Getting Your Reps To Provide The Best Customer Service Experience


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On an average, businesses replace nearly 26 percent of front-line customer service representatives each year. There is a reason why call centers are among industries with the highest attrition rates. According to one study, morale among customer-facing employees in general is extremely low not only because of relatively low wages, but also because of the high pressure to perform.

To address this problem, one has to understand why the pressure to perform is high among customer service reps. A study conducted by one Ohio based market research agency showed that client-facing roles often brought about the following challenges:

Demanding Customers: Not all customers are the same and depending on the product or service your business sells, customers can be highly demanding. When it comes to customer-service, the rep talking to the customer can often have little control over the turnaround times requested by colleagues fixing issues. As a result, such customer service representatives appear to be caught between a rock and a hard place contributing to the high pressure.

Lack of Product Knowledge: Given the high rate of attrition among customer service professionals, a lot of businesses expect newer employees to learn ‘on the job’ with little to no product training. This provides fresh recruits with inadequate information when facing clients. Not only does this contribute to poor performance on the job, it also impacts the morale of the employees saddled with high rate of failure.

Interpersonal Skills: How does one successfully negotiate with a client? How should one calm the nerves of a seething customer and put across your point? Interpersonal communications is a learned skill and employees in client-facing roles need professional training to deal with communication issues. Sadly, the study shows that few businesses offer training to employees on building interpersonal skills.

So how does a business make sure that their employees are not only high on morale but also translate this into high performance? Here are a few tips to get started.

Job Rotation: One of the most effective ways to train employees as well as improve their morale is through job rotation. This is a management technique through which employees are made to switch between various roles in order to expose them to the various facets of a business. This strategy allows a customer service rep look at the business from the perspective of a marketer or analyst. This helps them get a better holistic understanding of the product while reducing the monotonousness of their regular role.

High Performance Training: While job rotation helps businesses impart product knowledge to their reps without high training costs, it still does not help improve their morale. High performance coaching is a multi-billion dollar industry that trains employees to reach targets without compromising on morale or focus. Investing in high performance coaching is not only a job necessity but also a life skill that fosters greater loyalty among employees.

Mentorship: It is often difficult for fresh recruits to a customer service team to acknowledge that there is nothing personal about complaints from a client and they are mostly directed at the business. A mentor within the organization that a fresh recruit can look up to and collaborate with will not only help these customer service reps get honest advice from people who have been there, but will also offer a robust support network for these professionals to fall back upon in times of crisis.

Offering a great customer service experience is not just a marketing problem, but is also a human resources one. By bringing together the objectives of these various departments under one head, a business can not only ensure that the customer gets the best service from within the organization, but also avoid attrition arising due to these high pressure work conditions.


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