While many tend to use the terms interchangeably, when it comes to customer service coaching and training, they are very different practices and should be considered separately.
There are key differences that separate them, and managers and reps need to pay attention.
Here are the key factors that distinguish them …
- Usually happens 1-on-1
- Occurs regularly, at a high frequency
- Led by the coach or manager
- Can be formal or Ad-Hoc
- Typically is part of an annual evaluation
- Is measurable and flexible
- Identifies training needs
Customer service rep coaching exists to build a partnership between a manager and rep that instills an understanding about what is expected and how goals can be achieved.
Coaching can be thought of as a performance management tool for both managers and reps. It should be done strategically, and, as described above, regularly.
Coaching should give managers the opportunity to coach reps into A-players; and, likewise, it should give reps the opportunity to become A-players.
- Usually occurs with a larger group
- Individual focus is rare
- Frequency is need-based
- Most companies train annually
- Training is led by a SME (Subject Matter Expert)
- Is very formal
- Topics should come from coaches or managers but can come from reps
Thinking as a manager, customer service group training should not just be about enlightening reps with the latest innovations, or product, policy, standards, and tech updates, etc. It should be an opportunity to form a collective group working towards a shared goal.
Training should remind them of the value of teamwork.
While customer service reps may work “alone” day-to-day, they should be reaching for the same goals.
They should come together as a result of a shared mission, all to create a stronger brand likeness among customers and shape more positive and efficient customer interactions, despite varying personalities or conditions of the call.
It’s just as important for managers to not over-train as it is for them to not under-train. There must be a good and appropriate balance.
As mentioned above, most companies coach annually or semi-annually. This is all based on the needs of the organization and its customers.
How regularly training occurs is determined by management.
Learn more about creating a strong and effective customer service coaching program when you watch Ledgeview’s on-demand webinar, “Creating a Successful Customer Service Coaching Program”.
Discover the Ledgeview advantage. Learn more about our Customer Service Consulting Services here.