What Makes a Good Customer Service Training Program? Strategies for 2024

25 min read
Jun 26, 2024
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Exceptional customer service isn't just a nice-to-have—it's a make-or-break. Your customer service team is the first point of contact for your customers. Often, any communication with your company starts and ends with customer service representatives, who become the faces of the company for all your customers.

No customer service team can be outstanding without good customer service training. It's not just an investment in your company—it’s an expense you must be ready to cover.

So, knowing how to structure a good customer service training program and what to look out for when deciding on your tools will be a well-spent expense and can save you money.

This article is a deep dive into the importance of training, techniques, and tactics to create an outstanding and knowledgeable team with the skills and confidence to make customers happy.

After reading, you’ll know:

Why is customer service training important?

While certain skills are a must when employing your customer service agents, it’s an overstatement to say most support tactics are common sense. Your customers don’t think about the knowledge a customer service agent needs to learn to make them feel taken care of—they care if and how their issue was resolved.

Customer service skills training might seem straightforward, but you must understand it’s a multistage process. The good thing is that its benefits are just as long of a list.

Customer service training benefits for your company

Enhanced customer satisfaction

A well-trained support team can better help your customers and resolve their issues more effectively. 90% of customers consider effective resolution of their issues the most important aspect of customer service.

That’s precisely why investing in your customer service agents’ skills and training leads you straight to a positive customer service experience. Proper training equips your team with the knowledge required to efficiently handle customer inquiries, leading to quicker and more satisfactory resolutions for your customers.

Improved brand reputation 

Happy customers are the best marketing you can get. They spread the word to their friends, sharing a good experience or a positive surprise they had while contacting your company’s customer service.

75% of customers found value in interacting with other customers in a brand’s online community—this is a prime example of spreading good reviews about your brand through word of mouth for bystanders to read as a byproduct. 

When your customer service team consistently delivers positive experiences, your brand reputation flourishes, attracting new customers and retaining existing ones.

Higher customer loyalty

95% of customers say customer service is an essential factor influencing brand loyalty. When customers feel valued and well-cared for, they’re more likely to stay loyal to your brand and make another purchase.

Exceptional service beyond customer expectations helps to create trust and a sense of connection. If your customer service representatives know how to add a personal touch to the conversation, they simultaneously help strengthen customer relationships with your brand.

Increased sales

Customer service directly impacts sales. When making a purchase, 83% of customers stated that great customer service was one of their most important criteria for deciding what to buy.

A positive service experience can be the deciding factor that nudges a potential customer toward purchasing your products or services. Well-trained customer service reps can effectively upsell and cross-sell, further boosting sales figures.

More empathetic customers

Excellent customer service nurtures empathy towards a brand and increases forgiveness in case of mishaps. Based on a study, only 15% of customers would forgive a bad experience from a brand whose customer experience was rated “very poor” by the customer.

The good news is that almost 80% of customers would forgive a bad experience if they rated the customer service agents as “very good”—make sure to use this to your advantage.

Customer service training benefits for your employees

Employee engagement and retention 

Well-trained employees are more confident in their customer service skills, and, putting it simply—confident employees work better. Also, confident employees are happier with their work, can achieve their goals more easily, and are more engaged in their tasks. 

Companies with a strong learning culture have increased employee retention by 57% compared to those with a baseline learning culture. 

When you invest in your employees, they feel valued. This sense of value boosts their morale and commitment to the company. Your investment in their training leads to a better team and helps you achieve long-term goals without too much employee rotation.

Encouraged culture of learning

74% of employees believe it’s their own responsibility to update their skills rather than relying on an employer. You’ll surprise your team if you actually give them the option to increase their expertise and allow them to learn what they need to become better at their jobs.

Your employees are eager to expand their qualifications. I bet that you hired people who are quick learners and have this type of craving for knowledge.

So, it shouldn’t be surprising that 74% of employees are ready to learn new skills or re-train. And when you encourage them to do so, it will benefit you in the long term.

