With all the uncertainty and instability in today’s workplace and many organizations having scaled-back budgets, one of the areas that tends to get cut is customer service training. While this might seem to make sense, it can actually be a counter-productive strategy. Customer service training is of the utmost importance.

When companies are faced with budget and/or hiring limitations at work, they necessarily have to find ways to “do more with less.” This is the right time to focus on, and invest in, the development of current employees.

Following are some benefits of providing customer service training during challenging economic (and emotional) times. By investing in training, you’re able to:

  • Enhance employees’ skills and knowledge.
  • Ensure that they feel valued by the organization.
  • Maintain a sense of normalcy and continuity in the work environment.
  • Remain competitive (by keeping skill level high).
  • Sustain and enhance customer relationships by making sure your staff gives customers them the best service possible.
  • Ensure customer service reps are prepared for prosperous times.

Challenging economic times can also mean a reduction in staff turnover. When this happens, you have an opportunity to focus on developing your staff and increasing the level of their engagement with the organization (and hopefully their passion for the job). When times get tough, you should not react by stopping the learning process. This is an opportune time for companies to continue to be competitive and focus on growing and maintaining clientele.

Keep in mind that investing in customer service training is an investment that will give your company a competitive advantage both with your employees and with your customers.

Coaching Tip

Maintain continuous communication with your customer service team members. Difficult times can take a toll, especially if customer service reps suspect (rightly or wrongly) that they’re not being fully informed of everything that’s going on with the department or organization. To avoid the rumor mill, hold weekly meetings with your team. At these meetings, have a set agenda, but also allow some time for a Q&A session, where you open the floor up to questions.