10 Customer Service Tips for 2015
expected of them. This then has to be communicated to your customers, ideally before they even pick up the phone.
5. Align customer service with other business units.
Get out of the mind-set that customer service is a solitary branch of the business, disconnected from marketing, sales, and business development.
Instead, make it your New Year's resolution to collaborate more with other areas of the business. Customer service can play a huge role in showing where the business is going wrong and where it's going right.
6. Ensure you have the right mind-set.
It's easy to slip into the wrong mind-set at work. One trap contact center managers often fall into is thinking of their customer service team as the defense team, in place to fight off angry hordes of customers.
This is particularly true if you're constantly striving to meet efficiency goals and begin to see unhappy customers as "getting in the way."
If you've felt that your team was leaning that way toward the end of the year, you now have a chance to start fresh. Remind them that it's not a case of customer versus agent; both agent and customer should want the same thing.
7. Review the metrics you use to measure success.
Contact center managers can often spend months tracking particular metrics, without considering whether what they are measuring is really having a positive impact on customer satisfaction.
One example of this is average handle time. If you put too much emphasis on chasing a low score, it can result in agents slamming the phone down after every call to ensure their personal stats stay low.
This often doesn't correlate with a rise in customer satisfaction.
8. Consider the training your agents need to tackle the challenges they may face in the new year.
When you review the past year, it's important to look for areas of weakness, both as a company and as individuals, so that you can plan a training program for the next year.
9. Don't neglect individual goals.
Your team is made up of individuals, and they all have their own strengths and weaknesses. If you can take the time to understand what each person needs to develop, you can help to motivate them.
10. Say "thank you."
Sometimes it's easy to forget the simplest tip of all when it comes to both customer service and management—saying "thank you."
Look back over the last year. How often did you thank your employees? It's probably less often than you remember. But saying "thank you" is one of the most important aspects of people management. It helps your team to feel motivated, equipping them with the positivity to handle customer complaints or tough calls in the best way.
It's also essential to make sure these two words are in your agents' vocabulary. Just as they need to feel appreciated, your customers do too.
While the nitty-gritty of goals is up to individual contact centers, as long as you focus on motivating staff, providing a clear focus, and setting relationship-oriented goals, there's no reason you can't deliver excellent service, call after call. How are you planning to boost customer satisfaction this year?
Jonathan Gale is the CEO of cloud contact center provider NewVoiceMedia.