How to Keep Your Customer Service Agents Happy
It’s no surprise that happy customer service agents mean happy customers. Just imagine, if you were to get on a call or a chat with a customer service agent who sounds like they woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Even if they were able to solve your issue, you may walk away from the encounter feeling less than satisfied because of their poor attitude.
Establish a strong company culture- There’s a reason that big companies like Zappos, Amazon, and Facebook are consistently touted as one of the best places to work: they all have a strong, established company culture. Culture will inevitably vary from firm to firm, but there are a few culture characteristics that should be universal. Your company culture should be inclusive, cohesive, and it should encourage open communication, thus allowing your agents to speak up when they feel there is an issue.
Invest in them- Your customer service agents are the bridge between your company and your consumer, so you want to make sure that they’re experts on both. Investing in continuing education for your customer service reps is key, as it ensures their long term value to your organization. This could be anything from passing along relevant articles about trends in customer service or emerging technologies in your industry, to more formalized training seminars. It also doesn’t hurt to keep your reps educated about your competition, so that they can act in a sales capacity if needed.
Keep communication lines open- You want to ensure that your agents feel that they can communicate with you openly, so that they can address issues as they come up. This is key for a number of reasons- mainly that it makes for quicker issue resolution, improves trust and builds a better working relationship, and it ensures that you can do everything possible to keep that agent happy, rather than having them keep quiet and just quit.
Ensure that they have the tools they need- Mic static or a slow internet connection is all it takes to turn an otherwise seamless customer service interaction into an unpleasant one. Whether your agents work over the phone, over live chat, or in person- make sure that you’re equipping them with the tools needed to do their jobs effectively. Also, be sure to audit your equipment every few months, and to get agent’s feedback on equipment/tools that they like as well as what they think could be improved.
Ask for feedback, use it- While you may think that you know everything about your reps, odds are- you don’t. The best way to find out what they really want and need is to just ask! This can be done in a number of ways- speaking to them as a group, speaking to reps individually, or conducting a survey. This will provide key insights into where you’re excelling and where you can improve, and you can then make an actionable plan to keep your reps happy.
While retaining happy, productive customer service reps isn’t necessarily rocket science, it definitely requires a good amount of communication with your agents and a willingness to honestly listen to their feedback. You should strive to maintain an open, inclusive environment where your agents feel they can express their concerns with you as they arise, and you should make it clear that you value your agents by equipping them with the best technology and latest knowledge so that they can provide the best possible service. Your customer service agents are ultimately the voice of your company, so make sure they’re conveying the positive, helpful tone that your customers expect.
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