What An Effective Customer Service Training Plan Should Include (2023)

Summary: Customer service training programs must be a blend of methodologies that triggers the workforce to attain and retain knowledge in the simplest way. Find out more in this article!

Essential Components Of Effective Customer Service Training Plans

Customer service has evolved as one of the leading differentiators which consumers consider before making a purchase. Recent research suggests that providing excellent customer experiences will be even more important than cost by the year 2020. Many organizations are unaware that there are problems with their customer service. It was recently found that 80% of organizations think they provide superior customer service. The shocking part is that only 8% of their customers felt the same way [1].

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(Video) What Effective Customer Service Training Programs Should Include

Creating an effective customer service training plan will ensure that every employee at the workplace has the ability to meet and exceed your customers' expectations. Unfortunately, not every customer service training plan is effective. There are some basic components every customer service training plan should include to maximize its impact.

Crucial Customer Service Training Skills

Every employee needs a basic level of customer service training, irrespective of their working space. Although the depth of knowledge and training that they need varies depending on the role of each employee, there are 3 basic types of skills you need to include in your training plan.

1. Product Knowledge

It is essential that all employees have a deep working knowledge of the organization's offerings. Today’s customers can look up basic information about products and services on their own. Employees need to not only know the details of the products but how they specifically fulfill different customers' needs. As customers are getting intelligent with every passing minute, product knowledge has become a critical element of the corporate training spectrum. Businesses have understood that they need to educate team members with full-proof product knowledge in order to create lasting Customer Experiences.

2. Soft Skills

Soft skills will help your employees better communicate with customers. For any customer service team, it is imperative to indulge in programs that only strengthen their technical skills, but also enhances their soft skills, especially communication. The better teams are able to communicate with the customer, the more satisfied is the client at the end of the process. Incorporating soft skills building programs in the training curriculum shows that the organization is not just focused on making sales but is willing to invest in giving great customer service. Some common soft skills you should consider including in your training are:

  • Active listening
  • Clear communication
  • Positive language
  • Persuasion
  • Empathy

73% of customers fall in love with a brand and remain loyal because of friendly customer service representatives [2]. Ensuring that each employee has the skills necessary to communicate effectively will greatly improve customer relationships and help promote brand loyalty among your customers.

3. Company Mission And Values

Every employee should have a deep understanding of the company's mission and values. It is important for a business to educate their employees on what it aims to achieve in the coming time. Not only does this give a direction to the mission, but it also makes the workforce feel valued, encouraging them to propel in the given direction with much passion. No different is the case with customer service teams. As they form the first level of interaction with customers, they need to embody the company’s mission and vision into their conversation so that the same information can be projected to your customers.

(Video) How To Plan & Execute Effective Customer Service Training

Each of these skills plays an important role in making an effective customer service training program. Placing each of these skills into a plan using blended learning is another essential part of effective customer service training. When done well, these skills can form the backbone of impressive customer service. Not only incorporating these skills is great from a good customer service training perspective, but it also allows your workforce to grow and contribute to the organization’s growth.

Blended Learning And The 70:20:10 Framework

Training content is more effective when it is integrated into a blended training program that uses multiple training methods to engage learners. The 70:20:10 framework is a model that suggests that people best learn when 70% of the training is experiential, 20% is social and 10% is focused on formal training. Being one of the most effective ways of retaining knowledge, the 70:20:10 framework allows learners to acquire new skills and explains its impact on your Learning and Development strategy.

Experiential training methods are usually on-the-job, or based on gaining experience, and include the following:

  • Simulation lets employees work through real-life scenarios in a risk-free environment.
  • Job aids include posters, pamphlets or mobile PDFs employees can reference right when they need them.
  • Electronic Performance Support System (EPSS) tools use balloons and icons to walk employees through technical processes.

Social training methods focus on learning with others and include:

  • Lunch and Learn, which is a more traditional form of training where groups interact and work together during a lunch event.
  • Mentorship Programs that provide employees with a mentor or peer they can work with and ask questions is an incredibly useful tool.
  • Role-playing is where two employees take turns working through different customer situations together to practice their skills.

Formal training methods tend to be more traditional and include the following:

  • Instructor-Led Training is a training session led by an instructor mostly in a classroom setting.
  • eLearning or online learning is becoming a more common form of training.
  • Mobile learning is much like eLearning, which allows learners to leverage learning on-the-go through mobile devices like tablets and smartphones.
  • Videos are a useful and engaging tool as they are short, to-the-point and explicit in nature.

Experiential, social and formal training methods are all useful, but the most effective customer service training programs use blended learning and the 70:20:10 framework. These can be utilized to create a program that uses multiple training methods to engage employees and assist them in retaining knowledge. Although every training method listed is effective, scenario-based learning has some significant benefits you should know about.

