One of the most important things a manager of a business has to do is to train new employees. It can be a very trying and exhaustive process, but it obviously needs to be done. If your business is dependent on good customer service, the training process becomes exponentially more crucial. These employees are not only your labor force, but they are the face of the company to the average customer. If you’re the manager of a store, the customer will not be dealing with you, barring special circumstances. The customer will be dealing with one of your associates, and if that associate is not properly trained, the chances of that customer ever coming back to your store have greatly diminished. Not only that, but studies suggest that a customer who has had a negative experience with a business will tell ten people in his or her circle about the experience. You haven’t just lost one customer, you’ve just lost eleven. For a lot of managers, training is one of the more time consuming tasks. Some struggle in finding ways to do it at all. Thankfully, there are some simple ways to implement solid customer service training.

The first thing you need to do when considering how to train your employees doesn’t even involve the employees. You have to take your customer’s needs into consideration before anything else. How can you properly train your employees if you don’t even know what it is your customers expect from them? What you should do as a manager is have customers fill out comment cards. Have a space set aside that lets the customer write a few sentences give specific details about their interaction with the staff. If you don’t like comment cards, you can also set up a ratings system on your website, provided you have one. There are even independent contractors who will perform in-store customer satisfaction surveys for you. Whatever method you use, gather the information and gather some form of consensus as to what it is your customers want from your employees.

You should then evaluate the employees you have. Simply observe your employees you have doing their work. Use this time to pick out the best ones you have. Do this for a couple areas. You might have an employee particularly skilled at the art of upselling, and another who is unusually stellar at conflict resolution. Use these employees for your training process. Conduct regular meetings with the staff and have these employees impart their tricks and wisdom to the rest of the staff. Having your employees active in the training process provides for a good team ethic.

Now comes the time to actually implement your training program. There are several different routes a manager can take. One can simply use the classroom method, stemming from the last step. You and your more experienced employees can have a week or so long class that will teach your new employees the trick of the trade. This is a particularly useful method when you have just hired a slew of new employees, like during the holiday season for a retail store. Some companies simply provide informative handbooks and have their new employees read them on the fly. But one of the most proven and effective methods of training is job shadowing. Have a new employee follow one of your more skilled workers for a period of a couple of days. The difference between what an employee will learn in a classroom setting and the skills a worker will actually need can often by tremendously different. Job shadowing provides solid real time, on the job education in how the customers and the staff actually interact.

Training staff is one of the most essential tasks in a manager’s long list of duties. A great deal of time should be emphasized on it. There’s nothing that can be more fatal to a business than consistently poor customer service, and consistently poor customer service is typically the result of a lack of training. Follow these steps, and you won’t have that problem. If you’re interested in more information about call center certification and project management training courses, check these out.

Author's Bio: 

Todd Donnelly is a customer service veteran and publisher for the call center certification resource center, RCCSP. He enjoys blogging about customer service, sound business practices, and professional advice.