Enhanced problem-solving skills

Customer service training empowers your customer support team with the tools and techniques to tackle a variety of customer issues. It improves their ability to resolve problems efficiently and boosts their confidence in meeting customer expectations.

Enhanced problem-solving skills mean that employees provide quicker, more effective solutions and don’t get carried away by emotions when faced with unexpected challenges.

Better customer service team collaboration

Training programs often include team-building activities and collaborative learning sessions. Seven out of ten people say that learning improves their sense of connection to their organization. With a clearer sense of purpose, they can better understand their colleagues’ challenges and celebrate their successes.

By ensuring that all of your employees receive the same level of training, you also help them remain equal and eliminate any unhealthy competition.

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What makes a good training program?

Quite a few factors affect the quality of training. Good customer service training programs are comprehensive, dynamic, and continually evolving.

To ensure your agents effectively absorb the knowledge you want to share, cover these fundamentals: 

Educational reference during training

Don’t underestimate the value of good educational materials. They provide a solid foundation for learning and ensure that important information is accessible both during and after the training sessions.

Include interactive materials

If your workshop is presentation-based, utilize various materials, such as videos, infographics, and interactive modules. Including different types of content in your customer service training materials caters to individual learning styles and makes the training process more engaging. 

Interactive content also reinforces learning by providing practical examples and allowing employees to practice their skills in a safe environment instead of throwing them in at the deep end.

Post-training educational materials

Having a brilliant training specialist is one thing, but providing a comprehensive reference guide for the knowledge shared during training is equally important. 

While having physical copies of your handbooks is a nice touch, due to the changing nature of such materials, it's more optimal to keep them in a digital version unless you have a very high budget for your training.

A well-prepared handbook covers:

1. Most common processes

Including the most frequently occurring processes for quick reference in the handbook can be incredibly useful. This allows customer service agents to easily access the knowledge they need to handle everyday situations without breaking a sweat.

2. Glossary

Some industry-specific or technical terms may be difficult to grasp when starting a new position. Sometimes, your customer service department may develop unique names for processes or create specific jargon. A glossary for the handbook terms and for regular use helps agents quickly understand and recall these terms.

3. Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

When preparing your handbook, include an FAQ. Even if you cover these questions during initial training workshops, they may slip from memory over time. Save time—if a question was asked a few times already, it will surely be asked again.

4. Your company’s tone of voice

It’s a good practice to ensure your customer service agents have a general knowledge of your brand’s tone of voice. This will help them communicate consistently and ensure that anything that leaves a “paper trail”—for example, live chat chats or comments on social media—is concise with what you want your brand to represent.

Clear objectives and structure (SMART goals)

A successful customer service training program must have clearly defined objectives, including the development of important customer service skills. Before you begin structuring your training, you need to have a clear understanding of your desired outcome.

Establishing SMART goals is crucial. SMART stands for:

Specific: Outline what the training aims to achieve. Setting specific objectives helps you understand what you expect of a trained team and emphasize these areas with exercises. For example, instead of a vague goal like "improve customer service skills," a more specific goal would be "reduce customer complaint resolution time by 10% within three months."

Measurable: Ensure that your training goals can be measured. Decide on a criteria for your desired progress and outcomes. Following the example above, you can track the number of resolved customer inquiries and complaint scores post-training.

Achievable: Your customer service training goals should be realistic and attainable, considering the current skill levels and resources available. Overly ambitious goals can be demotivating and counterproductive.

Relevant: Align your training goals with broader business objectives to actively contribute to the company’s goals and roadmap. For example, if the company aims to increase customer loyalty, the training should focus on skills directly impacting this area.

Time-bound: Set a clear timeline for achieving your goals. Deadlines create a sense of urgency but will help you maintain focus and an open mind to changing things that aren’t working as intended in your training.

Continuous training improvement

A good training program is never static. It evolves with the business's and its employees' needs. Continuous improvement is key to maintaining effective training. You’ll achieve this if you do these things regularly:

Set training success metrics

Establish clear and measurable training success metrics to gauge the effectiveness of your customer service training program. Metrics could include customer satisfaction scores, first-contact resolution rates, and employee performance improvements. Regularly review these metrics to identify weak areas in your training.

