Retention & Engagement

8 Keys To Drive Your Customer Service Team to Success

Customer Service

Customers are at the heart of any business, big or small. One unhappy customer can pull you down to business hell in no time. Even before social media, negative press and bad word of mouth got around much faster than positive ones. A Zendesk survey found that 95% share bad customer experiences with other people compared to 87% who share good experiences. And customers are not very generous with giving second chances because one bad experience will drive 40% of customers away for two or more years and ask their friends and family to do the same. Ouch.

Customer ServiceEveryone on the team must share the goal of customer satisfaction. Customer service must be something natural to employees, especially the contact center. The service should be helpful, supportive, uncomplicated, and a pleasant experience in general. But if your customer service team are all too eager to put down the phone (because customers can be really driving them crazy), how do you get them back on track? Here are eight tricks to motivate your customer service team and earn your company or business loyal (and hopefully more forgiving) customers.

Communicate Openly And Clearly

Improve communication channels between your customer service team and the management. Really listen to what the team has to say about customer service in your company because only then can you actually understand and improve. Communicating with them on a regular basis will make them feel that they are working for a company that really cares about people and so should they.

Dont Keep Them From Doing Their Job

Call center staff may be seen as entry-level kind of job in most companies. But the impact of their service to any company is very valuable. Help them do their job well by giving them resources and equipment that will also ensure that they give the best service to the customers. Even the most skilled call center agent won’t be able to do his job if his computer is always broken. Don’t expect satisfied customers if your contact center has no choice but to keep them waiting.

Give Them Feedback

Never ignore the type of job that they do. They are the ones who deal with the real bosses of the company: the customers. Quarterly evaluation is okay but these are employees who need more than numbers and metrics. Talk to them and tell them how they are doing. Be honest. Encourage positive performance at all times.

Be Generous With Praise

Do you know what motivates people to roll out of bed and go to work? It’s not so much because they fear losing their jobs (37%) but because they want to be appreciated (81%). Career site Glassdoor found in a survey that employees are motivated to work harder if their bosses knew how to show appreciation and a majority said they would stay at their company longer. Be generous with praise if it is deserved.

Manage Their Workload

Being considerate should not be seen as a weakness. Do not give them a ton of work in one day and expect them to perfectly finish each one at the end of every day. These are humans, not robots. One survey in Australia found that a third of call center agents experience high levels of stress mainly because of unrealistic performance targets. So be reasonable with your demands or you will see your prized employees running for the door in no time.

Shared Goals And Objectives

When it comes to the vision and goals of your company, always keep them in the loop. You can’t expect them to have the same drive as the management if they don’t know what they are aiming for. Show them how they can contribute to a long term vision and when they do, give them a sense of achievement.

Develop Their Skills

It’s not about the money all the time. Motivate your customer service team by showing them that the opportunities ahead are limitless. Show them that you will hold their hand as they go up the ladder by helping them develop their skills and giving them relevant training. An international survey by PwC showed that training opportunities and professional development are of greatest value to millennials or Gen Y, the new force in the workplace where most call center staff belongs. So if you are still thinking cash bonuses is the only thing that works, it is time to rethink your strategy.

Trust Them

Trust them to do their jobs well. If you are constantly watching over their shoulders, they will be intimidated, overly conscious and worst, their self-esteem will suffer. Supervise them but give them space and even allowance for mistakes.

Customers need to feel valued. And when they feel that a company genuinely cares, they don’t mind returning the favor at all. In fact, a report by Oracle showed that 86% of customers are willing to pay more for better customer support. To achieve this, you need not only spot a good customer service agent upon hiring. You must also make it a point to keep them motivated. Value your customer service team as much as you want them to value your customers.

Category: Retention & Engagement Talent Management

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Avatar About the Author: John Anderson
  1. Ken Lakin

    June 24, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    This is very good Arthur. I will share with my former co-worker who is head of crm and has a good handle on it…i’m sure he will appreciate this.

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