Trainer Support Materials

Icebreakers for customer service training

A successful icebreaker can make or break your training sessions. Here are some icebreaker suggestions.

25th September 2023

Icebreakers for customer service training
In the realm of customer service, the first impression is everything. It sets the tone for the entire customer experience. Similarly, the beginning of a training session sets the stage for the learning experience. Icebreakers are an essential tool to kick off customer service training, ensuring participants are engaged, comfortable, and ready to absorb the material. Here are some icebreakers inspired by the activities available on Experiential Learning Tools:

Images Of Customer Experience:
This activity immerses participants in various customer service scenarios using carefully designed images.

In this activity we present participants with 16 different images depicting various customer experiences. The facilitator invites participants to choose an image that resonates with them the most in terms of a personal (positive or negative) customer experience and share why. This activity not only breaks the ice but also brings to the forefront the diverse perspectives on customer service and leads to in-depth discussions amongst the cohort around real ways to improve customer experiences.

This is one of our most popular activities and focuses on effective communication and team building, highlighting the challenges caused by imprecise communication.

The group works together to gather information that will allow them to solve a puzzle. A number of team and individual skills are required to be successful: information and group management, effective listening and questioning, strong chairing skills, the ability to clarify and summarise and the need for feedback to ensure understanding. 
The ability to really listen to customers and provide unambiguous information is a key component in improving customer experiences.

Celtic Cross:
Celtic Cross is a popular and challenging team problem solving activity with powerful messages about managing team communication - teams need to create a process to manage and categorise individual contributions and shared understanding.

Everyone needs to contribute not only specific information that they have, but to help to build a plan based on critical thinking to solve the problem. This is an excellent opener to any training session aimed at finding ways to improve customers service within teams.

Seeing the Point:
Our most popular icebreaker activity designed to develop innovation skills and problem-solving. Teams are given a collection of shapes and are tasked with using them to create more than appears possible ...

The activity has two distinct stages:

  • Small Group Innovation: Participants, divided into small sub-teams, utilize their given components to craft as many unique shapes as possible.
  • Collaborative Creativity?: The small groups are then challenged to consider if there is a different method that can lead them to even bettter results? Will tehy choose collaorative creativity as a differnt way of working?

It's a simple, fun and engaging way to get participants thinking 'outside the box' and working collaboratively - crucial skills when facing unique customer issues.

Why use icebreakers in Customer Service Training?
Customer service is all about human interaction. It's about understanding, empathy, innovation and effective communication. Icebreakers, when chosen correctly, can mirror these elements, making them an invaluable tool in training sessions. They:

  • Engage participants: A well-chosen icebreaker captures attention, ensuring that participants are mentally present and engaged from the start.
  • Build trust: By encouraging participants to share and interact in a non-threatening manner, icebreakers can foster trust among participants, creating a safe learning environment.
  • Highlight key concepts: Many icebreakers, like the ones listed above, are not just fun activities. They are designed to highlight key concepts that will be covered in the training, providing a practical context.
  • Encourage participation: Icebreakers can help even the most reserved participants to open up, ensuring that everyone's voice is heard during the training session.
  • Rehearse positive behaviours: Icebreakers can allow participants to rehearse key skills or desireable new behaviours that can be immediately applied in the workplace.

Incorporating icebreakers into your customer service training can set a positive tone, ensuring that participants are receptive to the training material. The activities from Experiential Learning Tools offer a range of engaging icebreakers that not only warm up the group but also drive home essential customer service principles.

All the activities listed above are available to all Experiential Learning Tools subscribers and you can get instant access by subscribing today from less that £35 per month (billed annually).

Michael Hayes @experientialLT

Head of Product at Experiential Learning Tools

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