Do regular training updates

You should regularly view your training content and update it to reflect the latest industry trends, changing company policies, and any updates to your technological stack. You should also not be afraid to change up your training when you don’t meet your training success metrics—if something’s not working, find what will.

Frequent updates help ensure that your training remains relevant and effective. Make it your habit. Schedule periodic reviews to update materials and incorporate new information.

Incorporate feedback

Actively seek feedback from trainees to understand what works and what doesn’t. You can do this through surveys, interviews, and even classic observation. For teachers, it’s obvious when their students don’t pay attention. If your team also does this, don’t nag them too much. Instead, use this as a reference point to make a specific part of your training more engaging.

This also includes customer feedback. If you notice a negative pattern or your team could use a refresher on some topics, emphasize this area in your future training.

Assess training outcomes

Conduct assessments to evaluate the effectiveness of the training. This can include quizzes, practical exercises, and performance metrics. Don’t put too much pressure on such assessments—you don’t want to come off as testing your team’s knowledge because of your lack of confidence in their skills. Assessments help identify areas where trainees excel and areas that need more focus. Use the results of these assessments to tailor future training sessions to address any gaps in knowledge.

Accommodate your training to neurodiversity

Neurodiversity is becoming increasingly prominent as a buzzword. Yet, the commitment level to incorporating real inclusivity into organizational practice varies. Only 29.9% of neurodiverse people in business declared that they currently had any formal adjustments in place. 64.7% said that they were worried about stigma and discrimination from management. Make an active contribution to changing it.

Ask your team in advance whether they have needs they’d like you to consider for a specific training session. While they’re not obligated to share their hardships, they’ll feel much more relaxed and engage more freely, knowing they’re in a safe and supportive environment.

Online customer service training techniques


Workshops are among the first things that come to mind when thinking about customer service training ideas. They are interactive sessions where trainees engage in hands-on activities, discussions, and collaborative problem-solving.

Workshops are the most popular training technique and usually cover most of the theoretical knowledge you want to share with your team. If you’ve already trained your team with all the fundamentals they needed to learn about your company, you might want to try some general customer service workshops.

Ideas for workshops that improve customer service skills

Emotional intelligence development: Empathy is one of your team's most important soft skills to ensure customer satisfaction. Focus on building emotional intelligence skills like empathy and active listening.

De-escalation techniques: Many factors affect customer communication. Does this mean your team should weigh every word carefully? No—you wouldn’t need workshops for that. However, certain communication techniques help de-escalate a conflict. Train your team on positive communication or positive framing:

Positive communication: This technique focuses on responding in a way that emphasizes what can be done rather than what cannot. It aims to create a more constructive and agreeable interaction with customers. Examples include: Instead of "You need to," "I recommend that you," or "I can't help you with this issue," use "Let me connect you with someone who can assist you with this."

Positive framing: This involves structuring communication that focuses on positive outcomes, possibilities, and agreements rather than disagreements or limitations. This technique helps maintain a constructive dialogue and builds rapport with customers. For example, instead of "Yes, but that will take a long time," say "Yes, and while that takes some time, we can make the process smoother for you by…," or instead of "Yes, but that's not possible," say "Yes, and here's what we can do instead."

Using AI tools in customer service: According to a recent report, 4 in 5 people want to learn more about how to use AI in their profession. Introduce your team to AI tools to help them automate some of their tasks and decrease their workload.

Handling high-volume interactions: Busy periods in customer service don’t always have to be associated with stress and anxiety. Prepare a workshop that covers time management techniques, tips on using your internal systems efficiently, and maintaining service quality under pressure. Make your team’s next Black Friday a stress-free experience.

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What is role-playing?

In customer service training, role-playing is an interactive technique in which your customer service reps act out various scenarios to practice and improve their skills.

Ideally, your role-playing scenarios should closely mimic your team's challenges in real work situations. Sometimes, you can train your customer support team on the job, letting them observe or participate in similar but less demanding versions of their target scenarios.

