);

How to Create the Perfect Customer Service Training Program

Customer service can make or break any beneficiary’s experience and is a critical element of maintaining your book of business and customer retention rate.  It’s essential that your insurance agency delivers quality customer service across all forefronts of your agency. To do this, you must have an active customer service training program set in place for all of your agency’s employees. If you don’t know how to develop a customer service training program – we’ve compiled a list of the top things you will need to include! To develop a comprehensive customer service training program for your insurance agency, you should implement various means of education for your team. Different aspects of training will be useful for different sets of employees.

For example, your newly recruited insurance agents will likely go through an initial training program, while existing employees will participate in refresher courses each year.

Mentor Programs

Assigning a mentor is an excellent option for your newly recruited insurance agents and those who may be struggling with their customer service skills. Assigning a mentor to your employees will provide positive guidance and allow them to have a friendly leader to turn to when they need advice in a sticky situation.

Job Shadowing

Another great option for newly recruited insurance agents is job shadowing. Job shadowing will help your new agents get the lay of the land and obtain a better understanding of how your insurance agency operates and speaks to its customers. It’s an effective method of allowing your new agents to get hands-on experience in customer support situations before they have to dive in and manage similar issues on their own.

Video Training

Video training is another effective method for your employees and insurance agents at all stages, whether they’re recruits or tenured employees. Customer service training videos can be used again and again, providing valuable education with minimal effort after initial creation. You can use videos to cover a wide variety of topics, including customer support situations that agents might need advice or guidance on, or how to handle an agency crisis.

In-Person Presentations

Traditional presentations are also an effective means of providing customer support training, and they’re especially useful when doing team-building exercises. Incorporating interactive exercises for employees to participate in throughout the presentation is a great way to implement impactful, active learning experiences.

Essential Elements

In order for your customer service training program to be successful and effective, it will need to incorporate a multitude of different elements. Once you’ve decided how to present your training program, you will need to create a program that is well rounded and reviews the necessary skills for success.

Empathy

The ability to express empathy is a crucial skill for customer service. Your team should be able to understand a customer’s frustration and relate to them. When an insurance agent expresses empathy, it makes the beneficiary feel appreciated and valued, which makes for a positive experience.

A tip for training your team to harbor and show empathy: encourage them to put themselves in the customer’s shoes – it will help them better understand the frustrations, and react to them more compassionately.

Product Knowledge

Having expert knowledge of products and services is perhaps the most basic and essential skill necessary for providing quality customer support. If an agent can’t answer a customer’s questions about the benefits and features of a product, then they’ll quickly frustrate the customer. Education about all of your products and services should be at the base of your customer service training program.

A tip for training your team on product knowledge: Provide your team with a product guide that they can refer back to at any time – create pages to focus on features, benefits, and frequently asked questions.

Company Vision and Values

As a representative of your insurance agency who directly interacts with customers, all of your agents should communicate in a way that is synonymous with your brand and company vision. If your agents act poorly towards customers, it reflects badly on your insurance agency.

A tip for training your team on company values: Make sure you cover the core values within your training program, so agents know how to behave within those important guidelines at all times.

There are other essential elements of your customer service training program such as crisis management, self-care, active listening, etc. – for more detail regarding those elements; please feel free to reach out to Agent Pipeline for further guidance. Developing a well-rounded customer service training program will be a long process, and we’re here to help you. In order to cover all of your bases, you’ll have to be thorough and methodical. Your program should include a mix of video, interactive exercises, mentorships, and management presentations.

Throughout this process, make sure that you organize your program efficiently – covering essential skill sets first, before diving into the more advanced skills like crisis management. This will allow your agents to fully digest information on their path to becoming an excellent insurance agent.