“Every contact we have with a customer influences whether or not they’ll come back. We have to be great every time or we’ll lose them.” – Kevin Stirtz
Many businesses depend upon excellent customer service for sales, retention, reviews and more. When complaints roll in, or even show a slight uptick, it’s time to review your customer service training program or implement one for the first time.
The problem that many organizations face is that the messages that are being communicated to customers and employees may not be applied as anticipated by the leadership team. This is a common challenge. Leaders and potentially sales people outline a vision to the potential client on what it means to be a customer. They talk about the experience and values of the organization. Then reality hits when a new customer is handed off to the fulfillment team. The experience may be different. This results in less than planned results.
So how do you fix this as a learning leader?
Most often the challenge comes down to one thing. The employee or team has a different definition of the customer service standard, value or behavior than what was communicated. For example, act with integrity is often a customer service value. If we were sitting across from each other, you and I would likely have different ways that we would describe what this means and how to actually “do” that for a customer. There lies the challenge.
In order to increase consistent and intended results in customer service, it is critical to get everyone on the same page and provide them with examples and situations in which they are allowed to practice and get feedback. The best way to do this is through a digital learning experience. This ensures that everyone has a consistent model and can practice applying appropriate messaging in a safe environment.
The best digital learning experience for improving customer service results are scenario-based simulations. These conversation models provide learners with real life examples and illustrations of behaviors in order to practice how they would respond or exemplify the behavior in their work.
4 steps to writing successful customer scenarios:
1. If you haven’t already, define specific customer service expectations in terms of behaviors or models that you want to have as an organization. What makes your organization unique in how you serve your customers? What is your value proposition for them? What ways do you make sure that your customer stays with your group? Clearly articulating the values, beliefs and behaviors will ensure that everyone can consistently treat your customers in the same way they are expecting.
2. Once you have defined the behaviors or values, create specific case studies that illustrate a full and successful client situation applying those behaviors. Don’t assume that everyone “gets” what the behavior means or looks like. Be as specific as possible and include real life examples that apply to the employee’s jobs (you may need to create multiple examples for each role or group). Just write out the situation as a story and capture as much as possible.
3. Now consider that client situation(s) from #2 and write examples of when the behaviors weren’t followed or demonstrated. Add as much detail as you can. These will become the incorrect or not the best options.
4. Write the beginning, each conversation decision point and potential options for each decision point in the conversation and the outcome(s).
This allows the customer scenario to match real life work situations so a learner can practice and apply the models and behaviors that match the overall expectations of the customer.