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Fun Training Activities for Customer Service Reps

6 minutes read

Here is a story of every customer service manager:

Taylor is a new customer service manager. One of his projects is to overhaul the team’s current training program. He asks the customer service representatives to give feedback on their training experiences and receives three common responses: they weren’t engaged with the information, they didn’t feel prepared for the difficult situations and it failed to include team-bonding activities.

This is a common situation that most customer service managers face often when it comes to training their team. As a team leader, it’s their responsibility to ensure that the reps are properly trained and prepared to handle any situation. So, the training should provide them with opportunities to learn about such difficult situations and hands-on experience in handling those situations effectively.

One best way to do that and let your service reps live and learn these skills in a time-compressed manner is to conduct training games. So, we have curated a list of 6 customer service training games that you can use in your next training session. Check them out below:

1. The “No” Word

The word “no” is a trigger word that is known to evoke negative emotions in customers. Because of this connotation, it is the one word every customer service rep should avoid using unless absolutely necessary.

To help your customer service team practice this principle, divide them into groups to come up with different ways to say “no” without actually using the word “no.” When done, ask the teams to come back together to compare answers. Collectively, eliminate any answers that may still have a negative impact on the customer. The team with the most effective answers remaining “wins” the exercise.

2. Who are you?

The ultimate goal of this customer service training activity is to get everyone in the group to work together and realize their similarities and differences. Knowing one another’s differences helps customer service reps turn to each other during challenging situations. To do this, make four sets of signs with the following words written on them:

  • Set 1: Competitive, Compromising, Collaborative, Accommodating

  • Set 2: Caring, Caregiver, Cared For, Cared About

  • Set 3: Talkative, Quiet, Outgoing, Watcher

  • Set 4: Tired, Confused, Happy, Eager

Reveal each set of words separately with prompts such as “Are you competitive, compromising, collaborative, or accommodating?” Once each rep decides which word they relate to the most, ask them to stand next to the appropriate sign. Then, have them talk about why they relate the most to the word selected. Continue this process with the next three sets of cards.

This is a great icebreaker to integrate new customer service representatives into the team. It also helps individuals clearly understand their own characteristics.

3. Ridiculous Complaints

This activity helps customer service representatives to handle complaints from customers that may or may not be a bit ridiculous. To play the game, make a list of nonsensical complaints that reps have encountered in the past- or may encounter in the future. Examples include:

  • “My meal was too hot, it needed to be served after it cooled down.”

  • “I bought this jacket from a friend to discover the zipper doesn’t work. I want to return it to your store since it’s your brand.”

  • “The item I ordered came sooner than I expected.”

Then, discuss each scenario as a group or during one-on-one training sessions through role-playing activities to show how each representative would address each hypothetical situation.

4. Greet and Meet

Studies reveal that we form first impressions very quickly and that they matter greatly. Greetings might seem simple and not worthy of specific training, but consider how often you’ve been on the wrong side of a greeting as a customer. Either the greeting was delivered poorly, unenthusiastically, or not at all. Don’t take greetings and first impressions for granted. Work with your team to deliver a consistent and positive greeting to every customer.

5. Simulate Conditions

While training can never replicate the real world, the more you can mimic reality, the more effective role-playing will be. When role-playing face-to-face situations, if possible, try to practice at the register, the counter, or somewhere where the action takes place. When role-playing phone interactions, try to use the actual phone or at least have your reps stand back to back, eliminating the insights from facial expressions and body language that are absent on the phone conversation.

6. Please explain!

This game is used to illustrate the power and importance of explaining what you are doing and why you are doing it.

This is specifically useful in the cases where the customer is unfamiliar with the process that the service rep is following. It can be incredibly frustrating to sit through a series of seemingly pointless questions or long wait times. This training activity will help your new reps to step into the shoes of their future customers.

To play this game, select two volunteers from within the new reps group. Have the first volunteer come up to the front of the room, and instruct them to answer each of your questions quickly but accurately.

Ask a series of questions, without giving any context about them. Below are a few sample questions, although you can tailor yours to suit your career field:

  • What is your favorite climate?

  • Do you have any allergies?

  • Are you color blind?

Then, thank the first volunteer and have her sit down. Call up the second volunteer and ask the same set of questions. But, this time explain why you are asking such questions:

If you use the above series of questions, for instance, then you can explain:

  • We are pairing each new representative with the most fitting branch of our company. Some of these branches are located far north in the mountains, while others are bordering on the equator. For this purpose, can you tell me what is your favorite climate is?

  • Some of our branches are pet-friendly, and dogs and cats regularly roam through the offices. Do you have any allergies/concerns that we should take into account?

  • One of our branches’ primary customers is a paint company. They often call with questions about how to test the consistency of the paint color. That job is best tackled by someone who can see and identify colors perfectly. So, do you mind telling us if you are color blind?

Once the second volunteer is done, have her sit down. Now, ask the group to consider how frustrating it could be to have a series of questions asked of you when you don’t understand the purpose of the questions.

Also, note that giving context to your conversation can even make a customer give a different response. For instance, a lot of people don’t include animal allergies when they list their allergies, so removing context can even lead you to incorrect answers at times.

Published on Tue Jan 28 2020

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