Scenario-Based Learning

Scenario-based learning has some additional benefits that will help increase the effectiveness and impact of your training program. Simulations are the most common form of scenario-based learning. They are similar to role-playing but are carried out on a digital platform.

(Video) Planning an Effective Employee Training Program

Simulations greatly increase engagement and knowledge retention rates. The use of storytelling makes the content relatable and easy to understand. They engage the learner’s emotions which triggers both long- and short-term memory making the content easier to remember. This also allows for knowledge application. After practicing a skill during simulation, employees are more likely to practice it in real-life situations than other kinds of training.

Additional benefits include instant feedback and the ability to track the progress of employees. Simulations provide accurate feedback so employees will know if they need to change or improve something right away. The feedback is also unbiased because it is automated. Tracking employee progress provides the opportunity to find patterns or areas where they may be struggling with.

Key Points

Delivering memorable customer service is the aim of every organization, but very few eventually reach there. One of the prime reasons is the lack of a program that can train their customer service teams with the right skills. Organizations that have implemented a customer service program already, can also sometimes get caught in tough situations with difficult customers. This does not mean that their training program lack any component, but it can work as feedback to incorporate additional elements into their plan. The eBook, The Advanced Guide to Top Your Customer Service Training Game explains what essentials are needed to be added in your existing program to exceed customer expectations with every interaction.


[1] The Growing Power Of Consumers

[2] 2011 Customer Experience Impact Report


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(Video) How to Make an Employee Training Plan


What an effective customer service training plan should include? ›

Here are 5 tips to set your customer service training plan up for success:
  • Identify your learning objectives. ...
  • Refer to your brand and company culture. ...
  • Decide how you will assess your learners. ...
  • Know how you'll host and share your course. ...
  • Be sure to update your training content over time.
May 28, 2022

What should be included in a customer service training program to ensure better client retention? ›

A strong customer service training program includes exercises for improving interpersonal communication, product knowledge, conflict resolution, crisis management, and more.

What are the 3 most important things in customer service? ›

Essentially, the 3 important qualities of customer service center around three “p”s: professionalism, patience, and a “people-first” attitude. Although customer service varies from customer to customer, as long as you're following these guidelines, you're on the right track.

What are the 4 most important customer service elements? ›

The 4 most important elements of excellent customer service
  • Respond in a timely manner. ...
  • Respond knowledgeably. ...
  • Communicate with customers where they are. ...
  • Streamline your process.
Apr 17, 2020

What are the 5 parts of a service plan? ›

There are five stages of the ITIL service lifecycle:
  • Service Strategy.
  • Service Design.
  • Service Transition.
  • Service Operation.
  • Continual Service Improvement.

How can you improve customer service training? ›

Use these tips as you build improv into your training program:
  1. Listen closely. Acknowledge and incorporate the customers' words positively into your conversation.
  2. Ask focused questions. Avoid making the customer do too much work. ...
  3. Keep it professional. ...
  4. Make the other person feel good. ...
  5. Tell a complete story.

What are the three key benefits of customer service training for employers? ›

Advantages of Customer Service Training for your Business
  • Higher Employee Motivation. When you provide customer service training to your employees, they understand the importance of their role in the organization. ...
  • Increased Customer Satisfaction, Loyalty, and Retention. ...
  • More Profits.
Oct 28, 2021

What are the objectives of customer service training? ›

Course Objectives

Developed skills in engaging with customers and handling their enquiries effectively. Listened effectively, asked questions and summarised to respond fully to a customer request. Identified ways they can add value to customer relationships and exceed expectations.

What are the 4 P's of customer service *? ›

When examined closely, it is clear that customer focus and the delivery of a customer experience is almost entirely derived not from technology, but from four other foundational elements: Product, Process, Policy, and People.

What are the 3 A's in customer service? ›

The three A's are for when you mess up—and that's why they're so hard for most businesses to swallow, because business people tend to like to avoid the hard part: apologizing. But here's where you get the magic formula, and it goes like this: acknowledge, apologize, act.

What are the 5 values of great customer service? ›

When you demonstrate the values of accountability, optimism, authenticity, respect, trust, and communication, you can earn the loyalty of your customers. People choose brands that are a reflection of their values.

How do you structure customer service training? ›

An effective customer service training program should include an onboarding guide for new hires, a walk through each stage of customer support, online training modules to learn new skills, and information about the company, product, and services.

What are the most important lessons you've learned in customer service? ›

The ability to multitask is a must when working as a customer service representative. You'll need to embrace a wide range of tasks and duties so it's important to develop a high sense of organization to know when is the right time to multitask or when to focus solely on the task at hand.

What is customer training guidelines? ›

A customer service training manual is a guide that contains all essential information your customer service team needs to provide an unmatched customer service experience. This comprehensive manual should empower your staff to self-train as they support unique customer needs.

