4 Ways to Reduce Frustration in Customer Service
Few things are more deadly to a business than frustrated employees. Frustrated employees underperform and fail to reflect your brand values. But how do you address this issue, especially if frustration is rampant in your customer service department?
4 Specific Ways to Reduce Frustration
From a leadership point of view, there’s certainly a responsibility to set up processes and establish strategies that allow the company to accomplish specific objectives. However, it can have adverse business consequences to do so at the expense of your employees. This breeds frustration and compromises the organization’s ability to be successful.
If you notice that the employees in your customer service department are irritated, then you need to act swiftly before their frustrations rub off on the customers they interact with on a daily basis. Not sure where to start? Here are some specific ideas and techniques:
1. Confront Frustration Head-On
“A characteristic of people who feel frustrated at work is that they often do not communicate their feelings,” leadership consultant and business coach Michael Whatmore points out. “They’re not complainers, even when their ideas are not being heard or their efforts supported. They put up, shut up — until they’re fed up. A manager quickly loses access to these people as they shut down.”
You can’t afford to wait for irritated employees to confront you – very few will. Instead, their frustratation will fester beneath the surface. As soon as you see signs of discontentment, make sure you deal with it.
2. Get Rid of Pointless Policies
Somewhere along the line, we’ve been conditioned to think that we aren’t doing our jobs as leaders if we aren’t regularly implementing new policies and procedures for employees to follow. But the reality of the situation is that policies, for the sake of having policies, are frustrating for employees. Get rid of pointless rules and allow your employees to enjoy more freedoms.
3. Show Your Appreciation
Customer service is grueling work. Having to put on a happy face and deal with problems all day gets old pretty quickly. If nothing else, your employees want to know that you understand what they’re going through.
According to a study from Glassdoor in which 2,000 people were asked about what motivates them to work harder, the overwhelming majority (81 percent) cited simple appreciation. Do you show your employees that you appreciate them on a regular basis?
4. Give Them the Resources
Do you know what’s super frustrating as a customer service employee? Not having the right tools to do the job efficiently and effectively.
“Because it’s seen as low-wage, low-skilled work, customer service teams too often lack the resources and equipment to do their job right,” customer service expert Flavio Martin explains. “Bad equipment will hamper even the most skilled and motivated customer service agent you can find.”
Customer service isn’t a place to cut costs. Give your employees the resources they need to be successful and they’ll reward your investment many times over. It’ll require some faith on your part, but you’ll see a positive ROI almost immediately.
Value Your Employees as Individuals
From a management perspective, it’s easy to talk about employees and departments as entities that you oversee. But on a very practical level, it’s imperative that you value your employees and see them as individuals. While there are many positives associated with getting to know your employees, one of the greatest benefits is starting to understand what they need in order to be successful. This eliminates frustration and motivates them to succeed.