How to Make a Customer Service Manager’s Life a Breeze
Being a Customer Service Manager is challenging to say the least. You experience the full force of rage when your company fails to meet a customer’s expectations, whether it’s your fault or not. At the same time, your boss expects you to keep smiling and projecting a friendly and helpful persona in order to put the best face forward for the brand.
As if that wasn’t enough to handle, you are also managing your employees’ needs, efficiency, and work habits. Needless to say, this is difficult job to do and especially under the pressure that many such managers receive from above.
Despite these and many other challenges, it is possible to gain fulfillment from this career path, made all the better when you work for a company that cares about making your job easier and more worthwhile. Here’s some ways to make that happen:
1. Take advantage of self-service tools
As a Customer Service Manager, a lot of responsibility is on your shoulders. Yet, many of the interactions between customers and customer service representatives are unnecessary as they take time away from more urgent matters. There are many common issues that customers face and a lot of the cases received by your support team are repetitive queries that have uniform responses. Since these problems are so prominent, it is likely that the customer would be able to solve them on their own and without the need for direct interaction with a support team member.
That’s where self-service solutions come in. It used to be that FAQ sections were considered self-service tools, yet these sections are limited and are too generalized to offer individual support. Self-service portals allow customers to instantly find information regarding many of their most pressing and common issues. In many such solutions, they simply type in their query and a response will appear. This lowers the overall number of escalations that reach the support center and, in the cases where they still need to speak with customer service, the shorter hold times and more specific nature of the issues tend to reduce agitation. This not only increases satisfaction among your customers, but also for the customer service professionals in your support team.
2. Agents need self-service too
There is little that is more frustrating to a customer than taking time out of their day to call a business, navigate through the IVR, and waiting on hold until an agent is free, only to reach a service representative who is unable to provide assistance. Whether they don’t have the information on hand, have to put the customer on hold to ask someone else, or they provide information that conflicts with that on the website, this is the stuff that customer experience nightmares are made of.
Fortunately, there are solutions which integrate with existing CRMs and ticketing systems to deliver information directly to the support agent’s screen. The benefits of providing agent-facing self-service can be staggering. It unifies brand messaging, shortens average customer hold times, lowers agent training times, and boosts agent confidence.
3. Be clear about scheduling
Your site should be a clear resource for a number of things. This, of course, includes your hours of operation and when your various departments can be reached. If your customers know ahead of time when they can and cannot contact you, they will have the ability to make more of an effort to get in touch with your team at convenient times. Being able to reach you is another way to decrease customer frustration, which means they will be less likely to take it out on your representatives.
Depending on your company’s resources, you should look into offering a 24 hour support option for your customers. Customers come from near and far, which means that your working hours do not necessarily overlap with those of the people trying to reach you. Providing round-the-clock support, whether it is by phone or via email, will allow all of your customers to feel valued.
4. Be encouraging, positive and understanding
They say the customer is always right – and while this is true, you should always be open to hearing the other side of the story. Some customers will never be happy, and that’s not necessarily the fault of the employee. Remember, the last thing your customer service manager needs to hear is yelling from both their customer and their boss, so keep your interactions positive and helpful.
Employ constructive criticism to help your employees better manage complex situations and have training programs so they can learn about your company’s customer service strategies. Reward them for good behavior and always point out positive interactions as it will encourage them to strive for the best despite negative encounters.
5. Use social media
Social media is fun, effective and, at the same time, it can serve as a bit of a buffer. Customers appreciate social customer service since it’s convenient for them and doesn’t waste their time. Best of all, since they are already using social media, it’s not much of a stretch for them to jump on Facebook or Twitter for customer service interactions. This allows you to meet your customers where they are and provides a much more engaging support experience for your customers. This can also make the job of your Customer Service Managers much easier and more enjoyable and it’s often easier to handle customers through this method than over the phone.
6. Use Customer Effort Score
Needless to say, if your customers can easily get ahold of you, they will be much less frustrated once they reach someone on the other end. That’s why it’s worthwhile for your company to make it as simple as possible to achieve customer support. While this may be the ideal for every brand, ensuring this actually happens is no easy feat.
That’s why there’s a Customer Effort Score or CES. A CES helps your team assess the amount of effort your customers need to put forth in order to get service. Obviously, if they are required to put in too much effort, they will be more frustrated than if they were able to instantly reach a customer service representative. Therefore, measuring this could give you insights about how to move forward in your customer service tactics, preventing the customer from feeling upset in the first place.
7. Employ a Customer Service Strategy
A customer service manager is only as good as the customer service strategies that he or she employs. That is to say, a clearly defined and well-organized set of procedures will not only streamline the customer experience, it will also be a better use of the employee’s time. A strong strategy means that the employees will be able to maximize their efforts and thus help more customers throughout the day.
Support ticketing systems help with this strategy, as they offer an interface that maximizes the efficiency and ease of communication between the user and the customer service manager. These tools allow the customer service manager to record the interactions with the user, and also provide a way for you to get analytics on the frequency of each question/issue.
Customer service is one of the most essential departments for all businesses. That’s why it’s critical for companies to ensure that those putting forth the hard work are receiving the help they need in order to thrive. In many cases, positive customer service employees equal positive interactions with customers, which ultimately leads to happy, loyal customers for years to come.
This article was written by Yifat Mor, VP Marketing at nanorep.
nanorep is a SaaS digital experience solution, providing personalized guidance for every consumer at their moment of need. Our solution is powerful yet simple, providing effortless engagement at every touchpoint along the digital journey. We help companies successfully manage and scale their digital self-service experience and empower customers...