You may have heard these excuses “we’re too busy” or “we don’t have the budget for training”. When it comes to helping your customer success team members grow and build their skills, these excuses are not only foolish, they can sink your team and your company.
You may be a start-up and not have the budget available for formal training or you may be part of a more established organization but assume that your team just knows how to learn from each other. While small teams may not have the resources to bring in experts to for training workshops or have the money to send team members to conferences and others assume that their team members are learning by osmosis there are some simple approaches that all customer success teams can follow to help each other learn and improve and ultimately provide a better customer experience.
Keep skill development simple but effective
Here are the five recommendations on how to keep your customer success skills up to snuff and to build a culture of constant improvement.
- Have managers shadow their team. If you are a CS manager, jump on calls and join in person meetings with your team to observe how they interact with customers. Are they truly listening to the customer? Did they resolve the customer’s real issue? Did they ask the right questions?
- Have team members shadow each other. There is no better way of improving then by having a colleague sit in on your call to listen and observe you. After the call, ask them what you did well and where you can improve.
- Assign team members to create a presentation, blog post and/or knowledgebase article in an area that they are not familiar with. The only way to learn is to do. Look for areas that your team needs to improve in and wants to improve in and assign them specific tasks to help them reach this goal. This can include creating a presentation, blog posts or other customer facing educational material.
- Have your team do short presentations on a specific topic. This is a great tactic you can use for teams of all sizes and works really well if you have quarterly business reviews where you gather team members that may be dispersed. Choose a topic that you want your team to focus on: a specific area of the product, presenting customer stories, demoing the product etc… Choose a few people that can judge their performance and create specific criteria that they will be assessed on. Have each person observe the other presentations so they can all learn from each other and take the best aspects of each person.
- Role play. This is another great exercise for quarterly business review meetings. Create certain scenarios and break up your team into different groups. Have them act out the scenario and then have them discuss what they learned and how they can apply this to their day to day.
Bonus item: At your weekly team meetings, have each team member come prepared with a two minute customer insight where they share something they learned from their customer interaction that they can share with the larger group.
Yes this type of skill building and training exercises takes time but it’s time well spent because if you are more proficient in your role, you are more confident. If they are more confident, you will provide even better experiences for customers.