Why Bother Investing in Customer Service Training?

careers-1I’m an absolute passionate fan of great customer service and being in the training game for almost 25 years, it’s not hard to work out that I’m a massive supporter of investing in customer service training. Yet not everybody thinks that customer service training is worth the investment.

Two years ago it was calculated by a New Voice Media study, that US businesses lost $41 Billion due to poor customer service. That is a massive number, and no business in today’s environment can afford to lose any customers over poor service.

I believe that great customer service is critical to every business particularly in retail because it drives the ultimate goal for retailers – it helps to grow sales. If your customer’s expectations aren’t met they are highly unlikely to purchase additional products and in fact may not purchase in the first place. Here’s a few more reasons why investing in quality customer service training far out ways the costs:

  • Staff who provide great service will increase the number of times a customer will buy from you. Regular customers, who are the lifeblood of most retailers, love them and make a point to come back time after time. They also make a massive difference in extending the length of time customers buy – this extends the lifetime value of a customer. A critical KPI that when extended brings in more revenue.
  • As I mentioned above, great service leads to an increase in sales. Well trained staff are much more likely to recommend additional products that complement the customer’s original purchase. These staff have the highest average sale, sales per hour and items per customer – three massive KPI’s that staff directly influence when they talk to customers.
  • Great customer service will also reduce the number of items that are returned by customers. Better customer education via motivated sales people who care about the customer will lead to better customer satisfaction with products. For some companies, cost of returns is a massive amount and with greater focus can be significantly reduced.
  • Well trained staff will also go out of their way to offer great service and deal professionally with issues that arise. This will significantly reduce the number of lost sales through poor service and customer complaints that are not dealt with.
  • Well trained staff will often stay longer as they feel that the business cares about them enough to invest in them. High staff turnover is detrimental in many ways and is a massive cost to a business, with lost productivity and hiring costs. Also regular customers don’t usually like to see lots of new faces as they have to start their relationship over again.

Hopefully with the above five reasons I have made my point on why training is an investment and not a cost.

In the words of Beechworth Bakery, and customer service guru, Tom O’Toole when asked about investing in training for staff who then might just turn around and leave – he simply replies with “What if we don’t train them and they stay!”

Roger SimpsonRoger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Retail Solution” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service and selling skills.