Working in customer service can be challenging. It’s easy for the daily grind to wear away at teams — routines grow stale, enthusiasm wanes. Keeping your team engaged so that they are motivated to provide consistently great service to your customers is an essential part of managing a customer facing organization.
Below are 6 ways to help reinvigorate your customer service team.
Supercharge Your Customer Service Team
1. Introduce an Easily Adoptable Habit
As your business evolves, it is easy for teams to get worn down by the daily grind and need new tools to solve old problems. Back in the Nineties, Starbucks created a plan of action to help employees handle upset customers because many baristas were becoming stressed and less attentive to customers toward the end of a shift.
Starbucks introduced the “LATTE” concept (listen, acknowledge, take action, thank the customer, and explain why) — a simple process for employees to handle upset customers. This new habit resulted in greater customer satisfaction.
2. Hold A Customer Testimonial Contest
Encourage your customers to submit short testimonials that describes the impact your organization and your team has had on their lives or how your company might have helped them.
Share the submissions with your team and show them firsthand how they have made a difference in their customer’s lives. Reading what customers have said about the team will have a lasting positive impact that your team will be proud of.
3. Ditch a Policy That Everyone Hates
All of our organizations have rules (we call them policies, but they are rules) — and most of them are there for a reason. However, rules tend to accumulate over time, and we are often saddled with obsolete rules that serve no current purpose or that have transformed into something never originally intended.
What are some policies that hinder your team’s ability to provide great customer service? Which ones do your team really hate? Can you get rid of any of them? If you can, you will make your team’s week, maybe even month.
4. Offer Training with an Outside Trainer or Consultant
Sometimes we respond to information differently when provided by an unbiased or unrelated person. If this person is trustworthy or respectable, they can have a big impact on your employees.
Coordinate an afternoon of customer service training from a reputable expert to improve your team’s knowledge, understanding and respect for good customer service.
5. Launch a Formal Recognition Program
Everyone loves to be recognized for doing a great job. If you do not have a recognition program or if your program has grown stale or fallen into disuse, take a moment to consider what kind of program might reinvigorate your team. Two tips:
- Get buy-in. Involve team leaders and team members in the process of creating (remaking) your recognition program. This will create buy-in and help design a program that you know will produce results.
- Beware of skewed incentives. Make sure you are not only recognizing the correct behaviors but that your program does not unintentionally incentivize unwanted behavior — like excessive competitiveness or task avoidance.
6. Share Your Own Tales of Hero-ClassTM Customer Service
In addition to customer testimonials, every organization has its stories of times that a team member has gone above and beyond for a customer. Collect these stories and take the time to share them with your team. Real stories of how colleagues and peers have delivered great service can often be a lot more powerful than another remote anecdote about Nordstrom or Ritz Carlton. If Susie, can do it, so can I.
This approach also has the added benefit of highlighting the subject of the story and giving them a nice moment of recognition.
A Quick Thought on Execution
We hope you liked the 6 methods above to reinvigorate your customer facing team. Hopefully, you can find a few ideas that will be a good fit for you organization. If you find that none of the above tips work, then I suggest free coffee. Just sayin’.
On a serious note: If you are considering implementing more than one idea, I would suggest evaluating the ease of implementation and the potential reward of each program.
Don’t try to eat the whole elephant in one meal. Pick one program, and start with that. Once it is rolling along smoothly, kickstart the next one.
What methods have you used to reinvigorate your customer service team?