If you want to raise the bar of your quality of customer service, your efforts must begin with the management of your service representatives.
Training is the cornerstone of any service-minded business because it keeps the focus of the company where it belongs – on the customer. Consider these effective ways to manage your customer service representatives so you can rest assured your customers are receiving the highest possible level of service every time they do business with you.
Lead by Example
If you want your staff to engage with your customers and put their needs first, you must lead the way in your efforts. Do you greet customers when they walk into your business or do you tend to hide in your office for the majority of the day? When an employee asks a question, do you practice active listening skills and provide him with a thorough answer to his request? If you are treating your employees with courtesy and respect, they will be more likely to treat your customers in a similar fashion.
Teach them about Your Company
The first step in training customer service reps is to teach them everything possible about the company for which they work. From company history and philosophy to the details of every product or service available; the more information your service staff has, the more capable they are to make the right choices for the customer. Updates also need to be passed to service personnel as soon as possible to ensure customers are always receiving the most up to date information about your business.
Set the Expectations
According to Cody Rhodes, an executive from a company which deals with essay sales, Customer service representatives need to know the expectations you have for them, from how to greet customers to completing their transactions. Expectations should be clear and measurable, so you can easily track the progress and performance of each of your service employees. If possible, post expectations in a prominent location as a constant reminder of the standards you expect your employees to live up to.
Train them to Listen
The key to high quality customer service begins with the ability of your employees to listen to your customers. In many situations, the simple act of listening allows service reps to pinpoint the specific problem and offer a viable solution in the quickest way possible. Listening involves more than simply hearing a customer’s words; it is about accurately processing the message and identifying the problem and best solution.
Provide Instruction on Unhappy Customers
Even the best customer service companies will have to deal with an unhappy customer from time to time. Most customer service reps agree this can be the most stressful aspect of the job. However, when your service reps know how to manage a customer’s complaint in a professional, efficient fashion, stress automatically goes down. In addition, well-trained service reps master the art of transforming a complaining customer to one that is happy with the company once again.
Offer Alternatives to “I don’t Know”
Teach customer service representatives that an “I don’t know” response is not an effective answer to any customer question. Provide a myriad of optional phrases that can be used, from “Let’s find out” to “One moment please, while I find that answer for you.” By ruling out the “I don’t know” phrase, you will go far in preventing customer frustration in your place of business.
Employees always enjoy receiving rewards when they hit particular milestones or go above and beyond the call of duty for a customer. Do not be afraid to pass out the rewards – even in front of the rest of the staff when the situation calls for it. They do not have to be big or expensive; just the act of getting recognized for a job well done is enough to motivate most people.
Pass Out the Kudos
Some managers tend to be stingy with their praise because they worry it will go straight to their employees’ heads. However, most employees respond positively to praise through better service and a higher level of motivation than before.
If you see an employee go the extra mile for a customer, or you notice that a staff member has been even more consistent in their service than usual, call them on it. Let them know you have noticed and appreciate their efforts.
Handle Correction in Private
When you do need to correct a member of your call center, approach them in private. Do not offer this sort of feedback in front of other staff that might give the employee a hard time or spread office gossip. Use your private office for these types of difficult conversations, keeping them out of hearing range of competitive or nosy coworkers.
Ask for Employee Input
Edward Smith, of this cheap and reliable essay writing service, says that if you want to know what would motivate your customer service team, try asking them. Find out what sorts of rewards or contests they would enjoy most. You can also ask your call center staff how they think you are doing at managing them. Be prepared to take their feedback to heart and make changes if necessary.
Employees want to be able to come to their managers with concerns or ideas. Encourage them by asking for feedback at meetings. You might be surprised at the level of innovation you can capitalize on, and your employees will appreciate the fact that you actually care about their opinion on matters. Staff that is directly engaged in the daily operations of the company will feel more invested in the business and more inclined to put their best feet forward every day with your customers.
Empower Your Staff
When your staff has the ability to make good decisions for their customers in regards to policies and procedures, they will meet customer challenges more willingly. An empowered staff is more likely to feel like an integral part of the team. They will feel trusted and valued. Employees who are given the authority to manage customers’ issues and complaints will usually manage them well – especially if they know you are backing them all the way.
Create an Organizational Hierarchy
Many call centers have a fairly flat organizational structure, meaning that there is little for employees to aspire to beyond the one or two management positions in their department. Change that trend by adding supervisory roles within your department that employ more of your staff than the standard organizational model allows.
Training and motivating your customer service representatives is the first step in providing consistent, high-quality service to all of your customers. With these training tips in mind, you can create a training program that will accurately define your expectations and offer service reps the tools they need to deliver them.