Training your first customer support representative

Training and getting your new customer support representative upto speed is not only important for your business but also for your customers. The successful first month or two of your customer support rep’s training is indicative of their long-term success.


training customer support representative

Need for a structured onboarding

If your new customer support representatives aren’t onboarded on the cultural aspects of your organization, it can pose a high risk of misalignment. And more so, if you want your organization’s culture to evolve in a controlled manner. Several organizations have a one day onboarding schedule, which typically is just a day’s interlude before they actually start their real work. This doesn’t help the cause of support reps because they aren’t aware of the values that drive decisions in your organization. And therefore, they tend to act based on their previous experience and eventually the actual organizational culture erodes.

Managers need to have a simple yet structured onboarding guide for the new support reps, focusing on what the new hires need to learn over a certain time period with clear milestones to measure progress. It is idea to set up a template and improvise it for the new hires to fit their needs.

Key components for training your customer support representatives

People running the process determines the success or failure of your customer support as it directly impacts customer satisfaction. Here are a set of critical components you need to include when training your new customer support reps.

Product knowledge

Since the customer support reps are at the frontline of serving customers, it is absolutely necessary for them to know your organization and its product better  than anyone. It is critical to set up dedicated product training for them so that they not only learn your product, become better at diagnosing support issues and resolving them but also are in a position to share the knowledge to the ones joining their team later.

Creating a knowledge base

Your current team needs to create a knowledge base for your product comprising product information, frequently raised issues, commonly asked questions, and more. This document needs update on a regular basis and can also serve as a great repository for customers to self-resolve their issues if found among the ones listed in the knowledge base.

Setting expectations

You need to set clear expectations on what’s expected from your newly hired customer support reps. It not only avoids confusion but also gives a good idea of responsibilities they would be handling going forward. Share a list of activities and plans they can expect during training, the set of tools and apps that need to be set  up for them, their responsibilities in the first few months, and so on.

Support workflow and policy knowledge

Consider aligning your newly hired customer support reps with senior reps, so that they can learn the ropes on the go. Train them on how your processes for handling incidents, support escalations, and more.

Customer interaction

The new customer support reps need to be trained on active listening skills and to converse in a way representing your organization’s brand. They also need to learn the best practices on responding to specific situations across channels such as social media, chat, email, phone and more.  


What next?

Setting up customer support tiers

As your enterprise scales up, you also need to set up your customer support team for success. Structuring the team effectively contributes a great deal in delivering great customer experience amidst the continuous changes that come along with the scale up.

Customer support tiers