OnSite Customer Service Essentials Training
It’s pretty common for companies to train employees on their policies, procedures and systems. And most teams have a decent understanding of their company’s products and services. But do you know what’s really going to set your customer service reps apart? It’s the people skills. A solid OnSIte customer service training seminar can show your team how to a build an actual relationship with each customer—starting the second you answer the phone.
First and foremost, that initial interaction (we clock it in at 3 seconds) is what sets the tone for the entire conversation. Sure, you want a team that knows your company’s systems and processes, but they also need to be well-versed in the art of communication.
We’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves, and we love teaching them in our Customer Service Essentials course. It’s specifically designed to give team members the communication skills they need to convert first-time contacts into customers, and current clients into loyal advocates.
Customer Service Essentials Training
Named one of the Top 15 Customer Service Training Courses by COMM100!
"(It's) one of my favorite trainings. It reminds me what's important."
-2017 Customer Service Essentials Participant
Clients love our Essentials course because it covers everything their reps need to make a great first impression and turn that into a lasting customer relationship. This is an advanced version of customer service training 101. The topics cover the groundwork, but the content is customized to your unique industry, your team, and your clients.
This seminar includes a customizable mix of customer service training activities and topics. These are just a few:
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A custom Bonfire course can really help your customer service agents and team members step up their game. Our goal is to deliver training that your staff can fully relate to and actually enjoy. Because we take the time to learn about your company’s sales setup and lingo, our Trainers are often mistaken for being full-time employees of our clients’ companies.
That personal touch and modern approach to customer service training activities help us take teams to new heights. What would the best version of your company look like? We can help you find out!
After learning the Essentials, your customer service team can legitimately become your most powerful marketing tool. And when your OnSite customer service training course wraps-up, your team can start putting their new skills to use right away. We love delivering an immediate ROI - that’s what the Bonfire spark is all about.
Overall Goal: The course will include formulas, tips, and fun, interactive group exercises to gain consistency and professionalism in order to make positive impressions on customers with each and every interaction. The training is designed to increase the confidence of your representatives while also maintaining exceptional customer service. The intention is to affirm and refresh skills and to offer new approaches to challenging situations. Your Bonfire course will be tailored to your organization and will include some of these topics, depending on your specific needs.
Introduction & Group Discussion/Activity Options
- Group Activity/Icebreaker where we define good service and poor service in order to create buy-in and excitement for what the reps will learn in class (Reputation Activity)
- Strategy to achieve the delicate balance between Transaction (meeting production goals) and Interaction (personalizing each conversation)
Greeting All Callers!
- Explain Bonfire’s 3 part greeting as the best way to answer your calls and the strategy behind it
- Keeping your greeting short and simple will improve your calls immediately and help to create a positive and professional first impression
- Implementing the Bonfire greeting will create consistency among reps
Acknowledge & Take the Lead
- Managing the flow of the call starts at the beginning of the call
- By using specific examples from the observation day we will help each rep find the best word choices to guide the conversation in a positive way
- Concept of using empathy where appropriate is introduced
The Critical Importance of Voice Tone
- Definitions of the three types of voice tone—positive, negative and neutral and discussion and identification of each as well as tips to keep ours positive throughout the day
- Analysis of mood and attitude and how that can influence tone of voice – Positive Mindset
- Ideas for remaining consistently upbeat with customers whether it is your 1st or your 50th call of the day!
Telephone Etiquette—Back to Basics
- Create a positive first impression with a consistent greeting, properly placing people on hold, transferring calls with courtesy, handling awkward “dead air” on calls and more.
- Provide consistent standards so what seems like “common sense” can actually become “common practice!”
- How to wrap up each and every conversation with courtesy and professionalism
Words and Their Meanings
- Words can be interpreted differently by different people. We teach the importance of careful vocabulary choices as well as pitfalls to avoid
- This section is highly customized by illustrating specific examples from the Observation and Assessment Day. We are not teaching vague concepts but the specific application of the techniques that can be practiced immediately
- This section may include a group activity to practice these techniques so they can be used with confidence on their very next call!
Gems for Conversation
- How to consistently make vocabulary choices that foster positive communication
- These include Affirming and Motivating Words and Phrases, “Help” Statements, and use of the Discovery process to confirm, uncover and clarify information in a positive way to build rapport with customers by asking great questions
- We will learn when it is important to express empathy and how to communicate it effectively
Troublemakers to Avoid
- Certain words can create positive or negative images – Identify and avoid the negative
- How to deliver negative information in a positive way by rephrasing statements that contain the words can’t, don’t or won’t. (Yes, we have no bananas!)
- Learn softer alternatives to avoid Heavy Obligation Phrases, Personal Accusatory Statements and other pitfalls in order to increase cooperation and decrease resistance
Tips for Handling Difficult and Irate Callers
- Learn a specific step-by-step formula for handling these stressful calls.
