Customer Success

Creating a Comprehensive Customer Service Training Manual (+ Free Template)

Need to create a customer service training manual? We've got you covered with a free customer service training manual template.

Introduction

‎Customer service today is no longer considered a reactive strategy to limit costs. Rather, it is now a part of a predictive strategy aimed at delivering additional value to the customers.

According to Gartner, by 2025, customer service and support organizations will leverage data and analytics and automate basic resolution tasks to predict and prevent issues. Leaders will reorient their investments and strategies from mitigating costs to delivering value. Needless to say, to transform your customer service, you need to empower your customer service team so that they can deliver outstanding customer service. 

What is a customer service training manual?

A customer service training manual is the ‘guiding star’ for your customer service team to self-train and respond to specific customer queries.

A good customer service training manual should include all the essential information your customer service team needs to respond to each customer query. 

What are the components of a customer service training manual?

Creating a customer service training manual is difficult, especially if you build it from scratch. So to help you get started, we have included all the essential elements that a good customer service training manual should include. Remember, along with the detail of problem-solving measures, it should also include how the customer service experience would be throughout the customer lifecycle. 

Company’s values, mission & ethics

Your customer service employees are the first touch point of your customers. So your customer service employees should understand and live by the company’s values and what it stands for. Begin your customer training manual by spelling out these details and guidelines on how the team should demonstrate the company values in each of their actions. 

Products & service knowledge

Good customer service begins with strong product and domain knowledge. Ensure the training manual has everything a new customer service rep needs to know about the product and the services. Do a periodic review of the training manual to ensure it captures all the latest product updates.

Dos & don'ts rule

This is extremely important for a customer service rep to understand how far they can go to solve a customer’s problem and what protocol they need to follow. If exceptions are allowed, it needs to be included in the document as well. Ensure you consider various use cases and answer the specific queries that may arise while interacting with a customer.

Addressing a conflict

Not all customer-employee interactions will be pleasant, especially when a customer is frustrated. How is the customer satisfaction rep going to handle such situations? How can one arrive at a proper resolution? Set a clear guideline while reinforcing that every communication needs to be dealt with much empathy.

Remember, customer satisfaction has to be your end goal at all times. 

Escalation process

Not all customer issues can be solved in one interaction. In case escalation is needed, what will be the process for escalation? Set up a detailed guideline for the escalation process. 

Create an FAQ

Ask your customer service team about the most common issues they counter daily and make a list of them as frequently asked questions and how to resolve those issues quickly. This can become a helpful starter section for any new customer service rep who joins the team. 

What are the benefits of using a customer service training manual?

A customer service training manual is an easy reference for the customer service team to refer to whenever in doubt about how to tackle a customer issue. It also serves as the foundation for every team member. 

It gives a context to the employee — how their role can affect the company's bottom line. When the employees know their role can significantly impact the company's reputation and bottom line, they feel more motivated and empowered to connect better with the customers.

A customer service training manual teaches the customer service team how to resolve issues and make customers happy so they keep returning to you. 

Training is an important part of employee retention. Employees who receive on-the-job training feel happy and satisfied and tend to stay around for longer.

Including scenario-based teaching in the training manual is a great way to teach soft skills to employees. So leverage the training manual to impart necessary soft skill training to help the customer service rep do their job better. 

 Free customer service training manual template

As you begin to create your customer service training manual, it can be helpful to have a starting point.

That's why we've created a customer service training manual template to help guide you in putting together a comprehensive manual for your team.

This template includes all the essential elements that a good customer service training manual should have, such as information on company values and mission, product and service knowledge, guidelines for addressing conflicts and escalation processes, and frequently asked questions.

By using this customer service training manual template, you can ensure that you have covered all the important topics and can focus on customizing it to fit the specific needs of your organization. It's a great resource that can save you time and help you provide your team with the tools they need to excel in their customer service roles.

