their performance going to be evaluated which will affect their career in the company, their appraisal and promotion.
Clearly establish expectations for performance and customer service standards, and provide new CSRs with metrics and performance goals to work towards. If you have a dedicated KPIs for the customer agents share physical or digital copies with the new hires and inform them of any changes made afterwards.
Give them access to customer feedback
Provide new CSRs with access to customer feedback, both positive and negative, so they can learn from real-life examples.
Without knowing where someone is doing their best and worst cannot help them improve their current performance. If you are not sure about your new hires performance, provide them with a mentor who can review their responses before sending them to the customers. Afterwards, feedback can be collected from customers which should be shared with the new hires as well.
Emphasize the importance of customer service
Emphasize the importance of customer service throughout the onboarding process, and how it relates to the overall success of the company.
As customer service representatives are the touch point for the customers they need to be in their best behavior, handle any type of customers as per the company’s culture and policies. So, make sure they are educated in detail about the company’s policies regarding customers and customer experience in general.
Incorporate team-building activities
Incorporate team-building activities into the onboarding process, to help new CSRs feel a sense of camaraderie and belonging with their team.
Role plays can be the best team activity in terms of customer service representatives where based upon different situations, the new hires and their colleagues and seniors can act as customers and company agents to help new hires understand their colleagues, foster teamwork while learning and growing in their work.
Have a follow-up evaluation
Have a follow-up evaluation after the onboarding process is completed to see if the new CSRs are meeting the expectations and if the onboarding process needs to be improved.
To improve the overall onboarding process for the next hires and to understand where the current new hires need more support do follow up evaluation either orally or through questionnaire surveys throughout the onboarding process and after the completion of onboarding process. Identify whether they have understood the company’s policies, goals, their roles and responsibilities along with how they need to behave in the office.
By following these tips and creating an effective customer service onboarding plan, you can ensure that your new CSRs are properly trained and equipped to provide high-quality customer service.