Customer service is the foundation of any business. Whether you own a small online shop selling custom shirts, a local plumbing company or a chain of the best brunch restaurants in town, you must have an impeccable customer service team in order to have a successful business. You may have the best prices but if your customers have poor experiences that do not get resolved, they will not be back. As such, it is essential that your customer service team members stay motivated to do their best for the consumer. Below are recommendations for keeping your customer service team motivated and focused so they can provide best-in-class service to your patrons.
Whether your team is answering a phone call, responding to an email or meeting with a fellow team member, you want their priority to always be doing what is best for the customer. With all the daily tasks and assignments your customer service team tackles, it is easy for them to lose focus and go through the motions without truly evaluating what is best for the consumer. A great way to recenter their attention is with customer service motivational quotes. By posting inspiring quotes specific to their jobs, this serves as a source of encouragement, as well as a reminder as to why they are there and what their goals are. Send out a motivational quote in the morning email to your teams, include one in your company newsletter, frame them around the office and encourage your employees to share their favorites.
An incentive program is a fantastic way to encourage your team to put their best foot forward. You want each of your patrons to feel as if they are the most valued client in the company, and your customer service team is going to make that happen. What better way to motivate them than with prizes? Everyone is driven by something different, so the best way to determine what incentives your team wants is to send a survey. Offer a few different options in the poll that you have previously determined your company can offer, and leave space for employees to write suggestions. Some options include extra paid time off, gift cards, an overnight stay at a hotel or a membership to a company, such as a local museum or a meal delivery subscription. Get creative with what you offer. Just make sure it is something the employees will want.
As the team that works with your consumers day in and day out, these employees have a significant perspective on what customers like and do not like. You need to take time to get the team’s feedback on what they are seeing from the customers. Are there particular products customers like? Similar issues being reported? Discuss these types of questions with the team. You will also want to discuss what areas of the business and systems are working well and what areas can be improved upon.
Meet with team members one-on-one every other week, or you can meet as a team and have an open forum for feedback. Either way, make sure you meet on a regular basis. Doing this will not only make your employees feel heard and show you value them, their work and their input, but it will also give you steps to improve your customer experience.
Nobody likes struggling to do their job due to stringent and excessive rules. However, bureaucratic red tape can have a particularly negative impact in the customer service world. These team members are working directly with patrons who are giving you money; if your employees are constantly running into barriers where they cannot solve problems for your clients, this is going to anger consumers and likely stop them from using your business again.
Therefore, you must ensure your customer service team can take action when needed. Nothing is going to break them down like dealing with upset and angry customers all day and not being able to resolve the problem. For example, a customer calls in frustrated that their product arrived damaged and they are demanding a new one at no extra charge. Your worker should be able to completely resolve that situation then and there. If your employee has to go through multiple levels of approvals to get the customer their product and shipping free of charge, this is only going to delay a resolution and cause further aggravation to the client.
Another great way to motivate your team is by allowing for flexible scheduling. All of your customer service employees likely have other commitments outside of work. It can be difficult for them to complete a lot of these commitments when they are bound by a standard eight-to-five job. Allowing them flexibility in their work schedule shows you trust them to get their work done and allows them to fully focus on the task at hand when working, versus worrying over how they are going to make it to a doctor's appointment.
While flexible scheduling is a sensible perk for your team, it needs to be done strategically to ensure clients are still taken care of. Have your customer service manager work with each employee and develop a schedule based on everyone’s needs. This might look like different start times for everyone, such as some people working from six to three, some from seven to four and others from eight to five. Additionally, if someone needs to leave for a bit during the day, do not make them use paid time off. Simply have them tell the manager ahead of time so he or she can ensure sufficient coverage is scheduled during that break. While everyone might not get their perfect schedule all the time, having more flexibility will make a big impact on employee's attitudes at work.
A performance-based bonus is an excellent way to incentivize your customer service team to give 100% every day. Create a form with different questions regarding what the employee accomplished throughout the year; ask for specific examples. At the end of the year, have the employee submit the form for review by their manager. Finally, the manager and staff member should meet one-on-one to discuss both the employee’s and manager’s feedback. A bonus will be awarded based on the performance review.
The bonus structure should be clearly laid out prior to the employee submitting their review. This structure could be as simple as three options: exceeds expectations, meets expectations, not meeting expectations. Bonus amounts will vary depending on which category the person falls into. Or you can create a more detailed structure, such as a rating from one to five. Again, regardless of what setup works best for your business, ensure the employees know what the requirements are prior to submitting their performance review.
Your customer service team is the bedrock of your company, yet the job can be very challenging, stressful and oftentimes thankless. Each day brings with it new customers and new obstacles for the team to handle, and without encouragement and support from management, your team will become frustrated and disheartened. Use the above recommendations to inspire and motivate your customer service team, and they in turn will provide your patrons with outstanding service!
Publish Date: February 25, 2021 10:29 PM