The front line of any business is the customer service employees. For some companies, this is a team that is dedicated to ensuring customers have solutions to any problems or issues they may have with a product or service, while for other companies, customer service employees may work with customers throughout the process to assist in providing information, setting up customer accounts, and ensuring the customers have a positive experience with your company.
It is a good idea to think of customer service people as the human branding of your business. Their job is often not as recognized as sales representatives, but it is equally important. A sales rep can make a big sale, but it is the customer service rep that the customer speaks to for follow-up questions with any aspect of the purchase.
With such an important role in developing customer loyalty, retaining customers, and creating a positive image of your business in the minds of the consumer, it is surprising how little most business leadership teams focus on acknowledging these efforts.
By building in ways to recognize your customer service team, any business can encourage a greater focus on customer care and turning even negative calls into a positive and rewarding experience for the customer.
While companies have been tracking customer service for years with online, mail, or phone surveys, adding a place for customers to recognize particularly helpful members of the customer service team creates the opportunity to highlight an individual as well as the team.
By adding in a small token of appreciation for a recognized customer service employee, there is an increased incentive to focus on customer care during the call, email, chat, or in-person discussion.
Develop a Program for Customer Service Stars
Consider a program that recognizes the efforts of customer service team members. This can be done on both an individual and a team level, with various levels of prizes that can be earned by points the individual earns from positive feedback from customers.
Team prizes can be fun activities or special events for the team to enjoy as a group. Often customer service can be a relatively isolated type of job, and adding to a sense of team accomplishment helps to build a positive culture in the customer service department.
Build In Training Experiences
Take the time to hire customer service reps with a genuine interest in helping others and in providing solutions to problems. Then, with a top team in place, recognize their efforts by providing regular training exercises. This can include training in effective communication, conflict resolution, emotional intelligence, or in building rapport with customers.
Keep the customer service team involved with the success of other departments, particularly the sales department. The customer service representatives need to know products just as much as the sales team to be able to answer questions and provide the level of service and support your customers expect.