Customer service training activities usually refer to activities that can be performed in a social setting. Examples include games, improv, discussions and all sorts of training enhancement activities that don’t pertain directly to the traditional “classes” that are involved in corporate settings. A lot of people overlook new or out-of-the-box customer service training activities. Why? People have a limited amount of time and they favor spending their available time on the traditional courses and classes that are considered ‘ the meat’ of training. But, it’s a bad idea to overlook new alternatives as they often break the monotony of standard training. Most employees view training as a chore. So it’s about time you make a change and add some fun to the routine. Let’s take a look at some different kinds of training activities – in a little more detail – and see why they’re beneficial. #1 – Social Games Social games may sound like a task performed over social networks (given the popularity of this term nowadays), but that’s a misnomer here. Social games refers to activities that are done live, in person with people. A social setting involves trainees, employees, leaders, managers and as many staff members as you can gather – arranged into relevant teams or groups. Social games don’t have to be complex; they can be as simple as verbal interactions/ discussions. The purpose is to practice, learn and share experiences. They serve to reinforce the human element in customer service and customer support. (I’ve written a few lists with some recommendations in this department, and they’re available elsewhere in this archive if you’re interested). Social games break the monotony of corporate workplace training and add a bit of excitement for the staff. #2 – Listen-Ins These used to be a standard practice in training. New customer service staff members ‘listened in’ on real support calls that have been ‘recorded for quality assurance and training purposes.’ The team leader would then analyze the call, and a discussion would ensue on whether or not the call was handled properly. Nowadays very few instances of ‘listen-ins’ are being used. It is time consuming and there are more efficient employee training methods available. However, that does not mean that ‘listen-ins should be completely eliminated. Having a group listen to these calls in a relaxed social setting, and then point out the mistakes – or good moves – is a great idea. #3 – Informal Sessions Basically, informal sessions exist to combat the boring monotony and tedium of lectures and group meetings. Your training group can meet offsite at a restaurant, park, bowling alley or other relaxed location. (Make sure wherever you meet, food and beverages are available; hungry people get cranky). Once you’ve gathered at an offsite destination, you can conduct some of your social games. Adding physical activity and props to a game always adds excitement (i.e. hot potato with company trivia questions or true-or-false games with prizes). Training should start with an icebreaker and lead into more serious topics; concerns, current issues or a learning sessions. You can be as creative as you want, assuming your activity doesn’t disturb the bystanders around you. Customer service training activities go beyond traditional lectures and meetings. Try implementing some of the tips and activities above into your company’s next training session and let me know how it goes!