5 tips for creating effective customer service training videos
Customer service training videos are used to train customer service workers. How to make them more effective? Discover our 5 tips!
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In “Customer Survey”, season five, episode seven of the series, “The Office”, Jim Halpert and Dwight Schrute—two of the best salespeople in the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin—are shocked by the disappointing results of the latest customer survey. Michael, the regional manager, arranges a meeting to help them improve their skills. It is 2008 and the sales funnel involves mostly phone calls. The branch is small and customer service is often confused with reception and sales functions. Marketing is virtually nonexistent. All the possibilities for intercepting prospects that would later be created with mass digitization do not yet exist. During this micro management session, Jim and Dwight, under Michael’s stunned supervision, stage an interaction that immediately takes a wacky turn.
The issue of in-company training in The Office universe turns hysterical: in an irresistible crescendo, the sequence shows us exactly what not to do with a potential customer. It also highlights another truth that is dramatically relevant today, namely that customer service is fundamental to any role that involves customer contact. Incidentally, the role play employed by Michael as an exercise to test his employees is, as we shall see, one of the most recurrent narrative frames in customer service training videos.
Customer service training videos existed even in a pre-internet era, reflecting the fact that storytelling through moving images has always been considered a useful tool for transmitting and memorizing knowledge. Among the earliest examples of customer service training videos, which later became a classic for corporate learning, is the Nintendo Training series from 1991. Today, it might seem a bit naive, but the script holds up over time, retaining the humor and freshness needed to lighten up potentially boring topics.
The use of a light tone-of-voice and the structure in episodes connected by a horizontal storyline are entirely instrumental in building more realistic scenarios in which to replicate the possible confrontations and clashes between dissatisfied consumers and customer service workers.
Role playing, a moderately witty tone of voice, the display of real situations where company support is essential: The Office and Nintendo Training offer a number of tips and insights that take us directly to the heart of this post: what are customer service training videos? What are they for? And how can they be best implemented to make sure that they are truly effective?
What are customer service training videos?
Increasingly used within training courses aimed at customer service operators, training videos for customer service are now successfully employed both as an alternative to and in synergy with other types of content (such as face-to-face lectures or documents such as PDFs). Customer service training videos represent one of the two categories into which we can group customer service videos:
- Training videos for customer service operators
- Customer service videos that target customers (already acquired or prospects)
To the second category—that of customer service videos that target customers (either already acquired or prospects)—belong to videos that enrich and enhance the customer support experience. If customers who are satisfied with the support experience are those most willing to grant and reconfirm their trust, it is easy to see why these videos must be a part of companies’ marketing and sales strategies. Customer service videos that target customers are intimately related to their counterpart, customer service training videos, whose target audience, customer care service workers, is at the other end of the customer service-customer relationship.
In the second case, the resolution process is delegated exclusively to the customer, who must derive not only clear instructions for obtaining a practical result from watching the video, but also a positive overall perception of the way the brand deals with him (punctuality, promptness, courtesy, etc.). In the first case—the one we deal with in this post—the brand speaks to its people, providing them with rules that tell them how to perform practical operations and how to behave during certain recurring situations. Customer service training videos draw on a shared knowledge base within the company that covers the technical characteristics and contexts of product use and is based on the synthesis and categorization of customer feedback and opinions.
What are the main advantages of customer service training videos?
In general, customer service training videos are particularly effective in conveying and making even complex information understood, thanks to the mix of audiovisual elements and moving sequences that capture the viewer’s attention and hold it over time. In addition, customer service training videos enable employees to answer frequently asked questions from customers by staging on-screen problem resolution in different contexts of use. In fact, customer service training videos offer many benefits. We list the main ones below.
- Their implementation is generally not prohibitively expensive:
- the initial expense is quickly amortized because it is spread over the total (potentially unlimited) number of views;
- today, there are reliable and authoritative partners who, starting from a company’s needs, can automate the production of videos at low cost, adding interactivity and personalization elements that are becoming increasingly important within marketing strategies.
- They are cross cutting. Structured in several chapters, such videos are perfect for watching when work schedules permit. They can be paused and resumed. They are repeatable. In this sense, they also provide extremely effective mnemonic support. They have no designated viewing locations and can be watched virtually anywhere, even on mobile devices.
