Simple Training Plan: Preventing Customer Anger

Over the past two months, I posted a couple of training plans that customer service leaders can use to train their teams.

The idea was to provide a low-cost alternative to hiring an expensive customer service trainer. These plans are designed to be cost-effective and easy to use.

The first was called Serving Upset Customers 101, which focused on helping customer service reps learn the basics of defusing an angry or upset customer.

The second was called Serving Upset Customers: Eliminating Repeat Service Failures. This training plan showed customer service teams how to learn from angry customers to avoid repeated issues.

This training plan is the third in the three-part series. 

It's called Serving Upset Customers: Preventing Customer Anger. The best way to handle an upset customer is to prevent that customer from getting upset in the first place.

Give it a try and send me your feedback to let me know how it goes.

Overview: Preventing Customer Anger

Participants will be able to do the following at the end of this training:

  • Create personal connections to avoid angry customers
  • Alert customers before they encounter unpleasant surprises
  • Avoid specific words that can trigger customer anger
  • Use the pre-emptive acknowledgement technique

This course is the third in a three part series:

  • Part 1: Serving Upset Customers 101
  • Part 2: Serving Upset Customers, Eliminating Repeat Service Failures
  • Part 3: Serving Upset Customers, Preventing Customer Anger

Resources Required:

  • Worksheet: Workshop Planning Tool, cost: $0
  • Training Video: Working with Upset Customers. You'll need a Lynda.com or LinkedIn Premium subscription for each participant. Subscriptions start at $19.99 per person, per month and discounts are available for teams of 5 or more. A 30-day Lynda.com trial is available here.
  • Exercise Files: The Working with Upset Customers training video comes with a set of downloadable exercise files to help implement concepts from the course.

Time Required: <1 hour per week for 3 weeks.

 

Pre-Work: Do This Before You Begin

You can boost the impact of any training program by properly preparing. Here are two simple assignments you should do before starting the training.

Assignment #1: Create a training plan. Use the Workshop Planning Tool to create a training plan:

  • Identify your goal for the training.
  • Determine what needs to be done to prepare for success.
  • Decide how the training will be run.
  • Create a plan to sustain your progress.

 

Assignment #2: Announce the Training. Tell your team what to expect by announcing the training via a team meeting, one-on-one conversation, email, or some other form of communication. Make sure you address three things:

  • Tell participants what the training is about.
  • Explain why the training is important.
  • Share how you expect participants to use the training in their daily work.

 

Training Plan: Eliminating Repeat Service Failures

This plan is divided into three lessons that each take place one week apart.

Pre-Work:

Ask participants to watch the short training video, Creating Personal Relationships (2m 29s), before attending the first meeting. This video is part of the Working with Upset Customers course.

 

Week 1: Kick-off. 

Call a 30 minute team meeting to kick off the training program. Hold it in-person if possible, or via Skype or web-conference if your team is remote. 

  1. Review the purpose and goals for this course.
  2. Re-cap results from previous training programs (if applicable)
  3. Discuss ways that personal relationships can prevent customer anger.
  4. Assign training videos and activities for the next meeting.

 

Assignments for next week:

  • Exercise: Experiment with rapport-building techniques to create personal connections with customers.
  • Watch video: Avoiding Unpleasant Surprises (2m 51s).
  • Exercise: Download the Expectation Management Worksheet exercise file. Use it to identify situations where you can help customers avoid unpleasant surprises.

 

Week 2: Avoiding Unpleasant Surprises

Call a 30 minute team meeting to check-in on the training program. Hold it in-person if possible, or via Skype or web-conference if your team is remote.

  1. Discuss the results of the using rapport-building techniques exercise.
  2. Discuss the results of the avoiding unpleasant surprises exercise.
  3. Assign training videos and activities for the next meeting.

 

Assignments for next week:

 

Week 3: Preventing Customer Anger

Call a 30 minute team meeting to check-in on the training program. Hold it in-person if possible, or via Skype or web-conference if your team is remote.

  1. Discuss the results of the Pre-Emptive Acknowledgement Technique exercise.
  2. Brainstorm common trigger words and more effective replacements.
  3. Discuss ways to sustain the learning and solutions from this course.