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Customer Service Training For Vape Shops

Customer Service Training For Vape Shops: How to Train Your Vape Shop Staff

Like with any department, the customer service team needs to be trained to become better and more efficient. But how do you go about training? How many training sessions should there be, and more importantly, what should they be trained in? In today’s blog, we answer all these questions to give you the most critical skills every vape store customer service agent needs to develop. 

Table of Contents:

  1. What Is Customer Service Training?
  2. Why Is Customer Service Training Important?
  3. How To Train Staff In Customer Service?
  4. Communication Skills
  5. Emotional Intelligence Skills
  6. Conflict Resolution Skills
  7. General Product Knowledge
  8. Conclusion

What is Customer Service Training?

Customer service training is the concentrated efforts of education and coaching to improve the effectiveness of your customer service staff. It is a continuous process that never stops and always keeps evolving. Any good customer service training will focus on critical areas that improve customer service. These areas could include communication skills, emotional intelligence skills, conflict resolution skills, and general product knowledge. 

Why Is Customer Service Training Important?

There are many reasons why customer service is vital for the success of your vape shop. One of the most important reasons is that well-trained staff can build long-term relationships with your clients, producing a loyal fan base that will entrust you with their money time after time. 

Another primary reason, especially if you own an eCommerce vape shop, is that your audience and their opinions live forever on the web. One poor interaction can lead to a bad review. Because everyone is connected online, it could lead to poor publicity, as customers share their bad experiences with their online social circle. 

Customer service is also related to customer retention. You could have a large customer base because your processes are seamless and don’t require customer service specifically for a transaction to be made. However, as soon as there is a hiccup in the system and customer service is needed, you’ll need well-trained staff to retain these customers. 

Another significant reason customer service training is essential is that your staff needs to know the products and services offered by the vape shop. It’s crucial that when a customer comes with a question, your team can answer it expertly and efficiently, or they will be looking for another shop that can help them. 

How To Train Staff In Customer Service?

There are many kinds of customer service training. For example, you could train your employees for:

  • New Hire Customer Service Training
  • Quarterly or Yearly Customer Service Training
  • Emergency Customer Service Training

New hire customer service training would be the formal training that all staff receives when hired. With this type of customer service staff training, you want to make sure that you familiarize them with the team they will work with, the tools they will use, and their expectations. 

Quarterly and yearly customer service training should be about team building and performing a skills check-in where you make sure the customer service staff is still using the same procedures and processes taught in the new hire customer service training. It should also provide an opportunity for management to sharpen the customer service skills of the customer service staff. 

Finally, emergency customer service training is about pivoting and creating new standards in times of crisis or when new products or services are abruptly changed or updated. A great example of this is the recent vaping mail ban, which changed how to vape companies and vape shops were shipping their products. In this instance, the customer service staff had to be educated on what they could and could not say and the resources they could offer their customers. 

This blog will focus on some of the skills that can be taught in almost every instance of customer service training since they seem to overlap. In the end, we hope you have a good idea of some of the most critical skills every customer service training program needs to teach, no matter what kind of training program you end up using.

Communication Skills

Being a good communicator is an essential skill for any customer service employee, perhaps the most critical skill you should be looking for when hiring. It would help if you had employees that can convey their thoughts clearly, both in written and verbal form. They will, in essence, be the voice of your vape shop, so training that teaches them how to improve their communication skills is pivotal for your shop's success. 

It's essential to train for clarity in writing if a large part of the communication between clients and the customer service staff is email-based. If you are a brick-and-mortar vape shop, transparency is essential when communicating with customers face-to-face. 

Training that considers both types of communication depending on the kind of vape shop you own will ensure your staff is well trained for any customer service interaction. 

Emotional Intelligence Skills

If you want your customer service staff to shine in every interaction, they have with your customers. You need to teach them emotional intelligence skills, like empathy and positivity. These two fundamental skills can be taught and essential for the success of your customer service department. 

Positivity when it comes to customer service is all about using positive communication. It’s about presenting a not-so-positive situation in the most favorable light through the use of language. If, for example, a customer’s favorite vape juice has run out and won’t be available till next month, there are two ways in which a customer service agent can respond:

  1. They can choose to focus on the negative, stating that the vape juice has run out. With a response like “I’m sorry, but we have run out of that specific vape juice.”
  2. Or they can focus on the positive, stating that although the vape juice has run out, it will come back next month. They might communicate something along the lines of “Although we have run out of that juice, I’m glad to tell you that it will come back next month. Would you like to be alerted when it’s back in stock?” This turns a negative situation into a positive one (and possibly creating a future sale). 

Empathy is all about teaching your employees to put themselves in the shoes of the customer. We have all been on the other side of the phone call and know the difference between an empathetic customer service agent and an indifferent one. 

Teaching your workforce to be empathetic is super important because it will lead them to be resourceful, respectful, and above all, treat others like they would like to be treated. This emotional intelligence skill is pivotal and should be considered when creating a customer service training program. 

Conflict Resolution Skills

Conflict resolution skills are essential skills that your team needs to learn and hone. Conflict resolution includes several skills such as patience, active listening, assertiveness, and being direct. These skills will teach your customer service staff how to diffuse a heated interaction between a customer and customer service staff. 

Patience, for starters, is one of the most crucial conflict resolution skills your team needs to hone. Customer service agents will often have to deal with frustrated, angry, and even rude customers, so practicing patience is a skill they quickly develop. They must be willing to practice empathy even when customers are less than kind and patiently listen to their grievances to build a solution. 

This brings us to the next skill, active listening. Patience and active listening go hand in hand. You can't help a confused customer if you can't take the time to listen carefully to what he has to say. Active listening will let the customer service agent carefully assess the situation and allow him to "listen-between-the-lines." For example, let's say a customer explains that he finds his vape juice too harsh and wants to return it. An active listener understanding will undoubtedly help him return the vape juice and suggest a lower nicotine strength vape juice that might be less harsh. Active listening allows the agent to deal with the problem and come up with other creative solutions that might not be obvious to the customer. 

There is also the fact that to bring a conflict to a close, you have to set expectations for what the customer service department can and can't do, and it's the customer service agent's job to do this by being assertive and direct. By clearly stating what you can and can't do for the customer, you let them know right off the bat the limited solution. This will make them more understanding if nothing can be done to correct the problem (for example, their favorite vape juice being discontinued). 

General Product Knowledge

An essential part of any customer service training program is teaching your staff the ins and outs of your sell vape products. Since customers will come to your customer service department with all types of queries, including how products work, what products to buy, etc., your customer service staff must be trained in general product knowledge. 

From vape juice ingredients to nicotine strength, your customer service staff has to educate and enlighten customers whenever they come up with product questions, which will make them do their job better and allow them to sell and create transactions. 

Conclusion

Now that you know some of the essential skills your customer service training should focus on, you can start creating the perfect training program for your employees. There are tons of resources online where you can find some role-playing and practice exercises to boost the areas mentioned above and frameworks on how to set up training programs for maximum effectiveness. 

All in all, remember that this is a constant process that needs to be refined time and time again. Still, if you focus on bettering the skills mentioned above, you will be well on your way to creating excellent customer service training programs.

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Andres Roman

Andres Roman is a content writer with 3+ years of experience, a former three pack a week smoker who used vaping to kick the habit, he now wants to educate the world about the dangers of smoking and the benefits of vaping. You can find him on Linkedin and Twitter.