Customer service representatives (CSRs) are the voice and the face of any business and when a customer interacts with a CSR, that representative becomes the brand. When an individual has an exceptional experience with a CSR, it strengthens the relationship, and when they have a negative experience it can damage that relationship irreparably. In today’s world of online reviews, companies cannot afford to allow negative customer experiences. Exceptional coaching leads to exceptional interactions and ensures a legion of raving-fan customers out in the marketplace.
Strong onboarding and ongoing training are keys to developing a team of CSRs that prioritizes top-notch service. Here are three best practices to help customer service managers instill raving-fan success in their teams.
One: Listen To Both Sites Of CSR Calls
Managers can only get a strong handle on their representatives’ interactions with customers if they can hear what those representatives say on the phone. Recorded calls are an exceptional training tool, as managers can point out precisely what works when talking to a customer – and what doesn’t. Many systems also use voice recordings to digitally input customer data into a customer management system (CMS), so that notes on calls are always complete, and those notes lay the foundation for future interactions.
Two: Meet Face-To-Face Every Week
Training is a process, not an event. Managers, supervisors or team leaders should meet with individual CSRs on a weekly basis to touch base about successes and failures. Weekly face-to-face meetings are essential for monitoring progress, spotting potential issues before they become problems, coaching reps through trouble, and recognizing and reinforcing success. Even if those sessions are just ten minutes long, substantive weekly meetings can quickly improve a team’s overall results.
Three: Empower Reps To Develop Creative Solutions
Zappos is always touted as the gold standard for customer service – and with good reason. Their culture and philosophy has led to raving-fan service across the board. One of the keys to Zappos success is CSR empowerment. While representatives have specific processes they must adhere to, they are also given the power to come up with creative solutions to solve customer issues. As long as their solutions adhere to the company’s overall objection, they have the power to make decisions.
Training is about more than just learning specific steps to move a customer through a call. Companies that want strong CSR teams should also focus on equipping their representatives with ideas for innovating and creating their own solutions. Rather than putting an irate customer on hold for “manager approval,” talented representatives can keep the customer talking while developing a solution that will benefit both parties. Empowered representatives will also be more engaged in their work, and that engagement will shine through in the quality of their customer-facing conversations.
Building Strong Customer Service Teams Begins With Hiring
Taking these steps can significantly improve your organization’s customer service team, but building a solid team begins with hiring. Companies know that CSRs are essential to their business, but many firms put little time or effort into sourcing and identifying strong talent. If your company is looking to improve hiring processes and you are seeking highly skilled and engaged talent for your customer service center, reach out to the recruiting experts at Contemporary Staffing Solutions today. We can help you put your team on the fast track to raving-fan success.