Why does role-playing benefit your training?

Let’s admit this customer service reality—when a customer says something, it’s a fact for them. Putting yourself in their shoes is easier if you practice role-playing with your colleagues. It might seem unserious at first, but you’ll quickly understand that your empathy for customers can (and should) be the same as your empathy toward a friend in need.

Also, role-playing with other trainees leaves room for mistakes and guarantees clear feedback afterward. Your customers won’t always be eager to share an in-depth opinion about your interaction or might even be unable to pinpoint why they didn’t feel well taken care of. An experienced customer service rep who you role-play with will be able to tell you what you did well and what needs improvement.

Ideas for role-playing for customer service agents

Extraterrestrial step-by-step: Assume the colleague you role-play with comes from another planet. They don’t know the obvious things you do. Give them instructions to do a specific task while they reenact them. This will help you open your mind to the struggles new customers may face in technical interface and refine your ability to give clear and precise instructions.

Explain it like I’m five: While some concepts may seem obvious to us, they’re not that easy for others—especially not five-year-olds. Practice explaining complex processes as if you’re talking to a kid. This training helps simplify your language and make your instructions more accessible.

Language barrier in customer interactions: Engage in scenarios where customers speak different languages to improve communication skills.

Angry customer, happy customer: This classic lets you role-play angry and happy customers to understand different emotional responses and learn how to handle each effectively.

Customer who tries to bribe you to achieve something: We’ve all been in a situation where we needed a favor, like forgetting to return an item on time and hoping the customer service rep would overlook the deadline. Role-play this scenario with a colleague to practice maintaining integrity and professionalism. Maybe you’ll get to know your colleagues' weak spots as well.

Emotionally charged scenarios: Go beyond the typical role-plays by including emotionally-charged scenarios that require advanced empathy and emotional intelligence. For example, handle a distressed customer who has experienced a personal loss, teaching agents how to offer support and maintain professionalism under pressure.

Exaggerated scenarios: Training with your colleagues creates a safe space where you can get a little unserious. Try thinking of the most ridiculous, exaggerated scenarios that come to your mind and reenact them in role-playing. For example, pretend a customer asks, "Why is my chat history in the past?"


Storytelling is a powerful tool for engaging and motivating learners in business e-learning. Incorporating stories into your e-learning content helps learners relate to the material on a personal level and retain the information more effectively. 

A study found that only 5% of people could recall specific statistics after a presentation with raw data, while 63% could remember the stories. This indicates that storytelling significantly enhances information retention, making it a crucial tool in training.

Stories can create an emotional connection with the learning material, which motivates learners to learn and apply what they’ve learned to their work. Storytelling, whether through case studies, real-life examples, or fictional stories, can help bring your customer service training to life and make it a more meaningful experience.

Ideas for storytelling training 

Customer service diaries: Create a diary format where trainees follow a "day in the life" of a customer service agent who handles various challenging scenarios. Each diary entry can highlight different lessons and best practices, making the training more relatable and personal. For even higher relatability, encourage your team members to share their favorite customer stories.

Colleague case studies: Share real-life examples of great customer service and lessons learned from past experiences.


What is microlearning?

Microlearning delivers bite-sized chunks of content that are easy to digest and remember. It’s like learning in small, manageable doses.

Microlearning is a required modern technique—the average human attention span in 2013 was 8 seconds, down from 12 seconds in 2000. With the popularity of short video content, we can only deduce that the trend has continued to decrease. 

That’s why microlearning proves to be highly effective. It caters to the modern learner’s preference for short, digestible content.

Why implement microlearning in your customer service training?

Microlearning supports continuous learning and can be accessed on-demand, making it flexible and convenient. 47% of learning and development teams plan to deploy microlearning programs in 2024, so it's a trend worth adopting when brainstorming your customer service training ideas.

Ideas for microlearning

Short videos: Create brief instructional videos on specific topics or skills.

Infographics: Use visually appealing infographics to summarize important information.

Quizzes: Develop quick quizzes to reinforce learning and assess knowledge retention.

Flashcards: Offer digital flashcards for on-the-go review of key concepts.

