The pandemic has led to a surge in online transactions – including online customer service. In the midst of intense competition, every company looks to improve its customer support to stand out from the market. As a result, businesses devote significant time and resources to improving their customer support performance.
A robust and happy customer base means more business, so it’s no wonder companies want to ensure their customer service agents are doing their jobs well. Are you taking care of your customers from the front lines? Do you want to see more improvements from your agents?
Here are some tips to ensure your support agents remain on top of their fame.
1. Establish a Coaching Environment
Before you can teach your agents new tricks in customer service, you have to create a space where they feel safe enough to share anything on their minds. So, not only should you have an open-door policy in your office, but you should also make it easy for your agents to talk to each other about their duties.
Research shows that 55% of employees first turn to their peers when they want to learn a new skill or have a work-related issue. If you have a peer-to-peer program that lets your agents discuss challenges, you can use those conversations as a learning opportunity. As you listen to your agents discuss what’s on their minds, try to pick out any common themes. Then, use these themes to create a coaching program to help your agents learn from each other.
2. Automate Manual Processes
Many companies are reluctant to reduce manual processes because automation seems more expensive or time-consuming. However, the truth is that automating processes enables customer service agents to complete tasks faster and more efficiently.
For example, introducing mobile customer services enables agents to operate from their mobile devices instead of being in front of a computer all day. This way, they can help clients even when they are on the move or out of the office.
3. Provide Access to Customer Service Resources
In order to effectively help customers, agents need access to a database that compiles all issues and solutions. This database is ideally easy to use, optimized, and comprehensive. A good knowledge management system to guide them and speed up the process of helping customers. Like a FAQ, it will help them drill down to the heart of the issue and provide solutions quickly and efficiently with minimal time.
In addition, a well-designed network infrastructure will increase user experience when working with company systems and other staff. Trust this; nothing feels better than having the solution right in front of your screen when helping out a client.
4. Be Honest and Treat Everyone Equally
If you realize that some clients are getting much more attention than others, address it. Be honest about what’s happening, and find ways to ensure equal treatment, so you don’t lose good clients because of petty issues.
If you have customers with preferential treatment, ensure your agents are aware, so they don’t drop the ball on you.
5. Use an omnichannel customer service strategy
There are myriad channels that customers can use to reach customer service. To be successful, your agents must be knowledgeable with all the interactive channels and be able to handle escalated inquiries across different devices. As a customer service manager, your work is to ensure a smooth, user-friendly omnichannel system to make the work easier.
According to research, most customers (64%) prefer real-time assistance after making a purchase. Find out their most preferred channels, such as emails, chats, or phone calls, and invest more in streamlining the functionality of that channel. This includes training your employees and making them understand why they need to be on top of their game.
6. Give Decision-making Authority and Trust
The micromanager’s role is to keep a close eye on every little detail and completely control all situations. This may be an effective strategy for keeping things running smoothly but can negatively impact team member engagement.
Giving decision-making authority and trust to your staff will make them feel comfortable addressing issues and putting their best to achieve goals. This improves overall productivity and keeps them on top of their game.
7. Follow Up With Your Agents Regularly
Things work well when agents feel like their managers are on their side and rooting for them to succeed. Following up with your agents shows them that you care. To reciprocate, they’ll work to impress you, keeping them working at their best. Don’t shut the door if they follow up on you too. Understanding how their leader feels will definitely influence their efforts positively.
8. Set and Communicate Service Standards
Even the best customer service agents have that one bad encounter. But even if it’s expected, help your agents by making it easier for them to follow the golden rule “the client comes first.” Do this by setting clear service standards that make them better at handling tense situations.
A service standard is an agent’s measurable action when providing customer service. Each criterion should be clearly defined and include a step-by-step process for taking action. Keeping your service standards clear and concise goes a long way to keeping your agents on top of their game.
9. Set up a Framework to Measure an Agent’s Performance
Once you’ve determined your customer service goals and standards, consider setting up a frame to measure your team’s performance. Give them feedback on their performance, so they know where to improve in order to meet their goals. To further ensure goals are met, creating a reward system will help recognize those who perform excellently when offering customer service.
10. Make Your Success Feel Like a Team Effort
When your agents are having a good day and doing well when helping customers, recognize them. No need to go all out–even a simple compliment can make a big difference in motivating them to stay on top of their game.
In summary, keeping your employees on top of their game requires the necessary effort from managers. Successful customer service agents are motivated through a streamlined work environment that also puts their needs into consideration. Using technology and setting standards is a great place to start as you aim to keep them on top of their game – always.