Being a Customer Service Manager is challenging to say the least. You experience the full force of rage when your company fails to meet customer expectations, whether it’s your fault or not. At the same time, your boss expects you to keep smiling and project a friendly and helpful persona in order to put the best face forward for their brand.
As if that wasn’t enough, you are also managing your employees’ needs, efficiency and work habits. Needless to say this is difficult to do, 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 it 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. Since these problems are so prominent, it is likely that the customer him or herself can solve them on their own without the need for human intervention.
That’s where self-service tools 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 answers to many of their most pressing and common issues. In many such solutions, they simply type a question and answers will appear. This way, they do not have to take time out of their day to call, stay on hold, and come to the customer service representatives already agitated. At the same time, customer service professionals receive less calls and less aggravated interactions.
2. Be clear about scheduling
Your site should be a clear resource about a number of things. This of course includes scheduling. 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 will decrease much of their frustration, meaning they will take less 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 be by phone or via email, will allow all of your customers to feel valued.
3. 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.
4. Use social media
Social media is fun and effective. 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.
Likewise for your Customer Service Managers. Generally speaking, they are already on social media as well. So if they can reduce frustrating phone interactions through going social, it can make their jobs much easier and more enjoyable. Furthermore, since social media interactions are slightly less personal, it is easier to handle customers through this method than over the phone.
5. 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.
6. Employ a Customer Service Strategy
A customer service manager is only as good as the strategies that he 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.
Tools such as Desk.com and Zendesk 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. This tool allows the customer service manager to record the interactions with the user, and also 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. Afterall, in many cases, positive customer service employees equals positive interactions with customers and in the end, all leads to happy, loyal customers for years to come. But don’t take our word for it; give these tips a try yourself!
About the author: Yifat is the Marketing VP at nanorep with over 15 years’ experience marketing SaaS and on-premise solutions for start-ups, and global enterprises. As Marketing VP, she is responsible for bringing nanorep’s Digital Experience Guidance (DEG) to the forefront when considering a customer experience solution.