Client relationships reign supreme in the world of professional services, and everyone knows that building lasting connections is the key to an enduring business.
There are a lot of factors that contribute to your clients coming back for more, but perfecting how your employees treat them is a major one. Let’s look at how to develop a practical approach to employee training in a service industry.
Your business values are the guiding principles that influence every aspect of your operations, including how you choose to interact with the people you serve. Identifying and integrating these values in your team training can profoundly impact the client experience — and, thereby, your results.
When your employees know what the business stands for, they can contribute to:
And you’ll be able to more easily develop:
Once you’ve established and communicated your business values, you can approach team training with consistency. Here are four tips for developing an internal training protocol that supports the type of client service you want to provide.
Empathy is the cornerstone of all relationships. As a leader, you’d be remiss to ignore this key component of the client experience. Your employees need to learn to put themselves in the client’s shoes, and yes, that can be taught!
Conduct empathy training sessions in which you lead role-playing scenarios. This can be tremendously helpful for getting your team to remember how to actively listen and respond to what’s most important.
Effective communication is the minimum necessary to have successful client interactions. Anyone who’s speaking with clients should be capable of connecting on a personal level, asking productive questions and articulating complex concepts in simple terms.
Just as listening is key for exercising empathy, it’s also an essential part of making sure your request intake process is accurate and your clients feel engaged and comfortable.
➡️ Keep track of your team’s growing skillsets in Accelo! Here’s how.
In any client-service provider relationship, conflicts arise from time to time. Your employees need to be equipped with the skill to handle such situations gracefully. This is where role-playing can again be helpful.
Don’t forget to empower your team with the confidence to make important decisions in the moment. For example, if a client is being downright disrespectful, you can reassure your team that they can choose to set a hard boundary without losing their jobs or your respect.
All of the above will mean very little if your team isn’t well-versed in what your business offers. Knowledge gaps can lead to frustration for both employees and clients. Implement regular training sessions to keep your team up to date, and take particular care to communicate when an offering or service terms change.
Learning doesn’t stop within your business. Support your team’s professional development with opportunities to attend webinars, workshops and industry conferences. This can level up your client service by giving employees the insights to have deeper conversations and give more targeted recommendations.
Need some inspiration for what all of this looks like in practice? Read these 30 customer service training ideas from HubSpot.
Before they ever signed on, clients were the inspiration for what you do. Once you’re actively serving them, they remain a great source of motivation for your entire team. The future of your service firm depends on how well your employees know how to draw from that source.
Because of this unique fact, employee training in your industry can’t be about reading a manual or memorizing a standard operating procedure. Instead, you need to derive the grounds for creating and improving upon your services from the daily communications you have with clients. Always be thinking about how you can foster more trust and loyalty via the talented individuals you’ve entrusted with client service roles.
After you’ve implemented this foundational training, think about how you’ll improve efficiency for your client service team.