The value of training

The road to a failed customer service programme is paved with good intentions. Good executives can easily see the benefits of a customer centric strategy: more satisfied customers, increased loyalty, a lower cost to serve, and more engaged employees. However, they often fail to understand clearly what a superior customer experience is worth and exactly what it takes to create one.

The true value of training is often overlooked by organisations – large and small, but the tangible benefits that flow from a well-informed work force can be considerable. As we move into a more digitised marketplace we want our staff to be well rounded, capable to answer customer queries, interpret data and manage social media. With increased expectations for our employees, we have to ensure we offer the right support and training and last but not least, that a balance is kept between the technical and soft skills we teach our employees.

Companies are struggling to find the right balance between internet automation and skilled employees who can manage complex customer service. There is an increasing demand for higher-end customer experiences, which means the challenge grows to deliver that right combination of technology, trained staff, and outsourcing of specialised functions.

According to a McKinsey report, customer care will change radically around two key areas: understanding the evolving value and complexity of transactions, and choosing the right level of human interaction and automation for customer service. McKinsey has also pointed out the importance of customer service skills in customer care, and the training that must go into achieving this. Companies that look after their staff and invest in accredited training show results because their staff go the extra mile for customers and the business.

Here at The Furniture Ombudsman we take the training of our staff very seriously and to this effect we have implemented a programme of short training sessions that we deliver internally on various topics so we constantly expand and improve the knowledge of our employees. Benefitting from all the benefits of training, delivering internal sessions develops a great cohesion between our people not only allowing them to work more closely together but also to debate on more challenging themes within the industry. When a certain topic creates enough discussion and opinion, we then offer our members of staff the opportunity to publish their thoughts by exposing them to the relevant media opportunities.

Alexandra Dobocan, The Furniture Ombudsman