Customer service training manual best practices

An effective customer service manual should empower your customer service team and help them do their job in the best possible ways. Here are some recommendations of best practices that you can adopt while creating your customer service training manual.

Preach empathy

Every customer service interaction should be guided by empathy. Preach your customer service reps how to manifest empathy by active listening, understanding how the customer might feel, and how they can quickly resolve and minimize their frustration. 

Define the scope of customer service

Companies that offer exemplary customer service don't just restrict it to the concerned team. Instead, customer service starts right from the CEO across the departments and every rank in the ecosystem. Modern customer service is beyond resolving customer issues; your employees need to see that. So your training document shouldn't be restricted to how a customer service rep is supposed to behave in a certain situation, but how the company drives a customer service culture across the organization. 

Create resource section

Along with the customer service training manual, create additional resources to help employees do their job better. For example, you can build a resource section for product information, sales and marketing information, escalation procedures, etc.

Keep the manual updated

As your business evolves, you will be coming across new situations. The business environment may change too. So it's necessary to review your training manual from time to time and keep it up to date. Keeping everything documented can help to resolve similar issues that may arise in the future. Keeping your training manual on a centralized platform with easy access to everyone will save you from creating duplicate copies. A single document should serve as the single source of truth. 

Keep the document engaging

You don't want to create a 100-page long text-heavy document that no one wants to read! Today's training manual can be informative as well as engaging too. Use rich media, audio, video, and images to make it more interactive. You can use Scribe to create step-by-step visual guides to resolve issues. 

Emphasis on positive communication

Customer service is all about building a process for positive customer intersection. While creating your customer service training manual, emphasize the importance of positive communication, how to do it in the day-to-day task and why it is so crucial to have a positive interaction culture for the brand. 

Don't assume — spell out everything

The customer service training manual should serve as the foundation for your customer service team.

Spell out the basics so the team can refer to them whenever needed rather than assuming things. Cite examples and scenarios for easy understandability. Keep the language simple and make it engaging. You can use Scribe to create standard operating procedures and process documentation guides to help your customer service teams understand how to tackle any issue step-by-step.

For example, if your customer service rep need to learn how to turn on automatic replies in Gmail, here’s how you can create a SOP document using Scribe.

Include the refund/return policies

Return and refund are some of the most common customer issues. So you must create a separate section on the return and refund policies of your company and include them in your training manual so that the customer service reps are well aware of it. 

Who has the decision-making power?

Resolving certain customer issues may need to have decision-making powers. For example, does your customer service representative have the power to issue a return, discount, or honor the warranty?

While it is important to empower your customer service reps to make quick decisions to keep the customer delight factor high, many brands rely on the higher-ups' decision-making power in the hierarchy. No matter what, give it a thought and keep it clear to everyone. If a customer service rep makes a promise that cannot be honored by the company, it can negatively impact the brand's reputation. 

Create in multiple formats

Once your customer service training manual is ready, publish it in multiple formats like PDF, ebook, or printed handbook and keep it easily accessible to the entire team. 

Creating a customer service training manual from scratch may seem daunting, but knowing what to include can give you a direction to get started. Further, you can use Scribe to create easy-to-understand SOPs to help your customer service team members understand how to resolve issues quickly.

See what happy Scribe customers say:

"I love that I'm able to create training materials so quickly and easily. All I have to do is turn on the extension, and then I can just click through a few steps and create an amazing training resource for my time." Source: G2

Deliver value to your customers with a customer service training manual template

In conclusion, customer service has evolved from just trying to limit costs to delivering value to customers. By 2025, companies will be using data and analytics to predict and prevent customer issues.

It's important to shift our focus from just trying to save costs to delivering value. A customer service training manual is an essential tool to help your team provide great service.

If you're starting from scratch, our free template made with Scribe is a great place to kick off.

It includes everything you need to know, from company values and mission to how to handle conflicts and escalation processes. By providing your team with the right tools, you can not only improve customer satisfaction but also boost your company's reputation and bottom line.