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You understand that customer service training is important for new employee orientation for IT professionals, but you can’t simply send your team to training and expect them to appreciate its value. Onboarding is a critical part of the process and helps your employees buy into the concept that customer service skills are necessary to succeed in their IT positions. Here’s how to do it well.
Reinforce the “Why”…
The first step of new employee orientation is always to help your team members understand the reason why customer service training is needed. Ensure that your team members understand why mastering customer service matters to them on a personal level. Without this clarification, the information will seem uninteresting and irrelevant. An effective introduction helps customer service employees understand why they need this information and how it will make their jobs easier. Ask them to discuss what they get out of it. Once they buy into the “why,” they’ll immerse themselves in the rest of the training content. But if this stage isn’t done well, they’ll fail to fully engage.
Some topics to incorporate into new employee orientation conversations about the importance of IT customer service training include:
- Why relationships matter: Good customer service makes IT staff more approachable, which means people are more likely to seek help early before problems get bigger and harder to solve.
- How customer service improves performance: Better customer service skills result in improved customer feedback, enhanced performance reviews, and better career trajectory.
- Service is at the heart of IT: IT enhances people’s lives and workplaces. It makes their lives easier and helps them be more effective. IT professionals are not just in the business of fixing technology for the sake of fixing technology, they’re in the business of fixing technology so it works effectively for those who use it. Customer service isn’t independent of IT – it’s an integral part of IT.
…Then Teach the “How”
Once you have employee buy-in because you’ve convinced them of the customer service training value, they’re ready to learn the actual skills that will complement their technical knowledge. Customer service training for IT professionals is most effective when the content is industry-relevant and not simply generic service training. Choose programs that incorporate examples from real-world IT scenarios so participants will immediately see its value in their day-to-day work.
Make Training an Ongoing Process
Learning new skills can be overwhelming and need to be perfected with practice. Resist the urge to teach too many new skills at one time. Give your customer service professionals a chance to use new skills in real-world practice, and then conduct further training to build upon those skills. Incremental training that builds upon previously developed competencies will be easier to digest and help your employees integrate and develop true proficiency.
Create a Culture Shift
Make customer service training a part of your IT culture – not just a reactionary or punitive component to address performance deficiencies. When customer service is expected, reinforced, and integrated at all levels, training becomes normalized in the workplace and can be offered frequently without employees feeling threatened or singled out. The onboarding process will help you develop this culture, while consistent service-centric workplace messaging will reinforce it.
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