What are the 4 C's of customer service? ›

To set yourself apart, you need to incorporate the 4C's, which stand for customer experience, conversation, content, and collaboration. Look at them as pillars that hold your client service together. Working on these components in unison and actively managing them will transform your business.

What are the 6 key elements of customer service? ›

6 Key Elements to Include in Your Customer Service Strategy
  • A Company-Wide Mission.
  • A Recruitment Process to Hire The Right People.
  • A Commitment to Ongoing Training.
  • A Customer Service Policy.
  • A Focus on Empowering Your Team.
  • An Effective Feedback Loop.
Apr 17, 2020

What is the most important aspect in effective customer service? ›

Clear Communication Skills

This may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how many customers struggle to communicate with their customer service representative. In fact, 33% of clients say that efficiently answering questions is the most important skill that a customer service agent can have.

How do I create a customer service plan? ›

Follow these guidelines:
  1. Build rapport with customers. Put them at ease and make them feel comfortable. ...
  2. Make a lasting, positive first impression. ...
  3. Show appreciation. ...
  4. Seek ways to help customers. ...
  5. Strive to understand their needs each time you deal with them. ...
  6. Listen attentively. ...
  7. Establish a long-term relationship.

How do I write a customer support plan? ›

How to create a customer service plan
  1. Assess your current customers' needs. ...
  2. Examine your customer service processes. ...
  3. Analyze your customer service capabilities. ...
  4. Develop your customer service strategy. ...
  5. Implement your strategies.
Jun 15, 2021

How does training improve customer service quality? ›

Improved customer service skills:

Specific customer service training programs focus on improving communication, listening, problem-solving and organizational skills. Training employees on the same set of competencies gives them a standard process to deal with customers and creates a sense of team spirit.

What are the 3 steps to have an effective customer service? ›

Principles of good customer service. Listening, understanding your customer's needs, thanking the customer and promoting a positive, helpful and friendly environment will ensure they leave with a great impression. A happy customer will return often and is likely to spend more.

What are the 4 main objectives of training? ›

What is the purpose of training and development?
  • Improve the individual's level of awareness.
  • Increase an individual's skill in one or more areas of expertise.
  • Increase an individual's motivation to perform their job well.

What are the objectives of a training plan? ›

What are training objectives? Training or learning objectives are the intended measurable outcome that your learners will achieve once they've finished a course. They should detail the information that will be acquired and what learners will be able to accomplish through learning this information.

What are training objectives examples? ›

The main training objectives examples include:
  • To gain new knowledge or information that helps employees to do a job well.
  • To learn physical skills, like using physical machinery quickly and efficiently.
  • To influence employee attitudes and perceptions toward learning or organizational change.
Jun 25, 2018

How managers can improve customer service? ›

Empathy, patience, and consistency

You must know how to handle them and provide the same level of service every time. Listening to your customers' concerns is a great part of evoking empathy and patience. Sometimes, they'll be displeased, and their emotions might reflect this.

How companies can improve customer service? ›

By using gamification, providing productive feedback, and maintaining great relationships and communication with your team, you can ensure your employees are engaged. This type of company culture leads to improved team spirit which translates to better performance and more satisfied customers.

What are the four 4 factors that influence customer perceptions of service? ›

Four factors that influence customer perception
  • Customer reviews. Ninety-three percent of customers read online reviews before purchasing. ...
  • Marketing. It's likely not a big surprise that the way you showcase your brand through marketing has a big impact on how customers perceive you. ...
  • Company values. ...
  • Customer support quality.
Jan 23, 2023

What is the 5 10 rule of customer service? ›

The 10 and 5 rule is a simple guideline that is widely used in the hospitality industry. The rule dictates that when a staff member is 10 feet from a guest, the staff smiles and makes direct eye contact, and when they are within five feet, the staff verbally greets the guest.

What is the key element in customer service? ›

Responsiveness is crucial to excellent customer service.

Responsiveness is a critical element of customer service. To develop a responsive customer relations team, train your employees to return every email, phone call and other form of communication within 48 hours.

What are the six pillars of customer experience excellence? ›

Customer experience can be described using six pillars of customer experience: Personalization, Integrity, Expectations, Resolution, Time and Effort, and Empathy.

What are the 7 steps to developing customer service strategy? ›

7 steps to building an effective customer service strategy
  • Get the whole company on board. ...
  • Craft a clear vision for customer experience. ...
  • Map your customers' journey. ...
  • Set SMART customer service goals. ...
  • Invest in your team. ...
  • Invest in your toolkit. ...
  • Create a consistent feedback loop.
Dec 13, 2022

What are some examples of in service training? ›

In-service training definition
  • Transition training.
  • Training Services.
  • Skills training.
  • Travel training.
  • New jobs training program.
  • Training provider.
  • Counseling services.
  • Customer Specific Training.

