Excellent customer service is an absolute must. Even if your products and services are great, people will be less likely to return to you for round two if they had a negative experience with your customer service staff. Putting customers first is the cornerstone of any successful business, and in order to accomplish that feat, you’ll need a team of customer service rock stars. If you want to assemble an iron clad team, it all starts with the way you present the position.
Customer service can be a tough job. Some people naturally excel in the field, and these are the people you want to receive resumes from. It all starts with the perfect job description. Before you run to Gumtree to copy and paste something generic, think about the intricacies of the position. Do you want someone who already has experience working in your niche, therefore making them adept at handling common issues within your industry? Be as specific as you can about what you need and what the job entails.
Diversity in a team is important, no matter what that team is doing. If you have someone who is great with the written word but not a strong verbal communicator, that’s excellent. This is the person you want working email support. Not everyone is perfect all around, but since you’re relying on the strength of a team, you can choose people who specialize in specific areas of customer service. They will merge together to make a giant service superhero.
Customer service professionals need a lot of training. You want them to know everything about the basics of the job, but you also want to prepare them for unlikely scenarios. What happens if your company faces a data breach and call volumes skyrocket? How do you want them to execute your disaster plan? Does your company have a social media policy that you’ll need for them to follow? Training makes the employee – your customer service staff will only be as great as you’ve taught them to be.
Ill-equipped staff will always be less effective – they don’t really have a choice in the matter. Make sure all of your support staff understands how to use your service support tools. This applies to calls, emails, in-person interactions, and social media-based customer support. There are plenty project management technologies available on the market to help your team skyrocket its productivity and keep the communications lines open. Things need to be organized to assure that no customer is overlooked, and your employees will be more productive if they aren’t scrambling to figure out what they’re supposed to do next.
Customer service workers have very hard jobs. Customers can be exceedingly rude – especially when they’re unsatisfied. Your support staff is bound to take some abuse, and they don’t deserve any of it. This can crush their spirits. You need to let them know that you’re there for them. Make sure they get plenty of breaks when things are tough, and celebrate all of their successes. Remind them that they have the full support of their leadership. Back them up, place your trust in them, and empower them to make important choices.
Take time to organize your customer service department with maximum efficiency in mind. You need to provide your customers with a frictionless experience of customer service. So take a closer look at the performance of your team to learn what could be improved. For example, make sure they never over-promise or under-deliver. Organize communication in a way that allows them to reduce the time required to resolve an issue. Make sure that your system supports customers whose issues are complex and might involve the expertise of several different agents – you don’t want to transfer the customer from one person to another, forcing them to repeat the issue each time. Also, find a method to help agents avoid having to check several times to ensure that the issue has been resolved. Incoming requests should be handled in a way that leaves no room for doubt as to whether they’ve been resolved or not. Equip your team with a solid collaboration technology to make the most of their time. By organizing your team’s workflow like that, you’ll make every customer service rep more efficient and satisfied.The best customer service team is knowledgeable, patient, and standing behind a strong leader who understands the nuances of their day to day working lives. Prop them up, give them the right tools and education, and watch them grow.
Jennefer Brunetti is a passionate blogger with a deep interested in self-improvement and self-growth topics. She might often be found online, sharing her stories and tips with both individuals and businesses alike. Feel free to follow Jennefer on @Jenn_Brunetti.