Avatar of Evan Hamilton

Building scalable training practices for your customer service team

This is part of our ongoing series on Scaling Customer Service, based on our Customer Service Scaling Timeline. This month we're covering Stage 6.

We’ve discussed training your first customer service representative. But soon your team will grow, you’ll start to have account managers (salespeople) interact with your customers, and you'll stop being personally involved in training. How do you ensure that everyone is getting quality training, even as your team grows out of your personal grasp?

I spoke to Maya Grinberg and Hannah Meiton from Wildfire Interactive, makers of a variety of social marketing tools. As their company has grown, they’ve implemented a number of practices around training.

Mock Campaigns
roleplaying manualsNew hires at Wildfire go over mock campaigns, customized for their role, to understand how they should react in many common circumstances. Wildfire has found this to be a great way to jumpstart their confidence in what would normally be unexpected situations.

Manuals
Along with their mock campaign training, employees get a manual of issues and a combo of optional and rigid responses to certain scenarios.

Shadowing
New customer service and account management hires at Wildfire spend several weeks shadowing existing employees. “We know that our existing employees provide great customer service,” says Maya. “So learning from them is the perfect way to get new employees on the right page.”

Open Floor Plan
The simplest way to collaborate and ensure group quality? Put everyone in a room together. Hannah: “Proximity helps us share tips, frustrations, and reminders about quality. We also like each other a lot so we want to be close.”

Got your first few hires? It might be time to start outlining your training plan for the future.

Photo courtesy of Daniele Muscetta.