What distinguishes a customer service representative from a top-class customer services supervisor? Here are eight habits that all excellent customer service supervisors must possess.
The role of a customer service supervisor is a crucial one in many types of businesses. In some cases, the only company representative that a customer will talk to will be a member of the customer services team. So, for some customers, the customer services team is the company.
To be an effective customer service supervisor, you need many skills. As well as being a great communicator, a customer service supervisor must also be a team leader, a problem solver, and a brand representative.
Here are eight habits of high-performing customer service supervisors.
1. Communication Comes Naturally
Anyone who works in customer service must be an excellent communicator. For the customer service supervisors who are at the top of their game, communication comes naturally. Modern customer service departments need to communicate with customers and colleagues through emails, on the phone, in writing, and via online chat. The best supervisors of customer services departments can communicate effectively at all levels, regardless of the medium.
2. Always Puts the Customer First
An effective customer service supervisor will habitually put the customer first. They understand that a happy customer is the best advertisement for the company that you can get. A great customer service supervisor will be an advocate for the customer and work with them to solve their issues. However, even though the customer comes first, a good supervisor will still be looking out for the company’s interests when needed.
One of the most important habits that a customer service supervisor needs to possess is the ability to motivate a team. A good supervisor instinctively knows how to inspire people to represent the company in a professional, efficient manner. Customer service supervisors need to be people managers, trainers, motivators, and, sometimes, firefighters. To the best customer service supervisors, these qualities are merely natural character traits.
One of the essential skills a customer service supervisor can have is the ability to understand a customer’s point of view. This habit of putting themselves in the shoes of the customer helps supervisors deal with customers sympathetically, and it motivates them to strive for a positive outcome to every customer issue. A good supervisor can also train their team to deal with customers in an understanding way.
A customer service supervisor can be faced with many different challenges in a day. One minute they may be dealing with a disgruntled customer, the next they may be training an underperforming team member. An efficient supervisor can not only multi-task, but also have the emotional stability to be able to deal with many different situations in rapid succession.
A great customer service supervisor will always be looking for ways to improve the service they provide to customers. They will plan for peak periods, look for ways to streamline processes and develop strategies to deal with both frequent types of calls and the unexpected. A good supervisor understands that customer services are not merely there to field customer support calls and complaints; they are there to find solutions fast.
7. Monitoring the Metrics
A good customer service supervisor will always have one eye on the metrics. They will be experts in customer service software and be watching how many tickets are raised, how fast the issues are dealt with, the outcomes, and how individual team members are performing. The best customer service supervisors understand that running a successful customer service team requires a balance of positive results and efficiency.
8. Innovative Thinker
Finally, the best customer service supervisors look beyond their role and look for ways that the company can improve the products or services that it sells. The customer service department is the front line of a company, so the supervisor can often see trends that other departments in the business do not. A top-class customer service supervisor will have the ability to translate what they learn from the customers into innovative ideas for the company.
The most effective customer service supervisors are company representatives, team builders, innovators and leaders. They can do all those things and keep a cool head! If you have an effective customer service supervisor leading your team, you will have a person who can keep employees happy and engaged, represent your brand and build long term customer relationships.
About the Author
Ian Miller is the Editor of CSM Magazine – the leading resource and community for customer service managers and professionals.