Ultimate Guide to Customer Service eLearning

7 min read | Nov 26, 2020
Ultimate Guide to Customer Service eLearning cover image

Why You Ought To Lean On eLearning for Your Customer Service Training

Obviously having a top-tier customer experience team should be high on the list of any business hoping to thrive in the coming year, but why make eLearning a part of that equation? Besides the need for social distance thanks to the pandemic (which will eventually go away, we hope) there are several other reasons to choose eLearning.

eLearning provides a hefty return on investment

Investing in eLearning as the training solution for your business is a cheaper option than hiring a full time employee (or employees) who are responsible for the job. The need to onboard and train new customer service staff is persistent and will only increase as your business grows and expands. Investing early in a high-quality LMS saves you money in the long run.

The way the math works out, even if you spend ten thousand dollars a year setting up a custom Learning Management System (LMS), you’re still saving money in the long-term. Not just off of salaries, but you don’t have to pay for health insurance for an LMS, and it doesn’t take sick days either. Automating a process you know you’ll need to implement makes sense if you’re planning to succeed and grow.

Training can be updated company-wide quickly and easily

Adaptability and flexibility are the hallmarks of a durable, resilient business. Online customer service training is one part of this, because it allows a change in policy to be implemented company-wide in a matter of hours or days, instead of taking a week or even longer. The perfect example of this is the Covid-19 pandemic, and the business adaptations that came with it. Many of those changes are here to stay at least through 2021, and perhaps even longer, according to Gartner’s research on the matter.

With an eLearning infrastructure for Customer Service Training, updating and repositioning the company to respond to something like Covid (or an election, or a new law or tax, or a new company policy) is as simple as uploading an announcement video to your LMS and sending it out to your management. Over the next day or two as employees come in, have them watch the video and sign off on their understanding, and presto, new policy implemented. Relying on a consistent message presented through an LMS also makes sure no one gets left out of the loop, and it minimizes the chance of management misunderstanding and having different parts of the company trained differently.

eLearning increases the engagement customer service operators feel

Relying on an eLearning solution to your customer service training also tends to score well with the customer service staff. 98% of those asked by social media facilitation company Buffer said they want at least some of their work available to be done remotely, and remote learning opportunities (even if your primary business is done face-to-face) tends to improve employee perception of the company (when it’s done well). And if you are curious how to help your staff remote work in the best possible way, here are a few tips from the experts.

eLearning training gives all customer service staff the same foundation to build from

Training your entire customer service team on the same lessons and systems provides a consistency of experience to your customers that is very difficult to achieve otherwise. The reason why is simple: humans are different from one another. One teacher might have an accent that distracts some students, another might focus on a part of the onboarding curriculum they find most important, while a third might have to call out sick. All of the potential irregularities in training vanish when you use an eLearning teaching tool to provide the foundational training.

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Choosing the Best Learning Management System For Your eLearning Customer Service Training

So you’re convinced that doing your customer service training virtually is the way to go: now it’s time to choose how you implement this. You could of course just create a handbook and email it out on day one to each employee, but it’s going to be a lot more effective (and professional) if you put the proper time to invest in something like a Learning Management System (LMS) for your business. Remember that 75% of the time “customer satisfaction leads to revenue growth through increased customer retention or lifetime value.” Your business can’t afford to trust customer satisfaction to something like an email.

Not all LMS programs are created equally

When choosing the LMS for your business, focus on finding one that provides you with what your staff will need most: engagement, quality over time, a custom design, and data to help you constantly improve.

An LMS should be useful not just for onboarding new people, but it should also be able to retrain older staff members on new policies and it should be useful for refresher courses. Finally, it needs to be able to collect data that you can use to learn about your staff and about your training process, so you can make improvements to both. It’s a tall order, but keep in mind the value of excellent customer service for your bottom line.

