Conducting a customer service performance review can be challenging for managers. This is an essential team in a retail business but how can their achievements be determined?
This becomes especially difficult due to the pandemic when employees are largely working from home.
It is best to use a performance review template that can be reused but which leaves enough room for customization depending on the team member’s role.
Once a template is created, you can conduct the review in the following five ways.
Self-Assessed Customer Service Performance Review
Quarterly Customer Service Performance Review
Annual Customer Service Performance Review
Conduct Customer Service Performance Reviews Over Video
Create Feedback Systems for Customer Service Performance Reviews
You don’t need multiple people, such as managers, HR teams, and employees involved to conduct a customer service performance review.
These reviews can also be conducted individually, following metrics set by the HR team and customer service managers.
Self-assessments are a popular way for employees to understand their strengths and weaknesses, so they can determine which areas require improvement.
You can distribute a document like this annual customer service performance review form among your service team to fill up.
Self-assessments should not be conducted in isolation—pair them with reviews by managers and peers to give a more wholesome view of the employee’s performance.
Conducting a quarterly customer service performance review is advisable for companies. It is advisable to use the same template for each quarter to ensure consistency.
The benefits of a quarterly review include being able to assess employees’ performances regularly but at a set date every few months.
You can create a review template like the one below to be evaluated by the customer service manager.
Note how the template evaluates not only the metrics achieved by the employee but where they have improved.
The report also observes the employee’s skills beyond their work—which is important for the customer service team since it uses interpersonal skills regularly.
An annual customer service performance review becomes necessary for companies that don’t have the time or personnel to dedicate to conducting quarterly reviews.
Time management can become a challenge in such cases—especially for the customer service department where a single manager has multiple direct reports.
Annual reviews can also be generalized and targeted towards employees with years of experience under their belt, which makes them easier to conduct once a year.
It is important to note that an annual review can be used to determine promotions and salary increases, so it should be a thorough process.
This is why, to gain the best results, annual reviews should be paired with regular appraisals to see consistent improvements in performance and to create a report like the one below.
Due to the rise in remote work—as a result of the pandemic—the process of conducting customer service performance reviews has changed.
Companies can’t ask their employees to come into the office just for a performance review—the logistics would make it impossible.
But conducting these reviews over email means losing the ability to read the gestures and expressions of the employee. It creates a distance that could negatively impact the process.
This is why using video conferencing has become so important for remote reviews. Both parties involved in the review process should put their videos on to build a personal connection.
Using video calls to conduct a performance appraisal simulates being in a conference room discussing the future of an employee—which is why this is the method that should be used.
Another result of the current remote working environment has been the need for better feedback channels to improve the customer service performance review process.
Managers need to be specific about their feedback and their expectations of employees—being vague will lead to employees having to fill in the gaps, often incorrectly.
Clear feedback is also necessary to keep employees motivated and productive—you don’t want a mistake to demoralize an employee to the point where they can’t work.
Companies also need to create systems for two-way communication. Feedback shouldn’t only be a top-down approach.
Employees should feel comfortable sharing their views on their department, their job, and management.
It is worth taking time out to map the communication system—companies can use process diagramming to visualize communication or review procedures, like in this example.
Key Takeaways: Conduct Frequent Customer Service Performance Reviews
Conducting a customer service performance review is a challenge in the current environment.
But by looking at the options available, companies can hold appraisals that motivate employees and give them some incentive to improve their performance.
To recap, here are the ways to conduct a customer service performance review for your team:
- Quarterly reviews
- Annual appraisals
- Video appraisals
- Setting up a feedback process
By following these processes, customer service managers can create a system that helps their team understand their strengths and weaknesses.