Email nuggets: Send daily or weekly emails with bite-sized training content, such as tips, mini case studies, or quick quizzes.

Customer service training tools

62% of customer service training is done online. With remote work, tools designed to help you train your team online have grown in popularity. 

E-learning has truly changed customer service training by making it more accessible, flexible, and engaging. Instead of scheduling rigid in-person sessions, employees can learn at their own pace.

Conducting customer service training through a dedicated tool helps you ensure that everyone gets the same high-quality content, no matter where they are. Interactive modules and real-world scenarios make the learning experience more dynamic and relatable.

Ultimately, it’s a win-win—your customer service team will feel more confident and equipped to handle customer interactions, and businesses will enjoy better customer feedback.

Simulated hands-on training

Some types of simulation in training are present in almost any industry. Simulation creates a safe, risk-free environment where customer service agents can practice and hone their skills by engaging in realistic scenarios that mirror customer interactions. 

This type of training allows your team to navigate complex situations, experiment with different approaches, and receive immediate feedback, all without the pressure of a customer at the second end of the line.

Simulated training scenarios give you the advantage of training your team with the most common processes and often repeated complex cases. Better preparation results in more confident agents who don’t make mistakes under stress.

Customer service training courses

Platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning offer a range of customer service courses. These platforms provide flexibility and vast resources that your customer service team can access from the convenience of their work location.

Learning management systems (LMS)

LMS tools like Moodle, TalentLMS, and Anthology help manage and deliver training programs. They offer features like course tracking, assessments, and progress reporting to help keep training organized and effective.

Electronic performance support systems (EPSS)

EPSS provides on-the-job assistance by offering immediate, on-demand access to information, tools, and resources to help your team perform tasks effectively. These systems are integrated into the workflow, allowing your support team to find answers and guidance without interrupting work.

Gamification in training

Gamification introduces game design elements and principles into a non-game context. It enhances user engagement, motivation, and overall experience. 

Your employees associate gaming with a positive and happy activity. 60% of Americans are gamers, and two-thirds of them cited that their most important reasons for gaming are passing time and stress relief.

A recent study shows that 90% of employees feel gamification makes them more productive. Companies that implement gamification in the workplace see a 48% increase in engagement. Gamification leverages the psychological rewards and incentives found in games to encourage participation and productivity.

Key elements of gamification include a point reward system, badges, a leaderboard, challenges and quests, and progress bars. All this is constructed to resemble the exciting aspects of gaming and a level of competition between your team members.

While optional, having simple but thoughtful rewards for leaderboard winners can increase their willingness to actively participate in your customer service training. 

What are the benefits of gamification?

  1. Enhanced engagement: Games feel indefinitely more unserious than strict training. Gamification makes tasks more enjoyable and interactive, increasing user engagement and participation.
  2. Motivation and productivity: Rewards and recognition motivate people to perform better and stay committed to their tasks.
  3. Skill development: Gamified challenges and quests allow your team to develop new skills and improve existing ones in a fun and engaging way.
  4. Behavioral change: Gamification can encourage positive behavioral changes by rewarding desired actions and providing feedback on performance.

Ideas for gamification in customer service training

Point system: Implement a point system where employees earn points for completing training activities, participating in role-playing exercises, or providing excellent service in customer service simulations. The accumulated points could be redeemed for rewards. Ask your employees what they’d like to compete for to make this a real incentive!

Leaderboards: Display leaderboards that rank employees based on their performance in training exercises, quizzes, and customer satisfaction scores. This fosters a sense of competition and motivates employees to improve.

Monthly competitions: Organize competitions where employees compete in various customer service challenges, such as handling complex customer scenarios or resolving issues quickly.

Achievement badges: Award badges for completing training modules, mastering specific skills, or achieving high scores in quizzes. Get creative here! Since gamification is lighthearted, keep the badges the same and let your team decide whether they want to be a “Customer Maestro” or a “Ticket Sonic.”

