At the very start of this package, we’re going to reveal the secret to delivering great customer service – Your People.
Yes! Your customer service representatives / agents are the most important aspect of your contact center. Make life easier for them, and they’ll make business easier for you! The truth is – you can have the most innovative customer experience platform in the world and it won’t improve your business if your team is not on the same page, or not cooperating.
In this article, we’ll talk about managing a customer service team and improving performance through various measures. We’ll explore topics that are absolutely essential for managing a customer service team efficiently and effectively. Anyone interested in customer service will surely love and benefit from our techniques and concepts mentioned.
The Art of Customer Service Team Management and Structuring
Let’s take the first step to be an all-star customer service leader.
Knowing What Customers Really Want
Apart from your excellent product or service, your customers want timely, personalized and simpler customer service with immediate solutions to their problem. It includes everything that makes it easier for them to solve their current problem. Customers also ideally want the ability to solve their own problems with self service options.
According to CRM Magazine, 45% of companies offering web or mobile self-service reported an increase in site traffic and reduced phone inquiries.
Creating Buyer Personas of Your Ideal Customer
What are the major type of customers you serve and what are you doing to make their lives easier? Gather insights about your audience and step into their shoes when you enter the customer journey. Use customer feedback to really gain an in-depth understanding of what customers want and what they don’t need.
Creating a Customer Service Vision that Works for Your Call Center
Let’s define outstanding customer service – according to your business. A customer service vision is a clear and defining statement of the level of customer service you wish to provide to your customers. It will define what your customer service will end up looking like in the future – the perfect shared definition of good customer service.
Get this right, and you can enjoy remarkable customer service results in terms of performance, efficiency, and effectiveness. Get this wrong – and everyone in your team will have a different idea about what the business intends to achieve.
Creating SMART Customer Service Goals that Work
French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once said “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Although knowing what you want is a good thing, you need to have a clear-cut plan for achieving it. This is where SMART comes in. The SMART Methodology is a very popular way to clearly define your goals for any activity.
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Relevant
T = Time-Bound
Here is an example of a customer service goal without using SMART: Improving Customer Satisfaction
Here is a example of a good customer service SMART goal: Improving Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score by 5% in 1 Month
Aligning Customer Service Goals with Business Goals
Once you’ve decided on your SMART customer service goals, we’re going to look at your business from a bird’s eye view and figure out how to align your entire business around the goals of the business.Before you start creating customer service goals for your call center,
- Know your business goals, such as reducing costs, increasing revenue, strengthening branding, ensuring consistent growth, improving CX, etc.
- Take your SMART goals and associate each one with a business goal
- Know the reason why your customer service goal links with your business goal
- Never set goals your team finds too hard to achieve
As a customer service manager, your job is to find out what the business goals are, what the customer service goals are, and how to link the two.
Customer Service Scheduling: Managing Customer Service Agent Shifts, Timings and Schedules in Call Centers
Once you have your contact center up and running, you’re going to find that efficiently scheduling agents will greatly impact contact center performance. If you schedule too many employees, you’re wasting resources. If you schedule too few, and you’re customers will need to wait longer.
Getting started with Agent Scheduling:
- Identify Customer Demand with Historical Data and Trends (e.g. emails/hour, calls/hour)
- Staff Customer Demand
- Manage Customer Demand: Identify Days when Customer Demand will Peak, and Anticipate Accordingly
Here’s what to keep in mind:
- Your employees have a life, too!
- Match the employees with the best skills to the time when demand for that particular skillset is high.
- Never compromise on employee wages
- Strive to create happier employees – make it a motto!
Customer Service Quality Analysis (Customer Service QA)
Established customer service leaders often seek ways to improve the service quality to deliver an excellent customer service experience. To do it right, it is necessary to find out where you stand today, and your desired state. To identify the real cause behind a specific problem, it sometimes helps to perform a root-cause analysis. Most types of customer service issues are either product-related service-related, or policy-related.
Companies lose more than $62 billion due to poor customer service, according to NewVoiceMedia.
Online Reputation Management in Customer Service
Although you will never be able to eliminate online customer reviews altogether, you can handle it in much better fashion.
Browsing through social media is currently the most popular activity for people worldwide. But even in the age of social, many brands are still not properly monitoring social media channels to listen in on the conversations of their customers. Every customer has an opinion. And, if a customer is going to rant about a product or service, it’s going to be on social media. This is why some companies go out of their way to provide top-of-the-notch customer service, like Tesla.
Social customer care is one way businesses can show their customers they truly care. Engaging with customers and responding to these comments can really show customers that you care about their opinions, and will consider their feedback no matter what. Not responding to customers on social media can lead to customer frustration, decreased loyalty, and negative word-of-mouth marketing.
Nearly one-third of Facebook users engage with brands regularly, posting more than 2.5 billion comments on Facebook pages every month!
When someone complains about your company online,
- Think with a Calm Mind, and Don’t Flame the Customer
- Resolve the Issue, if Possible
- Show Other Customers Who Read the Review that You’re Listening and You Care
- Find the Root Cause of the Issue, and Fix it
Ideally, every contact should have a customer service guidebook to give their agents a clearer picture of their tone, language and style.
Customer Service Systems Analysis and Monitoring
Sometimes, there are problems in customer service processes and systems your agents depend on to work efficiently. It could be a bad product, an undependable service, or something that just doesn’t work. Such broken systems can negatively impact employee loyalty, morale and business results. As a customer service leader, it is up to you to fix the problems in the underlying system that makes everything work.
Customer Service Agent Empowerment
Perform a Skills Assessment, and Provide Feedback
Reinforce your customer service vision, and make sure your agents understand what your call center is trying to accomplish as a business unit. Perform a customer service skills assessment for each call center agent, and tell them where they can improve. Letting agents know where they lack in terms of customer service skills is a great way to build employee loyalty in the long run.
Training Customer Service Specialists for Handling Customer Support
Without the right call center training, your agents won’t know how to effectively deal with customers. More importantly, apart from knowing the product / service really well, your agents need to be trained on building relationships with customers by talking nicely, empathizing with their problems, and ensuring they are satisfied when customers leave the conversation. Oh! Never forget to tell your agents to thank the customer for contacting customer service once the conversation ends.