Customer service role-plays are essential to training
It is often tempting to use really difficult situations or challenging Customer types for role-play practice. This is not a good place to begin, even with very experienced staff. If the group have not used role-play as a training medium before, it is important to begin with easy queries to heighten awareness to core skills and best practice.Choose queries that the group receive frequently for the first few customer service role-plays, those that they should be able to handle really well. Ask the group to focus on both skills and the timing of the call as they move from one phase to another. Have them record the calls, and play them back. The idea on these easy calls is to analyse the good skills and techniques that are essential on any call, and to identify what could have been done better.When your team have had a few training sessions and are using the core customer service skills and techniques effectively, you can introduce the more difficult topics or challenging customer types. Again, role-play straight through, record and play back. When playing back, stop the tape at critical points, perhaps where the call went out of control, or where the CSR saved a tricky situation. Allow the group to identify strengths and to workshop improvements. De-briefing the Customer Service Role-playAs with any training, the learning is underlined by the de-brief. Ensure that all three groups share their experience and identify learning points -1. The Customer2. The CSR3. The ObserversA huge advantage of customer service role-plays is that the team member steps in to the Customer's shoes and gets to see their view of the world. They feel the impact of every word and every phrase in the interaction, and this helps improve their call handling immensely. It is important that this person shares their feelings at each stage of the call.Ensure that very clear points are identified and that these are written down. A brief discussion as to how we can apply the learning will complete your short, successful role-play training module.Kate Tammemagi specializes in training Managers in Customer Service roles and in designing Customer Service Courses and Sales Training.