Working in a customer service capacity usually involves receiving some sort of formal training. The training may be on the job or be provided within an in-house training program operated by an employer. There are also customer service training programs that are intended for a broad audience, yet provide information on processes, approaches, and various strategies that translate well into just about any type of customer service and support effort.
Many companies choose to conduct customer service training within their own corporate setting. The program may be very simple in design and geared toward employees who are specifically engaged in the task of providing support services to existing customers. Often, there are two levels to this type of training program, with one level focused on educating new personnel regarding the policies and approved customer service strategies of the business. The second level provides enhanced training opportunities that may lead to recognition as senior customer service personnel, including management or supervisory roles.
Other companies choose to operate on the premise that every person employed with the company provides some form of customer service. To that end, the training program is designed to accommodate more than just people who will work in a customer service department. With a corporate training program of this type, essential customer service ethics and processes are included in general leadership training for all managers and other personnel who interact with customers. Even sales training programs may include elements of customer service training, an approach that can aid in transitioning new clients to customer service and support while the salesperson focuses on securing more new business for the company.
Smaller companies sometimes use a casual customer service training model that calls for placing a new employee with a seasoned customer service employee for a period of time. The idea is that the veteran employee can impart not only the basics of good customer service to the novice, but also provide important bits of information about customers that may aid in providing superior service. One benefit of this approach is that the new employee has the chance to begin getting to know the client base before actually having an encounter with any customer, and can see in real time how to interact with each customer.
Along with in-house training options, there are a number of customer service training courses offered today. These courses are intentionally geared toward teaching essential customer service techniques and strategies, making it easy to apply the information in just about any setting. It is not unusual for companies that operate their own in-house training to enroll especially promising employees in these broader courses. Doing so can help keep the in-house training fresh and contemporary, since attendees in the general courses can bring back elements to incorporate in the training effort.
While customer service training was once a face to face situation, that is not always the case any longer. Thanks to newer technology, it is possible to attend training sessions via Internet conferencing, distance learning programs, and even regularly scheduled audio conference calls. This approach makes it possible to provide remote employees who work at home with the same level of training as employees working in a more traditional setting.