In fact, the need for such excellence from an LMS is a primary reason we built Academy of Mine-– so a business like yours can get exactly what they need. Our LMS is built to be infinitely flexible and customizable to your needs. Take it for a spin and see what you think.

3 Steps To Take When Creating the Perfect eLearning Customer Service Training Curriculum

Designing a curriculum for eLearning training isn’t easy, and it shouldn’t be left up to chance or the whims of an intern put in charge of it. According to the Huffington Post, 66% of consumers who switched brands did so because of poor service. You don’t want your business to fall prey to those numbers, so take some time to learn about eLearning curriculum creation.

1.Introduce Product & Service Champions as Examples of Ideal Customer Service

If you’re not a scrappy start up, you’ve likely already got customer service staff members who are excellent at their job. They are empathetic, they have problem solving skills, they’re patient and they know how to de-escalate a situation. These people are your Olympians, the exemplars of excellence in customer service at your company. Make them feel like it, and hold them up to the others as examples of what you should do. Getting their feedback on what they think should be in the basic training all employees get will be invaluable.

2.Leverage eLearning Principles When Constructing the Training

The way to create a perfect eLearning course is a bit too long for this article, but we have several more places where we expand on the subject further. In the meantime, here’s the sparknotes version.

Have Clear Goalposts: Let the learners clearly know what the objective of the training is from the outset and give them an obvious sense of progress as they move through the training.

Create Logical Units: Grouping like content together will keep your staff engaged and invested in the training; and completing building-block style units of information helps the feeling of accomplishment and progress as well.

Use Visual Clues: Using everything from color, certain sounds and tones, and even certain words to mark progress and anchor the lesson.

Try Mixed Media: Changing up the medium used to communicate the information to your staff helps increase retention and interest. Changing from a video presentation to an animation to a quiz to an article can be a low-cost way to keep your trainees engaged. Check here to learn about different mediums that work well in LMS software.

Breaks and Stretch Sessions: Don’t assume your staff will be able to stay at 100% attention for the entire duration of the eLearning training. Give them breaks to get up and stretch, use the restroom, and then get back at it.

3.Provide a Blended Learning Option To Complement The Strengths Of Your Staff

Research performed at Vanderbilt University has discovered that eLearning when mixed with the occasional face-to-face communication can meet or exceed traditional training in effectiveness. While for some businesses this is impractical, meeting in person even quarterly can help form bonds between your staff and your managers, facilitate a better sense of company culture, and increase happiness.

How to Launch Your eLearning Customer Service Training Program

You know you want to use eLearning to get your customer service training done, you know the LMS you want to use, and you’ve got an idea for a curriculum. What’s the final step? Testing, feedback, and repetition.

Take The Training & Get Leadership Invested

Once you have created the curriculum, it’s time to test it out. First get your champions involved and have them go through it. The point of this is to identify any areas where there needs to be more information. This is the opportunity for your customer experience heroes to get their say in how coworkers will be onboarded and retrained. Don’t let this be the only time they get involved either; have them be a part of the process as you continue to test and iterate.

You also want the leadership of the company to get involved, people with virgin eyes who aren’t heavily invested in the course. They will be able to give you excellent feedback and they can add their input as well. You don’t want too many cooks when designing an eLearning course, but getting reactions from the higher-ups is definitely a worthwhile thing.

Get Data from All Users And Implement It

Make certain there is a survey or some other way to analyze data at the end of the course. As people complete the eLearning customer service course you created, you want to hear from them about what they enjoyed and what they didn’t. This feedback will show you areas of strength and weakness from the very people who it is supposed to train. Collecting data and using it to influence your decisions is the best way to improve.

Evolve, Adapt, and Repeat The Process

Once you’ve got a big enough body of information and data from your surveys and other forms of course analysis, you need to actually implement it. This can be through A/B testing the copy using different media in your course, or whatever else your team has suggested. Whatever it ends up being, implementing the feedback and actually making changes based on it is how you succeed long-term. A pile of completed surveys collecting dust in your inbox helps no one.

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