5 Fun Customer Service Training Games
Customer service agents don’t spring into being well-trained and capable. It takes dedicated time and effort to ensure your service reps have the necessary skills to enable them to deliver good customer service. Customer service training doesn’t have to cost the earth, either. There are many free customer service training games out there which are.
Customer service agents don’t spring into being well-trained and capable. It takes dedicated time and effort to ensure your service reps have the necessary skills to enable them to deliver good customer service.
Customer service training doesn’t have to cost the earth, either. There are many free customer service training games out there which are fun and engaging, and help your agents to level up their skills.
You don’t want the first time that your team members engage with customers to be during real-life situations where the stakes are high and your reputation is on the line. Especially for newer agents, you want them to be able to practice certain scenarios in a safe and supportive environment to get them ready for launch.
There are some simple activities you can get your reps to play that will improve their ability to handle customer interactions. Customer service training doesn’t have to be complicated, but simply introduce your reps to a variety of themes that enhance customer service.
Instead of reading through dull training materials or completing an online course, you can let your service reps play customer service training games to level up their skills.
Why customer service rep training is important
Customer service training is absolutely critical for a highly effective customer service team. Playing training games is the ideal way to help service agents learn new skills without the risk of offending real customers.
When you bring your customer service reps together for customer service training, new reps have the chance to learn from the old. Tried and tested skills can be passed on in a fun and playful environment, where agents feel confident enough to make mistakes and try new things.
It’s so important to invest in your customer service team, if you want to offer the best possible customer experience. When customers are satisfied with the experience they have received, they will be more loyal and spend more money with your business.
Since your customer service reps are the first point of contact between customers and the business, investment in ongoing customer service training for your service reps is one of the best ways to expand the company.
If customers sense that your agents are not well-trained, they’ll be considering your competitors in droves.
How can I make customer service training fun?
The whole point of customer service training is to capture the attention and interest of your customer service reps and make the whole learning experience fun. Whether you’re collaborating and communicating online or offline, you have to deliver your customer service training in a format that is gamified and has your agents raring to go.
That’s why customer service training games are so valuable in teaching your customer service reps new skills. While some may not seem directly related to customer service, all of them are concerned with developing abilities that will serve your agents well in their dealings with customers.
You can make your customer service training fun by making them interactive and introducing an element of competition. When you bring customer service skills to life, the lessons will be retained much more effectively and agents can apply them in real-life situations with customers.
Happy customer service agents are much more effective in dealing with customers and transfer a spirit of fun and excitement.
How to play customer service training games
- Don’t make your games too complicated or difficult – make it easy for your customer service team to get involved and take off their work hats
- Make sure they are related to a customer service skill that you want your reps to learn – games should be able to teach customer service reps how to improve their skills
- Get everyone involved in some way – choose a game that can get everyone contributing and getting off their chairs
- Tailor your activities depending on whether your participants are new or experienced agents – don’t pick games that are too in-depth or hard so that everyone can take part
- Consider a mixture of online and offline activities depending on your team structure – some games can be played over Zoom while others require being in the same room
Your customer service training games should be fun, interactive and engaging to allow your reps to hone their skills and practice dealing with real-life customers.
What are some customer service activities?
Here are some customer service training ideas to get you started.
Handling challenging customers
Customer service reps will typically have to interact with challenging customers who put a strain on what it means to deliver effective customer service. Practicing these sorts of scenarios beforehand will make it easier to handle these types of customers and provide excellent service.
You can help your customer service reps by going over difficult phone calls and discussing what went well and what could be improved. Many agents will have concrete ideas on how you can help this challenging customer and make sure their issue is resolved correctly. The best call center software provides you with a feature that can record calls which you can then look back on at a later date.
Working with a professional psychologist can also provide your agents with the tools they need to handle challenging customers. Psychologists can teach your agents the customer service skills of empathy and compassion, which are needed when navigating these sorts of demanding situations.
Helping teams collaborate remotely
Sometimes your customer service team won’t all be in the same room, and that’s okay. There are many tools out there that help your team collaborate remotely and participate in fun, engaging experiences.
Slides with Friends is one such tool that allows your team to use their interactive slides to run attention-keeping training and onboardings. With quizzing and testing, live polling, wordclouds, and more, you can easily help your team learn and retain your material.
