6 Ways to Motivate your Customer Service Reps
5 minutes read
“Customer service is a hard job and anyone who says differently has never done it.”
Having said that: Do you ever motivate your customer service reps to give their best at their job?
This should not be overlooked as your customer service department is extremely crucial. Your customer’s satisfaction and sales depend on it. But, according to various studies, customer service reps are some of the least engaged workers out there. The reasons for this are related to burnout and fatigue.
Most new reps start out excited to help customers and do a great job, but after a few months that initial enthusiasm buzz goes away. This is because, on a daily basis, customer service reps have to:
Handle complaining customers all-day
Answer similar-ish queries again and again
And put out fires and delight customers
All these make it difficult for them to stay motivated and at the top of their game. But, having a motivated, engaged and customer-centric service team is the need of the hour for every business. According to salesforce, 76 percent of customers say that service is the true test of how much they are valued by a company.
So, how can we establish a superior and customer-centric service department for our businesses? Here are six strategies that are extremely effective in motivating your service agents to help and delight your customers each and every day:
1. Hire naturally buoyant people
According to a lot of companies, this is the real ace in the hole as far as keeping agents engaged and motivated goes. The idea is that if you hire self-motivated employees, you don’t have to worry much about employee engagement or motivation. A point that we can’t really argue. Because yes, hiring self-motivated employees does go a long way in keeping the team morale high. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything to motivate or engage them. You will still need to employ some motivational strategies. Because even highly motivated reps and top performers need the occasional pat-on-the-back and pick-me-up to function at an optimal pace.
2. Provide Ongoing Learning
It’s important that you not only provide training on organizational policies and technology but also how to handle customers. Create an ongoing system for training and feedback. Teach your staff new skills, help them work on mastering old ones, and teach them how to improve performance. Offer them opportunities and guidance for growth. It’s a win-win-win: for you, your reps, and your customers.
3. Have frequent one-on-ones with your reps
Surveys suggest that 62% of customer service workers feel that management is approachable and keeps them informed about important issues. This should be a two-way street. Carve some time out of your schedule every few weeks to have a one-on-one with your reps. Ask them if they have any issues or frustrations with their work. Take this opportunity to set the record straight. These chats will not only help you make sure they have everything they need to excel but also clears the air and lets them know what you expect of them. You can also use this opportunity to gauge their difficulties and work with them on removing their blockers.
Also, make sure to ask your reps to share the feedback/questions/concerns of the customers during these sessions. Your service agents are on the frontline, they can provide you with excellent information on how to serve your customer. Market conditions and customer preferences will be changing all the time. A piece of information from your service team can make the difference between success and failure for you. This will help you develop customer-centric products and services for the customers.
4. Share Customer Praise
Customers don’t just call in to chat; they call in to complain. They call in with problems. Day in and day out, reps deal with customers who need help, at least at the start of a service ticket. Usually, the only place you’ll find customer praise is in a feedback survey after an interaction with your staff is over. Make sure to share this praise with your agents.
Various studies prove that knowing how one’s actions help others, improves productivity by up to 7 percent. That’s worth a few seconds of acknowledgment. The next time you get wind of customer praise, share it freely with the agent who earned it. In fact, share it with your whole staff at a shift meeting, or post it on a bulletin board for everyone to see. It will make the praised agent feel good about being able to affect real change. She will inspire others to do the same.
5. Gamify your helpdesk and liven up your support by providing incentives
Introducing an element of gamification into support helps in motivating your reps to achieve a higher level of customer service. Turn every ticket into a chance for your agents to compete with their colleagues. Give points to the reps for every ticket that they solve. This way they can score points and race up the leaderboard to win coveted trophies or badges. You can also incentivize your agents for specific actions. For example, you can reward the agent who receives the highest number of positive feedbacks from the customers in a week.
6. Provide the Right Resources
Make sure your service department has the budget and tools, including fast computers, cloud-based software with information at their fingertips, and comfortable headsets. This helps them to succeed on the front lines of customer satisfaction. When your customer service reps feel empowered, appreciated, and capable, they’re happier and ready to help your customers.
Your support team is the first point of contact for your customers, and often the only contact they have with the business. Keep your team motivated and happy, and you’ll be rewarded with happier, more loyal customers who love doing business with you.
Published on Tue Jan 28 2020