5 Tips for Better Customer Service Employee Reviews


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Annual employee reviews take place only if you want ineffective employees. If you want your people to consistently deliver an exceptional performance and continually improve their skills and abilities, reviews have to be continually on a consistent basis.

I’ve compiled a list of 5 exceptional tips to delivering exceptional customer service employee reviews. These tips are tried and tested and come from experts in a variety of fields.

5 Tips for better customer service employee reviews.

1. Separate professional skills development from official pay increase meetings.

Elizabeth Sile with Inc. Magazine shares this as her top tip to get the most from the review process. If you think about it, official employee reviews where compensation is discussed can at times be lengthy, depending on the HR process within your organization.

Some organizations require an HR representative at each meeting. This poses a challenge. When taking time to discuss practical approaches to development, since each individual within your team is on their own development plan, doing this in conjunction with an official review session makes the development process tricky.

When you add emotions that come naturally when finances are discussed and you’ll have part of your team dreaming of what to do with their new bonus and the other fuming at why you didn’t give them more.

2. Ditch the employee review form.

I conducted reviews in customer service with a number of different types of review forms, but I haven’t yet found a review form that is more effective than a natural and open discussion on performance. Grading, too often, is subject to manager’s perceptions. I’m skeptical of peer reviews because you’re always open to internal undercutting from those trying to rise to the top.

The most important thing is not the grade you’re going to give the person and not the piece of paper you’re trying to fill out for the company. Have that discussion be open, and enable that person to be able to be part of the problem-solving discussion.”

-Michael Beer, chairman of TruePoint and professor emeritus of business administration at Harvard Business School

Performance, to me, is a combination of raw numbers, quality of work, and engagement with the mission of the organization. All three contribute to the ultimate monetary decision. But the review is a dialogue about what the employee feels, what the manager tracks, and how customers perceive.

3. Always review annual goals.

We often will encourage our team members to set goals for themselves, but then only come back to review them at the end of the year at the employee review. That’s a problem, we’re leaving too much to chance. Only those most organized and driven would accomplish most of their goals.

In order to be most effective at encouraging all of our team members to constantly be reminded of their goals and collaborate with them on what actions or knowledge they’ll need to acquire in order to accomplish it. As managers, our role then becomes one of mentoring, and helping the employee through hurdles they may face as they set out to act on their desired goal.

4. Never compare.

We fool ourselves in thinking that we can somehow treat all of our unique employees the same and expect to receive the same expected result.

Remember Chaos Theory from the movie Jurassic Park? A droplet of water on your hand will run in one direction. The second though can run in a completely different direction. Same droplet of water, but given the tiny variations in the subject, the result can never be expected to be the same. Our employees are not robots. It isn’t even apples and oranges. They are apples, hammers, papers, rocks, etc. You don’t manage fruit. You manage unique individuals with distinct personalities.

All of our employees come with different personal backgrounds, skills, abilities, aspirations, and even with those who have similarities, the level of their engagement differs. No two people are the same. Although the general expectations and standards apply, how we interact and develop has be tailored to the needs of the individual. If you think you can’t do it all, it’s time to divide your group. You probably need a manager, supervisor, or team lead to step in and distribute the load.

5. Focus on cause and effect.

Years ago, I learned from the Manager Tools management guides that the essencial to feedback being effective, we have to show cause and effect. I’ve come to learn since then that cause and effect is fantastic in any type of communication. Behavioral results and personal development improve when we help people understand how their actions affect results.

When a team member is tardy or absent, it has effect on the load the rest of the team has to handle. How does the employee feel when they have an unexpected greater load to handle? Yeah. Then they probably shouldn’t leave the team hanging.

If an employee wants to take an extra couple of days off from work, that means a few less days they’re working towards their goals. They can expect to have a greater workload when they return, or have to put in extra time to make up for the work days missed. It’s an effect.

Make it your own.

It’s hard to find one single resource that will be a 100% match to the needs of your team and your organization. The most effect employee review will ultimately be a compilation of a number of resources that will help you towards the goal you have for yourself and your team. But these 5 tips to effective employee reviews will get you started on right track.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Flavio Martins
Flavio Martins is the VP of Operations and Customer Support at DigiCert, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise authentication services and high-assurance SSL certificates trusted by thousands of government, education, and Fortune 500 organizations. Flavio is an award-winning customer service blogger, customer service fanatic, and on a mission to show that organizations can use customer experience as a competitive advantage win customer loyalty. Blog: Win the Customer!


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