“It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages,” Henry Ford once said. There is no doubt that customer service makes or breaks a company’s performance. In fact, businesses lost more than $75 billion a year due to poor customer service, according to a 2018 report by NewVoiceMedia.
A company’s leadership needs to instill the importance of customer engagement, so much so that it becomes a core business requirement. But by focusing a little too much on the outcome, establishments often ignore employees who are responsible for that experience. A positive, meaningful customer experience is only possible if every employee, especially the customer-facing agents, knows what to do. Here are three ways to ensure that a customer service team is on its A-game:
Invest in Training
Hiring the best team in-house or via a customer service outsourcing vendor does not guarantee top-notch customer engagement. Regardless of how talented employees are, they have to be trained to meet customer expectations.
Service simulations can prepare employees for live calls, while other tools can be employed to prompt training requirements for new recruits. Updates can be scheduled periodically to appraise employees about expectations, and improve their skills.
A Glassdoor research showed that 81% of employees are motivated to work harder simply because of appreciation. Rewarding top performers with a bonus will further motivate them. When trying to provide comprehensive feedback, it is also important to translate customer opinions into the final incentive. With tools that track ratings and comments, time taken for conflict resolution, innovative problem solving, and other parameters, employee performance reviews become unbiased.
Have a Quality Assurance Strategy
Waiting for the appraisal cycle to give employees feedback on performance can be counter-intuitive as employees may fall prey to habits. Allowing managers to appreciate good performance, or provide constructive criticism in in real-time is more likely to have an immediate impact on employees or outsourced customer service providers.
A well-trained, motivated, and happy team of customer executives who feel valued and appreciated, will be able to extend the same experience to customers. Just like clients, employees need to be treated as valuable assets to an organization too. Leveraging technology to humanize employee treatment and reward is an investment worth making. It is also an endeavor that is sure to pad the bottom-line, and streamline customer service.