The 2011 Walker Loyalty Report for Information Technology reveals that customer loyalty has decreased from 54% in 2008 to 43% in 2011. The findings are based on nearly 2000 brand level evaluations of products by 21 IT companies.
Customer loyalty may depend upon many aspects, but there is no denying of the fact that it is one of the main factors. It seems natural that customer loyalty would follow good customer service. According to an oft cited study, 68% of customers tend to change their service providers due to a poor customer service. This goes on to suggest that it is important for the IT industry to improve their customer service in order to retain their customers.
What Can IT Managers Do?
IT customer service representatives, who work within a company to service internal clients, or externally to meet the needs of company’s customers, face complex and challenging obstacles. IT managers need to have a viable plan to successfully train their customer services representatives to face these challenges. A well designed training program can cater to the needs of geographically spread workforces such as customer service representatives (CSRs).
How Can it Be Done?
Here are some tips on what can be part of a viable strategy for training customer service personnel.
Analyze Customer Types
Most of the IT companies have globally distributed clients in various sectors. Therefore, to cater to the needs of clients who are geographically distributed, training of customer service representatives should also vary according to the cultures and specific needs of the clients.
CSRs may interact with the clients by different modes such as phone, face to face, emails, etc. The training program needs to prepare representatives based on their mode of interaction. Basic communication etiquette, speaking skills and handling difficult customer situations need to be an integral part of the curriculum.
Train via Stories
A CSR can never afford to irritate his customer. Microsoft’s Raymond Chen talks about a situation where a customer complains that the keyboard isn’t working. In reality, the key board may not be working as it has not been plugged into the power point. However, if the representative asks customer to directly check whether the key board has been plugged into the power socket, it may be deemed as an insult to the customer. On the contrary, CSR can respond to the customer by saying, “Okay, sometimes the connection may get a bit dusty resulting in the connection getting weak. Could you please unplug the connector, blow into it to get the dust out, then plug it back in.” When the customer checks it, he is likely to find that either the cord has not been plugged or has been plugged in wrongly. He does the needful and replies, “Um, yeah, it is fixed, thanks.” Providing stories such as these during training will essentially help the representatives to apply the knowledge to actual situations.
Fit the Training Design According to Your Customer Needs
Place yourself in the role of your customer, understand his needs. Simultaneously identify your employee skills and accordingly make a proper design of your training. Information technology is about providing solutions to customers and customer service personnel need to be trained to provide the same. They need to anticipate the needs and expectations of customers and be prepared to resolve or address issues quickly and efficiently with minimum inconvenience. Training needs to reflect this thought process.
Implement Ongoing Training
Training should be given on a regular basis and it should be a part of regular business operations.
For new comers, it is important to inform them of company vision, mission, goals, and particular job responsibilities as they represent the organization and need to project its correct image. A continuous training will update them with new skills, knowledge, and technology in keeping with changing business needs and demands.
It would be difficult for the companies to have satisfied customers, if its employees are not trained effectively as they may tend to commit more mistakes and lose valuable repeat business and references from existing customers. In order to retain customers, enough time and resources need to be allocated for continuous and effective training.
Subscribe to Our Blogs
Get CommLab's latest eLearning articles straight to your inbox. Enter your email address below:
E-learning today is being widely used for training adults. We are all aware of the fact that adults need to know why they should undergo training and what will they benefit by it. To fulfill this basic requirement of the adult learners, it has always been recommended that we frame measurable learning objectives.
Total quality management is a journey, not a destination.” (Berry).
Quality check is a process that determines whether all important elements of quality are met as per the set criteria. Quality control helps to keep up the accuracy and efficiency of the course.
Why is it that some online learning initiatives succeed, while others do not? Is there some secret formula to develop successful online training?
We work with individuals, training managers, organizations and companies to create online training programs. Based on our experiences with our customers, we understand the difficulties of traditional learning to put new e-learning ideas into practice. Here are some simple ways to improve your e-learning and online training very effectively.
Innovations in IT over the last 15 years have dramatically altered the banking landscape. Banking organizations need to adapt itself to the rapid changing world of technologies. Every single day, they have to think of ways of how to serve customers in a better way. Banks need to improve its products portfolio but having great products on its kitty will not do. It is also important to observe whether the frontline managers are capable enough to sell these products to the customers. Thus, here we need to think of innovative solutions for these banking professionals.
Assessments play a vital role in tracking the learner performance and measure if learning objectives are achieved. As this is a continuous process, assessments need to be created very effectively as they help retain the information longer. They evaluate the learners’ comprehension of a specific course. Assessments can be given to the learners to check their level of understand in both formative and summative manner. Formative assessment is given after each topic and summative is given at the end of the course.
CommLab India – an organization of 120+ dedicated e-learning professionals committed to the delivery of high quality online training solutions. Founded on this day, 15 years ago, by L&D professionals, Mr. RK Prasad and Dr. Ayesha Habeeb Omer, the firm has come a long way to become the leading e-learning company, serving more than 100 customers, including several Fortune 500 companies such as Alcoa, Mettler-Toledo and Pepco Holding Inc, in 30+ countries.
We spend a lot of time, effort, and money in developing an e-learning course. But if the learner, who is taking the course, is bored and simply waits for the course to get completed or keeps clicking the Next button in order to skip the slides, then all our efforts are in vain, and this is quite disappointing for us as well. So, how can we make our e-learning courses interesting? How can we help the learners to stay interested in the course from the start till the end?
Reusable Learning Objects (RLOs) – the hottest trend in the e-learning world. The use of RLOs has grown considerably in the last few years because they enable companies to reuse and repurpose learning content.
Scenario based learning is learning from a specific scenario. In this case the learners are given a particular scenario that mirror real time experiences and examples. Scenarios urge learners to make careful decisions in a given situation and as a result, they are prepared for similar situations when on job.
In this blog, I will take you through how the Agile way of e-learning Project Management helped us in streamlining our projects.
In the past years, we have been following the ADDIE model in planning and developing e-learning projects. The success rate of the projects was below 60%.This was an indication of the fact that the remaining 40% of projects were still not closing on time, had higher defects leading to extensive rework, and recorded low customer satisfaction with less ROI to our organization. We found that the main reason for this situation was that customers’ requirements were not properly understood at the initial stage of the project.