Your customer service team is your first line of defense when it comes to customers. They handle customer complaints, concerns, and questions. They are actually who your customer will likely interact with and how your customers will develop an opinion of your brand. And because of that, your customer service team has to stay motivated for the long haul.
Here are some things to keep in mind when thinking about how you can better motivate your customer service team.
Encourage Individual Growth
One of the best ways to motivate your team is to help them grow both professionally and personally. For their professional growth, you should engage in regular training sessions that actually help them learn the techniques to be better in customer service situations. Things like deescalation training, how to make small talk, ways to connect with the customers, and how to multitask are all great places to start.
You may also want to look into seminars and conferences or classes that your team could attend. These should have experts giving more insight into their position and providing the advice your team will need to be excellent in their day-to-day activities.
Personally, you can help your team grow, too. They spend a huge amount of their lives at work, making it important that their personal growth makes an appearance at work. Help them identify their goals in life and how they want to accomplish that. For example, you can help your team achieve better health by creating a wellness program for them. It will improve their lives while helping them feel more motivated to work hard for the company.
Give Them The Right Tools
Obviously, your team can only be efficient and effective with the right tools. Make sure they have all the equipment they need to do their job well, from training to physical equipment. Stay up-to-date on the best tools in the industry and consider having a part of your budget there to cover the expense of new equipment.
One of the crucial tools for success is autonomy. Your team needs to know that you trust them to make certain decisions. Without a mutual trust, they will never feel like they are progressing in their position and you will continue to see a large number of calls referred to supervisors. Instead, make sure your customer service team is well-trained and fully equipped to handle the majority of situations.
Strengthen The Team
Your team will always work better when working as a team. Start to encourage this by listening to their feedback. You are an essential part of the team and you should trust the feedback you’re getting when making decisions.
Additionally, you need to regularly help them participate in team building activities. These can be something as simple as a team coffee break or as elaborate as going out into the community and doing charity work together. The act of doing something together outside of work can help broaden their relationships and given them experiences together they may not have gotten otherwise.
You can also help them build as a team by fostering friendly competition. You don’t want to pit one employee against another, but having a little competition will incentivize them to work harder while also helping them appreciate the skills of other team members.
Focus On Appreciation
Think about the last time someone asked you for something. Chances are, if you chose to help them out, you knew you would be appreciated. Appreciation is an excellent motivator. You can use this with your customer service team. Try placing some focus on their purpose and importance within the company. As they see why they are coming to work every day and why others rely on them, they will have context for their daily activities.
You can also help the team show appreciation for and take pride in the brand. Fundamentally, people want to work for a company that they respect. Whether it’s the mission of the company, the quality of the products they’re selling, or the good treatment they get from upper management, there is something that will help them stay connected to the company and the brand, which will then motivate them further.
You should also get in the habit of showing appreciation for the team. Regularly show appreciation for them during team meetings, throughout the week, and individually. This doesn’t always have to be an elaborate thing that you do. Simply bringing in a treat or sending a thoughtful email can make a huge difference.
Know What Motivates Them
Generally speaking, people are motivated either intrinsically or extrinsically. If your employees are intrinsically motivated, consider encouraging their creativity. As they improve their problem solving skills and in their position, that intrinsic motivation will continue to be met.
If you have some employees who are more motivated extrinsically, consider coming up with an employee incentive program. How you structure this is completely up to you! It might be based on how many customer service calls they take in a day or their average rating by customers or even the length of their calls. However you decide to make your incentive program, it can be a great outside motivator for every employee.