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How to get the best out of your customer service team

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John Sherman
2016-10-24

Proper procedures may be the foundation to a successful customer experience, but they are nothing without the group of people who are performing them.

According to an article in Forbes Magazine, 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for good service. A company might have an award-winning plan to ensure customer satisfaction, but if the employee assisting that individual is not up to par there is an automatic decrease in the chance of conversion.

Achieving greatness amongst your customer service team might seem tricky, but there are three key factors that can make all the difference:

  • Capability
  • Motivation
  • Understanding

Abiding by these basic ideas will help to ensure successful business practices, happy customers, and an effective customer service team that keeps things running smoothly.

Capability

When a business owner wants to improve their customer service tactics, they need to start from the ground up.  Choosing employees that exhibit certain necessary skills will allow them to best serve their customers.

Traits like adaptability and patience can make a huge difference in the grand scheme of things. Not only is each customer different, but also every situation itself is unique. Employees that bestow natural flexibility will have the ability to appeal to a broader variety of personality types and needs.

Managers and owners should also look for team members with great communication skills.

In today’s modern world the digital contact portals available are extensive. Not only are customers calling businesses on the phone, they’re emailing and looking for live chat opportunities. The ability to clearly communicate throughout these different forms is essential to providing a positive customer experience.

Not only will your customers feel more understood themselves, they will also feel more confident about the information the customer service team is providing.

It may seem obvious to say, but knowledge is another key factor in excellent customer service. Guaranteeing someone who has had proper training and education is assisting your customers will help safeguard the company against potential issues.

In a recent Huffington Post article, an intriguing question was posed:

“Are your customer service representatives enabled to be the best they can be…?”

Hiring on team members with the right skills and capabilities is the perfect first step to answering yes to this question and achieving a great reputation for quality customer service.

Motivation

Time and experience have shown many bosses that there is a direct correlation between happy employees and successful customer service. When a member of the team is being positively motivated on a regular basis, their desire to good work is exponentially higher.

In order to properly motivate employees, a business owner should look at things like:

  • Employee Appreciation
  • Friendly Competition
  • Regular Feedback

Employee Appreciation

Letting your employees know how much they are appreciated is a great way to provide motivation. All too often, business higher ups forget to convey gratitude for the work their teams are doing.

When a customer service employee is consistently putting forth a ton of effort but never being acknowledged, their drive to do more will quickly begin to weaken. High morale is key and it’s incredible how much a simple thank you can make a difference.

When a person is happy at work, that happiness will rub off on the customers, which will, in turn, positively affect sales.

Friendly Competition

Fostering a little friendly competition throughout the workplace is a great way to motivate your customer service team. Whether the award is a small bonus in their paycheck or a restaurant gift card, people love a challenge and a little good-natured competition will bring a sense of fun to the job.

Competitions provide goals that give team members something to work towards. They inspire dedication and increased efforts that will result in higher sales rates for the company.

Regular Feedback

Whether it’s nothing but raving compliments or a little bit of constructive criticism, the opportunity for a customer service employee to sit down with their boss is an invaluable chance for motivation.

Not only do these meetings provide a platform for feedback, they also offer the employee a chance to discuss any questions or concerns they may be facing.

However big your company is, taking the time out for a one-on-one chat with your employees allows you to focus on them and their needs. This will not only provide a fresh perspective for both boss and team member but will often encourage higher respect throughout the company.

Understanding

When you’re trying to figure out how to get your customer service team performing at their best, one of the most helpful answers is to walk a mile in their shoes.

Taking the time out of your busy schedule to spend a day working in customer service will provide you with the firsthand knowledge needed to truly understand the work being done and the expectations of your consumers.

You will have the chance to interact with your own service equipment and products, which will unveil potential weaknesses in the system. This will help you determine what types of reevaluation and re-training may need to occur

Logistics aside, however, seeing your company from the other side of the counter will probably give you a newfound respect for the work that your employees do. As a result, your customer service team will feel encouraged by your own dedication to the work.

Improving Your Business’ Success from the Inside-Out

A high performing customer service team is a major key to successful business practices.

Your customer service employees are the face and voice of your company. Their happiness and effort will directly affect the number of successful customer experiences you see and will keep said customers coming back for years to come.

A company with a reputation for amazing customer service speaks volumes in the world of business and it doesn’t take much to get there. If you remember the three main topics mentioned in this article: capability, motivation, and understanding, you will be laying the groundwork needed to become a triumph in the customer service industry.

 

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