Furthermore, you can also use Google’s Jamboard to let your teams collaborate on an interactive whiteboard. You can come up with projects that allow your team to participate and allow them to post text, notes and images to bring their ideas to life.
Enhancing lateral thinking and sensitivity to detail
When customer service reps are dealing with customer problems, they need to be able to think laterally and be sensitive to small details that could uncover clues to the solution. Sometimes, it’s what customers aren’t saying that can help agents to resolve a problem.
Short logic puzzles are a great way to improve lateral thinking and sensitivity to detail. They can challenge your reps to stretch their brainpower to solve the puzzle. It trains your agents to look for clues that might otherwise be missed and become more effective problem-solvers.
You can also practice real-life customer service scenarios to prepare your agents for what is waiting for them out there. It can prompt your agents to use their lateral thinking skills as they aim to comprehend what the “customer” is asking for.
Improving communication skills
The mark of a good agent is someone who is able to communicate effectively in both written and verbal form. Customers may not always know what the problem is and it’s your agent’s job to diagnose the issue with potentially little information. Agents need to be able to express themselves clearly to customers and get their point across.
You can go through some practice telephone calls to see how agents would react in a pressured situation. This is especially helpful for new members of staff who may not yet have as much experience in dealing with customers. You can have agents walk customers through troubleshooting an error or processing a refund, for example.
Gamify critical thinking, collaboration and alignment
Customer service teams will need to learn how they can get better at critical thinking, collaboration and alignment. Tasks that involve working together are great for teaching teams these customer service skills, as well as thinking on their feet which will make them better at handling customer service tasks.
Getting teams to come up with items that enable them to plan for a road trip is one possible customer service training game that will help them get better at these sorts of tasks. In this section, we’ll go through “we know our destination”.
How to play: You need at least six people to play this game, along with a pen and paper. This game shows participants how they might become so wrapped up in company culture that they forget the ultimate goal of customer service.
Participants should gather into a group and think of ideas for items they would need on a company road trip. They should write these items down on their paper within a minute with a timer going off when they’ve had enough time to think.
The group organizer should ask the participants about each item they included on their list. The question phase should cause participants to add or subtract each item they have on their list, and relate it to the final destination.
Repeat the same task except that this time you should provide participants with their destination at the beginning of the game. When conducting the discussion, compare how their items relate to the first list and examine how knowing the destination causes them to refine the items they would take on the trip.
Takeaway: this game shows how customer service goals can impact how you plan for a particular journey. When you know where you’re going, it’s much easier to decide the particular items you need because you can focus your efforts on a specific task.
Free customer service training ideas to empower your team
Now we’ve got some great free customer service training ideas that you can use to improve the effectiveness of your customer service team.
1. Achieving satisfied customers
Any great customer service agent is always focused on giving customers exactly what they want – not what the company thinks that they want. You can use the collective hive mind of your team to gain insight into customer satisfaction and decide whether an agent has fulfilled their needs.
How to play: pick one customer service rep to share a previous customer interaction they have had where they managed to deliver what the customer wanted. They should share the nature of the issue and how the agent managed to support them, even in a potentially challenging environment.
Once they have heard about the customer scenario, the rest of the group should share their insight into how the agent managed to help the customer. Then, taking on the perspective of the customer, each member of the group should write an email from the customer to the company showing appreciation for the assistance that they received.
At the end of the task, each group member should share their email and discuss what each agent identifies as excellent service on behalf of the customer.
Takeaway: this game helps agents take on the perspective of the customer and develops their own feeling of appreciation for the way they provide assistance. It uncovers insights into what agents can do to better serve customers so they can increase customer satisfaction.
2. The name game
Nothing beats personalized customer service, and when agents can remember your customer’s name this offers a much better customer experience. Unfortunately, when dealing with many customers every shift, it can be hard to remember names for everyone you come into contact with.
Luckily, there is a customer service training game your agents can use to get better at retaining names – it’s called the memory palace. This game works best using employees in training who don’t yet know the names of their colleagues, so they can practice this useful skill.
How to play: gather together a fairly large group of people who have just met each other, and have them stand in a circle. Explain the concept of a memory palace to them:
- The memory palace is a place that you know well, such as your home, school or work.
- Each room in the memory palace will correspond with an item of information you want to remember – in this case, names.
- List out all the names you want to remember and place them in each room.
- Walk round your memory palace a few times, taking the time to deeply embed each name and place.