- How to help the customer by listening for FACTS within their story, letting them vent without interrupting and asking questions to confirm the facts
- Apply E.R.S. formula: Empathy, Reassurance and a Solution to their situation
More Strategies for Handling Dissatisfied Callers
- What causes difficult calls? The gap between Customer Expectation and actual Customer Experience
- Where asking questions can be a great help AND where asking questions derails the difficult situation
- The roles of control, influence, and point of view in difficult calls
- Examine how we can innocently sabotage our efforts to de-escalate a difficult call
- The role of the representative as “Ambassador” to ensure the mutual benefit of the customer’s needs while balancing the needs of the company
Email and Voicemail Etiquette
- Recognizing that email is quickly becoming the alternative to telephone and face to face communication and that some individuals who are skilled at speaking with customers over the phone have difficulty transitioning their skills to this medium
- Applying the positive communication techniques we have learned to written communication including email and chat by using customized examples
- Best Practices including Do’s and Don’ts for your email and voicemail communication
- Lessons in Listening: we spend approximately 45% of our day in listening mode… how well do we do something that takes up a significant amount of time and is one of our most valuable relationship tools
- The Listening Mindset: Consciously learning how to be a better listener by concentrating, not jumping to a solution right away and being careful not to pre-judge
- Specific tips and techniques including better preparation for listening, how to take better notes by using specific keywords and phrases, and recognizing non-verbal signals
Effective Questioning Techniques
- Asking the right questions to learn what the client truly needs, direct the conversation and demonstrate interest and empathy
- Create an effective transition into questioning mode and learn to ask the right questions to gather necessary information without offending your caller
Personal Accountability and Ownership Mentality
- Participants will discuss key motivators that are essential to creating and maintaining a healthy, thriving and productive team including their own personal responsibility in making this happen.
- Identify factors that prevent and sabotage this goal – such as “the blame game” and “victim mentality” and how to overcome these obstacles
- Participants will learn practical steps to take responsibility for the success of themselves, their teams and the entire organization to make a difference.
- Includes a funny and motivational video as well as a group exercise with practical ways to turn difficult situations into opportunities to boost our own accountability and create success
How It Works
Who Should Attend
This training is ideal for any department or customer service team looking to improve their internal and external communication skills on the phone, face-to-face, or online.
Customer ServicePRO classes are typically offered during a single day in a 7-hour session, or over 2 days as half-sessions. Our ideal class size serves 15-20 students, but we’re always happy to modify our approach to best fit your needs!
How do I maintain appropriate staffing during training?
We have several options to ensure your organization is appropriately staffed during training. Some clients choose to divide staff into two groups and have them attend the training at different intervals, ensuring no one is away for more than a few hours. Others choose to provide training through multiple departments to minimize the impact to an individual team.
What is your recommended class size?
For most of our OnSite and Remote Training classes we recommend a class size of 12-20 participants per session. This ensures plenty of participation and sharing, and gives us the ability to facilitate hands-on activities. If this class size doesn’t fit your needs, we can discuss modifications that will work for your group.
Our OnDemand Webinars are appropriate for any size team. We recommend sharing Bonfire’s online content with new hires to set them up for success—pay per view and unlimited access viewing options are available.
How long is the training?
Most of our OnSite courses are 7 hours in length, but we also have half-day programs and Remote Training available based on your unique needs.
If time is an issue, our OnDemand Webinars offer excellent content and can be viewed in a single sitting—usually a half-hour or less.
Which is a better fit for me—OnSite Training or OnDemand Webinars?
We’ve found that participants learn and retain more information with our OnSite Training format because it’s completely customized, interactive, and fun. Our charismatic Bonfire Trainers are able to get the entire class involved and participating during these training sessions—plus these classes tend to be the most enjoyable. Learn more about OnSite Training here.
OnDemand Webinars are an excellent fit for clients who find it difficult to coordinate training sessions OnSite. Also, many of our clients use both formats successfully with their training programs. Visit our OnDemand Webinars page to learn more.
If your organization has team members in different geographical areas, you may want to consider our Remote Training options. These courses are a great way to provide customized Bonfire Training for your team online. Learn more about Remote Training here.
What type of training reinforcement do you offer?
If your organization has already completed an OnSite Training program, Bonfire is always available for advice and guidance. We’re just a phone call or email away!
Ensuring that the training sticks is important to us, and we have multiple resources to help your staff recall and implement their training. Our OnDemand Webinars are a great way to refresh your team’s training—and our online video library is an excellent resource for reviewing a variety of topics.
A sample of some of the kit items that may be recommended in your OnSite training program.
Let’s find your best fit! Give us a call at (800) 888-4893, or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the training programs that are right for you and your team.
Customization is key at Bonfire Training—your organization’s needs are unique and your training programs should distinctly reflect your goals. Our prices vary depending on your project complexity, location, and class size. To determine the best training for your budget and your team, please contact us for a free consultation.
Most OnSite classes start at $2600/session for a full 7-hour day, but your site location, program length, and class size will impact pricing.
These classes are typically offered as 90-minute programs starting at $1500/session, but pricing will change based on course content and program length.