Training Talks—3D Customer Service Success: A Chat with Adam Toporek

At Lessonly, we’ve helped hundreds of teams across the globe learn, practice, and Do Better Work. We found that the best teams examine their training efforts through six key phases: Assess, Plan, Build, Learn, Practice, and Perform. That’s why we decided to create Lessonly’s Better Work Guide to Customer Service Training

In the process of putting together The Better Work Guide, Lessonly’s VP of Marketing, Kyle Lacy talked with Adam Toporek, founder of CTS Service Solutions. With extensive experience in retail, franchising, and small business consulting, Adam understands the impact customer service has on the bottom line. See what Adam says are the three dimensions to great customer service.

Kyle: When it comes to a successful customer service team, what are the top considerations for first-time managers? What are the most important aspects of a team that performs at the highest level? 

Adam: A successful customer service team really needs to succeed on three core dimensions:

The first is hiring. You really set the team up by who you hire. So, it’s important to make sure they are not only a cultural fit, but that they also have customer-centric outlook and attitude. 

The second is training. You have to give your team the tools they need to succeed with customers. They particularly need training for more challenging interactions.

The third is empowerment. A good team needs to have the roles and responsibilities to be able to take care of customers in real-time. They need to know how to take initiative and have the authority to act on that initiative with customers.

Kyle: That’s great. In regards to training, what do you think is most valuable? Is it blended training? Is it soft or hard skills? What do you recommend when it comes to building a successful training program?

Adam: Absolutely.  I think there are two different dynamics to a successful training program. You need to have onboarding and a form of ongoing training that reinforces the skills and behaviors you want your employees to exhibit. Most importantly, training can’t only be about operational skills and this is where a lot of organizations fail.

All too often, onboarding training covers items like how to use the computer, how to check out a customer, or how to write a service ticket. It’s not about soft skills. But, when you think about what makes an impact during an interaction, it’s soft skills training. Reps need to have the ability to communicate effectively and demonstrate empathy. That’s really going to make the impact. 

Kyle: This segues perfectly into my next question since you mentioned soft skills. What are some of the skills most important to be successful at customer service?

Adam: Number one is to be aware. With situational awareness, reps recognize what’s going on with the customer, not just what’s happening in front of them. 

And, as I mentioned, empathy is key. You really have to understand where the customer is coming from and put yourself in their shoes. They’re unique, and they don’t view the interaction the same way as you. So, to really succeed at customer service, you have to be able to figure out what each and every customer really needs. 

Do Better Work with Lessonly’s Customer Service Training Guide

Customer service matters more than ever. Don’t miss your chance to get insights, best practices, and tangible steps to Do Better Work. Read The Better Work Guide to Customer Service Training and get started today.

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