The Importance of Customer Service Training

I had an interesting conversation the other day with a friend of mine, who claimed that his staff needed customer service training. Now, his staff component comprises no more than twenty people, inclusive of management. It was pleasurable for me to hear that he thought customer service training was important enough to merit dipping into his pockets to invest in such. While many business owners understand the importance of good customer service, not many are willing to invest the time and the financial resources into it.

Take for example, one conglomerate at which I had the pleasure of training approximately one third of its staff. The training was entirely free, but of course, this charitable approach could have only gone to a certain extent. After the free period was up – and after management and staff agreed that the training was immensely beneficial – the company decided that they could not afford to train the remaining staff.  Now, this is a multi-million dollar entity. Digest that for a moment; and consider my friend above who was willing to invest in the same training for his entire company. When looking at ratios and economies of scale, it would perhaps have been more of a ‘burden’ for the smaller company to invest in one hundred percent of its staff, when compared with the conglomerate who had to invest in the remaining two-thirds of theirs.

But why is customer service training so vital?

We all know that we are all different. Each person comes to work with different types of experiences. How each person processes those experiences can have either a positive or negative effect on the business. This is because one person may exist under horrid conditions, be living from pay cheque to pay cheque, while another may be living in modestly comfortable settings and have some savings in the bank. Ironically, the latter comes to work with a cranky countenance, while the former is one of your most pleasant employees.  Or, vice versa.  Customer service training – when done the right way – engages each team member so that he or she sees the importance of keeping the customer happy, dealing with problems that may arise and even handling irate customers. Without such, a person who is already highly stressed has the potential to be a ticking time bomb to your business. I’ve seen it first-hand. A customer was asking quite a lot of questions and the clerk (a single mother of four and very tired at the time) retorted in a manner that would perhaps make you blush. A barrage of verbal abuse ensued. That is only one of very many examples I could cite to show the importance of training for staff in the areas that are essential for business prosperity. Training is not spending money on your staff; it is investing in them!

Lots of love & good vibes, Veoma Ali

Veoma Ali is an Advertising Executive, with a Ph.D in Communications and a Masters in Business Administration.