- They are much more consistent than face-to-face discussions (they do not vary depending on the person doing the training) but at the same time, especially in the case of videos made through automated platforms, they can be easily modified to accommodate any updates.
Five tips for making great customer service training videos
As we know, each company has its own story. That said, although the success of a customer service training program (and therefore videos as well) depends on the organization and its culture, we can identify some elements that customer service training videos should include:
- an overview of customer service policies, procedures, and expectations;
- a series of role-playing exercises so that employees can practice handling difficult interactions;
- moment-by-moment visualization of the company’s complaint resolution process to ensure that employees know how to handle customer inquiries at each stage of the product or service life cycle;
- simulations of successful, failed, or poor customer care interactions to help employees understand what works and what should be avoided
With these elements always in mind, we’re now ready to summarize how to create effective customer service training videos in five tips. Here they are.
1. Get to know your customers
First and foremost, customers want to be listened to, and all the more so if they are in a frustrating situation, brought about by the failure of a product or a service disruption. Whether customers are mildly dissatisfied, decidedly critical, or at worst, furious, it’s important that the protagonists of the video—namely, the customer service operators—always appear calm and balanced. This serenity should not appear as a superhuman endowment but should be shown as a quality that can be learned and “trained” and which basically comes from listening skills. In other words, to write the script for a training video for customer service, it is essential to understand exactly what the problem is. The first step is to ask questions and treasure the answers. A well-crafted video not only meets customers’ needs, but also manages to engage them. And that brings us directly to point two.
2. Tell a story
To achieve its communication goal, video content of our video should be memorable to some extent, as well as easily memorized. A good way to make people remember information, even the most practical, is to tell a story, developing a narrative arc that introduces the obstacle, creates tension, and overcomes the obstacle all in a good, natural rhythm. In this way, customer service training videos tune in to the viewer, activate his or her emotional response, and engage him or her on a deeper level.
Although the main purpose of these videos is to train customer service staff, in any case, they are messages that help define brand narrative and reputation. This is content that needs to be very carefully thought out and crafted, starting with the choice of type. Animated videos, live action demo videos, personalized and interactive videos: there are so many creative and stylistic decisions that turning to an experienced partner may be the smartest choice.
3. Answer frequently asked questions
If users view a customer service training video, it means either that they have searched for it or, much more likely, that it is part of a corporate training initiative, and they will watch it because it contains just the specific information they need. Therefore, each of these videos, or individual modules within a more structured video, should always aim to answer the questions that customers ask most often. These questions can cover a wide range of topics, usually those that are very pragmatic, for example shipping and package handling, technical specifications of a product and how it works, and more. The narration—the voiceover is especially effective for this function—will then need to be clear, direct, and fluent.
4. Speak clearly
Customer service training videos can be considered educational in the sense that they aim to provide support and act as a guide for the viewer. For this, voice and visuals must be clear, never ambiguous, and consistent with each other. All expressive elements that can make the communication of the message concise and understandable are welcome, starting with the text overlay:
- keywords help with orientation and note-taking but must be written in a font that is readable as well as pleasing to look at;
- captions must be perfectly synchronized with the audio
Avoid using difficult words (unless they are necessary, but they should be explained as soon as they appear). Here, you risk sacrificing the attention of viewers, who may become distracted or annoyed by a choice that is seen as incongruous or pretentious.
5. Incorporate elements of interactivity and personalization
Delivering the most appropriate content and telling the story in an engaging way is of course essential, but technological evolution has enabled a further step. Today, it’s possible to track not only how much training is received and metabolized by employees, but also how it translates into a better service experience for customers. By incorporating elements of interactivity and personalization, customer service training videos are transformed into exceptional assessment and forecasting tools.
Quizzes or tests to complete explanation sequences, surveys administered as forms, feedback buttons to measure the quality of the experience, suggestions for in-depth content offered to certain segments based on their particular gaps—these are just some of the interactive possibilities that can be implemented in training videos today. The short list of suggestions we have provided here is just the tip of the iceberg, not just because data analysis and the development of ever-new digital solutions are continually reshaping internal communications. In any case, one piece of evidence remains: customer service training videos are decisive in explaining to agents how they can enhance customer relationships.
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