Editor’s Note: Today we’re going behind the scenes at Lehman’s (or in this case, the phones). Lori Showalter, Lehman’s Trainer, gives us an inside look at the product certification program that our Customer Service Representatives go through, so they’re ready to help you.
Written By Lori Showalter
Here at Lehman’s, we take product knowledge very seriously. We don’t want to just sell products – we want to educate and offer assistance, both before and after our customers make their purchases. Our talented Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) answer hundreds of calls per day, taking orders and answering questions. In addition to a rigorous training process to learn how to use our computer system to take orders, track shipments, check product availability, and more, our CSRs also receive training in some of our key product categories: food preservation, grain mills, lighting, water filters, and water pumps.
There is also one stand-alone product with its own training class, and that is for the Aladdin lamps. This course offers a deep-dive into this extensive and fascinating brand of oil lamps.
We started an official training/certification program for our CSRs in 2008. The goal of the program is to equip our CSR staff, who are the first point of contact, with detailed product knowledge. Our CSRs are able to answer the majority of questions immediately, which provides quick and effective customer service. An added benefit is that our retail staff is then free to assist customers in-person with fewer phone call interruptions from transferred calls. CSRs are rewarded for their effort of attaining certifications by receiving a pay increase for each certification they earn.
As new CSRs are hired, they attend an in-depth training class in each product area. They are then tested to evaluate their level of comprehension, with each test consisting of anywhere from 30 to 60 questions. A minimum score of 95% is required to achieve certification. One retake is allowed, if the test is not passed the first time. The passing rate is nearly 100% each year, which is a testament to the dedication of each member of our CSR team. After certification is achieved, all CSRs are required to attend a refresher training class once every year, which also covers any new products that may have been added to our product line.
It’s all part of our goal to help you live a simpler life!
The product training and certification curriculum was created and is administered by Lori Showalter, Trainer. Now in her 20th year at Lehman’s, Lori has a Bachelor’s degree in education, and was a CSR for 5 years prior to becoming Lehman’s in-house Trainer, in 2006.