Advanced customer service training techniques and trends

Personalized learning paths

Just as your customers appreciate a personal touch, so does your team. Personalized learning paths tailor training programs to each employee's specific needs, strengths, and learning styles. 

By assessing individual skills, needs, and knowledge gaps, personalized learning paths can create a more engaging and effective training experience. Employees receive content most relevant to their roles, allowing them to progress at their own pace and focus on areas where they need the most improvement.

Develop a modular customer service training program where employees can choose from various training modules based on their roles and interests. Each module should be designed to target specific skills or knowledge areas.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning

74% of US executives believe that generative AI will benefit their employees. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) transform customer service training by providing data-driven insights and automating repetitive tasks.

AI can analyze performance data to identify skill gaps, provide feedback, and recommend personalized training modules. AI-powered chatbots can simulate customer interactions, providing employees with realistic practice scenarios after analyzing provided historical cases. 

Finally, machine learning algorithms can adapt training content in real time based on an employee's progress, keeping the training relevant and challenging.

Customer service team specializations

Each member of your team has a unique personality and an aptitude for certain tasks. Recognizing and nurturing these specializations can significantly enhance the overall performance of your customer service team.

Specializations allow employees to focus on areas where they excel, whether it’s technical support, conflict resolution, or sales. By aligning training programs with individual strengths, you develop experts in various aspects of customer service, creating a more versatile and effective team.

This approach improves job satisfaction and ensures that customers receive the highest level of service from knowledgeable and skilled representatives.

Make your training better with AgentTrainer

AgentTrainer is a multifunctional tool designed to change the way you train your team. It covers all the fundamental features that influence a good training program. Its deep integration with one of the most popular online messaging solutions, LiveChat, makes it the perfect tool for your customer service training.

Create a rich and cohesive learning experience by combining all of the available training features:

Quiz-based training

Quizzes are one of the most popular forms of training. With AI-powered features and high customization, AgentTrainer lets you create them based on your existing LiveChat data. 

You can also manually add a quiz to train your agents on topics yet to be discussed on chats.

Customer simulation

Run hands-on training with AI-powered customer simulation. Help your newcomers get a stress-free chat experience with a simulated environment to familiarize themselves with chatting and its perks. You can also use this feature during hiring for a quick practice run of potential candidates.

Moreover, you’ll also be able to assess your more experienced team members’ skills—customer simulations can start in the background, just as regular chats do. You’ll be able to see exactly how your team handles your company’s processes or more complex customer issues.

Customer simulation also allows you to configure different customer personas with which your team will chat during the simulations. You can use real-life examples as inspiration for these personas or get creative and create some real rowdy ones.


AgentTrainer features include training gamification. In addition to a global ranking, you can run tournaments within the application, motivating your team to learn through friendly competition.

Educational materials attachment

AgentTrainer allows you to add insightful educational materials for your team to learn from before training or an exam. Whether it’s industry-specific information, company policies, or customer service best practices, you can add any resources your team may find insightful.

Exams and training

After completing customer service training, it’s crucial to assess your agents' knowledge and skills. AgentTrainer allows you to conduct exams, providing a clear way to measure the effectiveness of your training. Exams help ensure your team’s customer service skills are top-notch and thoroughly evaluated.

If you’d like to go beyond customer service training, AgentTrainer is designed to help you train your entire organization. While it’s deeply integrated within the LiveChat ecosystem, you can always invite external users with limited access.

LiveChat takes your customer support to another level

Beyond having a strong training program and the right tools, a comprehensive customer service solution is invaluable for helping your team achieve its goals.

That’s where LiveChat comes into play.

LiveChat is one of the leading online messaging platforms and a definitive solution that enables you to provide quality customer service, boost sales, and deepen customer relations.

With LiveChat, your team can:

Ready, set, solve

Great customer service can set your business apart. With well-crafted, engaging training programs, you’re equipping your team with the tools they need to make that happen.

There’s some truth in saying most of us would like to forget everything and just go back to school. People love to learn! Embrace new training methods, and keep the learning experience fresh and fun to keep that spark going. 

Here’s to creating fantastic customer experiences, one training session at a time.

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