How do you write a customer service training manual? ›

How to create a customer service training manual
  1. Start with the customer.
  2. Be empathetic.
  3. Define the scope of customer service.
  4. List out customer service general practices.
  5. Outline specific customer service policies.
  6. Provide the right tools and resources.
  7. Format training content correctly.
  8. Remember to update.
Jul 12, 2022

What is the hardest lesson you learned about customer service? ›

5 Lessons Learned from Customer Service Failures
  1. Sometimes customers are wrong. Make it easier for them to be right. ...
  2. Taking ownership doesn't mean taking blame. It's human nature to be defensive. ...
  3. Customer service is a tough job. ...
  4. Don't forget the human touch. ...
  5. Give your agents the freedom to make things right.
Feb 7, 2016

What are 5 key success factors to provide exceptional customer service online? ›

Our 10 critical success factors to providing exceptional customer service
  • Timeliness. ...
  • Attitude. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Responsibility of every team member. ...
  • Proactive approach. ...
  • Documentation. ...
  • Active Listening. ...
  • Expertise.
Jan 27, 2021

What are the 4 P's that improve customer service? ›

When examined closely, it is clear that customer focus and the delivery of a customer experience is almost entirely derived not from technology, but from four other foundational elements: Product, Process, Policy, and People.

What are the four 4 key principles of good customer service? ›

Principles of good customer service. Listening, understanding your customer's needs, thanking the customer and promoting a positive, helpful and friendly environment will ensure they leave with a great impression. A happy customer will return often and is likely to spend more.

What are the four 4 steps of preparing a training plan? ›

4 Steps to Build an Effective Training and Development Program
  1. Skills Gap Analysis. Before getting started, it's crucial to identify key areas that need attention. ...
  2. Set Objectives & Define Your Strategy. ...
  3. Invest in the Right Resources. ...
  4. Test, Measure, and Repeat.
Jun 14, 2022

What are 5 things you need to consider when designing and implementing a training plan? ›

The considerations for developing a training program are as follows:
  • Needs assessment and learning objectives. ...
  • Consideration of learning styles. ...
  • Delivery mode. ...
  • Budget. ...
  • Delivery style. ...
  • Audience. ...
  • Content. ...
  • Timelines.

What are the five important components of the training process? ›

Training can be viewed as a process comprised of five related stages or activities: assessment, motivation, design, delivery, and evaluation.

What are the 3 C's of a customer driven service marketing strategy? ›

The 3 Cs are: Company, Customers and Competitors - the three semi-fixed environmental factors in your market. As the 4 Ps and 3 Cs all need to be considered in relation to each other, it doesn't really matter in what order you define them. Product: This is where you define your product or service.

How can you improve customer service performance? ›

How to Improve Customer Service
  1. Understand customer needs. ...
  2. Seek and promote customer feedback. ...
  3. Set and communicate clear service standards. ...
  4. Delight your customers by exceeding their expectations. ...
  5. Capture and share examples of great service. ...
  6. Create easy and effortless customer service. ...
  7. Personalise your customer service.

What are the powerful strategies to enhance customer service? ›

Let's take a look at the strategies for providing excellent customer service here:
  • Understand customers needs. ...
  • Train empathy. ...
  • Encourage honest customer feedback. ...
  • Set up a framework to measure your team's performance. ...
  • Set individual and team goals. ...
  • Streamline manual processes. ...
  • Set and communicate service standards.

What are the 5 P's of customer service? ›

The 5 areas you need to make decisions about are: PRODUCT, PRICE, PROMOTION, PLACE AND PEOPLE. Although the 5 Ps are somewhat controllable, they are always subject to your internal and external marketing environments. Read on to find out more about each of the Ps.

What are the 5 common principles of customer service? ›

identifying customer needs • designing and delivering service to meet those needs • seeking to meet and exceed customer expectations • seeking feedback from customers • acting on feedback to continually improve service • communicating with customers • having plans in place to deal with service problems.

What are the six rules for good customer service? ›

Six Rules for Delivering a Superior Customer Service
  • Know your customer.
  • Keep them informed.
  • Serve them quickly.
  • Provide them with access.
  • Build trust.
  • Give advice and guidance.
Jul 5, 2016

What is the golden rule of customer service skills? ›

In spite of all the noise and hype involving customer service these days, it truly boils down to one simple, age-old truth, often referred to as the Golden Rule: "Treat others as you would want to be treated."


1. Designing an Effective Training Process
2. Plan an Employee Training Session Worksheet
(Stephen Goldberg)
3. Effective Customer Service Training
(Vantage Africa School of Leadership)
4. Training Program Design
5. 5 Keys to Effective Conflict Resolution: Customer Service Training 101
(Don Crawley, Author of The Compassionate Geek)
6. New Method of Developing Training Plan
(ECOMAN Consultancy, Solutions & Training)


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