How to Effectively Manage a Customer Service Team

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According to a survey by Gartner, 89% of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience, versus 36% four years ago. Many studies have shown that customers will more likely come back to a company if they have a positive experience with the customer service department. With this in mind, it might be time to take a look at your customer service team and evaluate what their strengths are and what you can help them improve on.

While you might have skilled professionals who have the knowledge and experience of delivering great support, it’s important to evaluate your customer service leadership strategy to effectively manage your team.

Tips for effectively managing your customer service team

Here are some helpful tips to manage your customer service team to continue delivering the best customer service to your customers and clients.

Tip #1: Set expectations
In any business setting, it’s important to set every team member’s expectation right from the beginning. Your customer service representatives need to know their goals, how these goals will be measured, and how they are expected to handle all kinds of transactions. By setting these objectives and letting them know how you will evaluate their performance, they will understand what’s expected and can focus on these goals when interacting with customers.

Tip #2: Build on customer service strategy
It’s important to have an overall strategy with your team regarding how you are going to keep your customers happy even before they come to you with a problem. Whether this strategy includes having your team check on customers, being available quickly or having someone manage a discussion room, you can set the tone and approach with your team to maintain positive rapport with your customers.

Tip #3: Empower your team members
Remember, you are the leader and can motivate your team to continue to do their best! Your team members are looking to you for guidance and support. You need to be encouraging and build trust where you will feel confident that your team will be able to handle all your customers, no matter how big or small the complaint or issue is. When your team members feel that they are valued and that you trust them, they will feel empowered and will put their best foot forward in order to do the job well.

Tip #4: Train your team specifically for unhappy customers
Dealing with unhappy customers is always going to be hard. Therefore, it’s important that you train your team with every possible unhappy customer scenario to make sure that your teammates are ready to handle anything that comes their way. Preparing your team with everything they need in these circumstances will help them to be confident in handling the situation and prove to be beneficial for both parties – your team member will not be stressed when handling the situation and the customer will end up having a good experience.

Tip #5: Handle mistakes privately
People make mistakes. In a customer service role specifically, mistakes can happen because there could be many situations that could be interpreted differently. Instead of calling out your employee in front of everyone when there is a misstep, make sure you give them constructive feedback privately. Show respect by not criticizing in front of the team and making it a potential learning experience for the individual.

Tip #6: Recognize milestones
As your team members reach their goals and continue to excel, it’s a good idea to recognize these milestones and reward them to show your appreciation. Recognition can be in the form of a gift (depending on budget) or, if it’s appropriate, a companywide shout out and kudos for a job well done!

As a manager and leader, it’s important to be supportive and continue to motivate your team through trainings, feedback and continuous opportunities to learn. No matter the industry, customer service is not an easy role and one that take resilience, a positive mindset and the determination to continue to improve.