Now, whenever you want to remember something from your memory palace, simply walk through the rooms and recall each piece of information. It helps recall if there is some connection between the name and the place, such as the name “Dora” being by the door.
When everyone in the group knows how the memory palace works, go round the circle and have everyone say their name and a piece of trivia about themselves. Your participants should place each name in their memory palace and try to remember it. Once everyone has finished saying their name, ask a random member of the group to try to recall everyone’s name.
Takeaway: using the memory palace helps customer service agents to remember names, even if they are dealing with dozens or maybe hundreds of customers a day. Improving your recall is a skill that can be improved, and the memory palace is a proven technique to enhance memory.
3. The “yes” game
When trying to develop a team that is positive and solutions-oriented, you need to train them in the art of saying “no”. No matter how unreasonable the request, agents must learn how to respond to customers without actually saying the word “no”.
Instead of flatly turning down a request, agents need to practice how to constructively deal with a customer and offer them something that will have them satisfied instead of disappointed. In this customer service training game, reps will get better at saying “yes” to customers.
How to play: gather your agents together in a big circle and ask them to think of three requests they could make of someone else in the group, that could be reasonable or unreasonable. The only requests they can’t make are something inappropriate or offensive.
Examples of requests they could make are:
- I want you to give me your watch
- I want you to stand on one leg
- I would like a refund
Go round the circle and have your agents take it in turns to make requests of each other, with the recipient being unable to say the word “no”. The point of this game is to demonstrate how hard it is to handle requests without being negative, and each agent should take it in turn to play.
Some answers to these requests may turn out to be quite amusing as agents figure out how to handle very unreasonable demands.
Takeaway: focusing on what you can do rather than what you can’t do is an integral part of great customer service. Simply saying “no” to a customer is perceived as a bad experience and customers may see your agents as unhelpful. You don’t have to agree with everything your customers ask of you, but you can decline their requests in a positive way.
4. The Disney method
Customer service agents need to learn about service recovery from the masters – they can make use of Disney’s HEARD technique. When a customer gets in touch with a complaint, agents can use HEARD to effectively resolve the situation and turn angry customers into satisfied, loyal fans.
Disney’s HEARD stands for:
- Hear – let the customer get their problem off their chest without interrupting them by actively listening to them.
- Empathize – put yourself in your customer’s shoes and show them that you understand how they feel with phrases like “I can imagine how frustrating that must be for you”.
- Apologize – accept the blame on behalf of the company and show the customer that you take responsibility for the situation. A genuine apology helps customers to forgive lapses in service.
- Resolve – provide an effective resolution to the problem at hand and make sure that agents are empowered to help customers.
- Diagnose – get to the root of the problem to make sure you can prevent a recurrence of the issue.
The HEARD technique is a simple, five-step process that any customer service agent can use to recover from service failure.
How to play: Playing with a group of agents, explain to them the HEARD technique and make sure that everyone understands how to put it into practice. Then, ask for two volunteers who will get up in front of everybody with the first volunteer playing the customer and the second volunteer playing the customer service agent. The rest of your group will act as judges of the role play.
Ask your two volunteers to act out a known customer service problem such as a customer being dissatisfied with a broken item. The customer service agent volunteer will attempt to resolve the situation using the five-step HEARD technique. The group facilitator can remind the volunteer of each step if they get stuck.
Finally, when the scenario has been acted out, ask the rest of the group to judge the encounter, going through each step to discuss how the volunteer has represented the values of the company. You can repeat the process with multiple scenarios until everyone has had their turn.
Takeaway: businesses don’t always get it right but they can do their best to make it up to the customer when something has gone wrong. As Disney knows so well, agents are the customer-facing wing of the company and are therefore responsible for resolving complaints. It’s not the easiest job in the world but it’s certainly worth it for earning loyal, happy customers.
If they want to deliver the best service, customer service agents must undergo consistent training to help them remain at the top of their game. The best kind of customer service training game is fun and interactive, getting agents involved and invested in the outcome, with learning as a byproduct.
Training together will create team spirit in your agents and promote better collaboration, especially among remote or distributed teams. Training games remove your customer service agents away from the daily grind and means the business is investing in their ongoing development.
Even the best customer service agents can benefit from a refresher on how to deal with customers. If your business wants to achieve optimal customer service, then you need to hire and develop the best people.
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