5 Signs You Should Invest In Customer Service Training


I was at a Mexican Restaurant the other night and overhead a customer ask the waitress, "What's the best thing to eat here?" She answered, "I don't know. I don't like Mexican food."

Yikes! Can you say, "You need customer service training?"

You may be wondering if your employees may need a refresher course in customer service.  The following are five signs your company needs to invest in some training.

  • Your employees work out their differences in front of customers.
  • You don't have a training program because your strong learn-as-you-go philosophy has served you well.
  • Your customers walk around confused because they can't tell the employees from the other customers.
  • Your customer can't understand the company's services, even after talking to one of your employees.
  • Your employees are constantly arguing with the customers.

Keep Those Customers Happy

OK, these examples may be a bit over the top, but there are dozens of stats out there to demonstrate the value of customer service. For example:

  • It's 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.
  • 80 percent of companies say they deliver "superior" customer service. And yet 8 percent of people think these same companies deliver "superior" customer service.
  • Almost 9 out of 10 U.S. consumers say they would pay more to ensure a superior customer service.
  • 3 in 5 Americans would try a new brand or company for a better service experience.

Even if these facts were only "mostly" true, it's obvious why companies invest in customer service training. I think Derek Sivers of CD Baby says is best, "Customer service is the new marketing."

Getting the Training

Luckily, training comes in lots of forms. You can:

  • Outsource an instructor or customer service coach
  • Take field trips to see a well-run operations
  • Have employees and managers attend seminars or workshops
  • Offer customer service training solutions
  • Practice role playing

While the forms of training can (and should) vary, the important takeaway is that companies have the obligation to continually monitor the customer experience and assess areas of opportunity with customer service training.

Because let's face it, none of us want to be in the majority of this American Express survey stat: 78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience. 

Diane Mettler has been a manager for nearly 20 years. She's also a freelance writer and editor—with hundreds of her articles published in a variety of magazines—and teaches writing at the University of Washington.