What is a customer service manager?
A customer service manager oversees the day-to-day activities of one or more teams that provide customer service. The job requires strong communication skills, as well as a good understanding of how to motivate and manage others.
A customer service manager is someone who has taken the time to master their skills in customer service and help others do the same. They know how to deal with difficult customer issues and can solve problems before they arise.
Leading and inspiring their teams to deliver great customer service is in their blood.
A customer service manager must also monitor performance metrics and make adjustments as necessary. Additionally, they may conduct employee training on topics related to their jobs, including time management and conflict resolution.
The best way to become a customer service manager is by working your way up from within an organization. If you already work as a customer service representative, you might be interested in taking on more responsibilities or leading your team as part of your job description.
You could also consider getting a master's degree in business administration or management - this will offer you more career advancement opportunities.
“Ensuring that all employees meet or exceed performance standards”
What are the customer service manager's duties and responsibilities
Managing contact center agents
As a customer service manager, you're responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of your company's contact center. This means you're responsible for providing leadership and guidance to your team members so that they can perform their jobs well. You also need to manage any problems or issues that might arise in your contact center, as well as any outside circumstances that affect its operations.
In order to be successful at managing your team, you'll need to:
- Set clear goals and objectives for your staff
- Ensure they have the training they need to meet those goals
- Train them on new technologies or processes that will help them do their jobs better
Ensuring customer satisfaction
Customer service team leaders are responsible for ensuring that the customer is satisfied with their product or service. They must keep a close eye on the customer's experience and ensure that it is going smoothly.
They may delegate tasks to other members of their team, but they are ultimately responsible for making sure that customers are happy with their experience.
Analyzing customer service data
It is important to understand the customer's level of satisfaction with the product or service they received, as well as how many complaints were received by category (example: billing, technical issues) and how many were resolved.
You should also be aware of any trends that emerge over time—for example, if complaints are increasing month-over-month or if there are specific types of customers who consistently raise the same concern.
#1 Stay focused and organized to improve customer service
When it comes to your team’s daily routine, it is of great help if you could structure that routine to be as effective as possible. In order to not only become focused and organized, but stay focused and organized through difficult times, and that is the real challenge – you should, as any customer service supervisor and manager, think about the length and frequency of your team meetings.
Should it be a daily standup or a weekly thing? Which information can be shared during a meeting, and which meeting can be reduced to an email? Which emails are just distracting white noise for your team members?
The working schedule should also be very transparent and fair, everyone should always know the agents available at work at a certain time, who covers for who, etc.
So, the transparency of information, and the frequency of meetings and emails are of crucial importance to stay uncluttered and focused, with a clear and organized workflow through each day, which in turn improves the customer service experience, for your team members have their basic needs fulfilled to work together efficiently.
#2 Be a great team player (not just a supervisor)
While it is very difficult to be a part of your team and remain an authoritative figure, this is something you should strive for daily.
Asides from being responsible for your team and their results, you should also feel responsible for their individual progress as a professional. They will notice this attention from you and appreciate it greatly. You will achieve this by spending time with them, being a part of the group, instead of just some figure above them. Make sure to go on some coffee breaks with them, share meals with them, and have some one-on-one time with each and every person as much as possible.
Organize dinners and celebrations as a reward for reaching milestones, or before Christmas, New Years', etc. These are also ideal opportunities for relaxing with your team.
Being a customer service manager or any type of manager is similar to being a parental figure in a large family. Your responsibilities to the collective and the individual are numerous, but if you do your job well you will be cherished and feel very gratified.
#3 Listen to your Customers
Make sure that you and your team members, as customer service reps, always listen to the customer. Have the patience to listen even if you know in advance what the customer will say. Despite feeling like you are wasting precious time, the customer will feel respected if you take the time to hear him out. Show this behavior on your own example, and demand each of your team members do the same.
And in instances where your team members hear something new from the customer is an incredible teaching moment for them. This new information should be stored in some knowledge base, discussed with you and the entire team, thought through, and then you should decide how to use this new knowledge to improve your processes, products, and services.
This is why it is so beneficial to always listen to the customer.
#4 Pay attention to your team's strengths and weaknesses
One of the most important customer service manager skills is getting to know your team thoroughly. This cannot be achieved in day, week, or month. The relationship between the manager and the team member must be built and maintained every day, it is a never-ending job for the customer service manager.
This knowledge of your team members enables you to discover their strengths and weaknesses. It is incredibly important to know this in order to decide how to proceed with training, assigning the right people for the right job, knowing how to improve every team member as professional, etc.
You cannot have a continuously better and better customer service team without putting in the time into the people. The customer service experience of your business depends on how well you know your team inside and out and what you do with this information.
#5 Train your team to always look for ways to serve customers better
Proactivity is expected out of customer service agents. However, you might have to lead the way to show them how to be proactive, and how to think of new ways to help the customer on the fly.
Encourage your team members to think outside the box to come up with new solutions for the customer, be available to them for advice – and you will see amazing results.
The agents will feel like they are applying imagination and creativity to solve customer problems and the customers will definitely feel well taken care of. This ongoing search of how to make your service even better is a great challenge for you and your team members, as a way to keep improving.
#6 Give your team tools and resources for handling common customer problems
A surgeon needs a great scalpel to perform surgery, a painter needs a great brush to create art. In the same way, a customer service team needs amazing tools and resources to do their job and increase customer satisfaction.
Give a lot of thought into the software you are going to acquire for your agents. This is incredibly important because these tools either enable them to do a great job or hinder them and eventually cause them to perform poorly.
Listen to your team members for feedback on the used software, if something is truly unusable for your use cases, you must know it to eventually think about acquiring and adjusting to new tools.
Likewise, great software can give your team second wind to do their job amazingly. It can be packed with new features, technologies, and principles such as artificial intelligence and natural language processing – putting you on the forefront of the most modern practices in the industry.
#7 Training new hires – making sure they learn the right skills and values
When hiring new people make sure that the training they receive is up to your high standards. The training courses that you have prepared must lay the foundations for your agents to become high quality customer service agents. These courses will be crucial for them to feel comfortable when they start working.
Also, training courses are the right place to instill the values needed in your new agents, such as being focused, honest, customer-oriented, etc.
Also, these courses should not happen once in an agent’s career. You should make sure that your agents organize and attend training, for example, once a year. This is a great way to learn from other agents, repeat already established knowledge and skills and find new ways to improve.
#8 Establish the right Culture ( Customer centric )
As a customer service manager make sure to nourish customer-centric culture. This means that you and your agents put the customer first: not yourselves, not your bosses or whoever, but the customers themselves. The upper management, if they are wise, will expect this out of their customer service team.
Once you truly have a customer-centric culture and once you come into the habit of daily thinking how to improve the customer experience, you will notice that your agents are more and more effective and that your customers and more and more satisfied with your service – which is the end result we all want to see.
#9 Monitor the progress of your team
To keep progressing and improving over time every customer service manager should keep track of the team’s progress. You should gather data about the team’s efficiency as a whole, but also keep track of individual statistics. After all, it is each individual that contributes to the larger picture with their customer service skills (or lack of thereof).
With these two types of monitoring – general and individual, you will easily develop a plan of how to continue with the general improvement of your team to achieve even better results.
Your agents will thank you for you will show that you care about their professional development, and your customers will thank you for their customer experience will only keep growing.
#10 Teach, train and empower your employees to do their jobs effectively!
To conclude, customer satisfaction is closely tied to the ability of your agents. You must take care of details big and small to notice improved results. Monitoring and encouraging individual team members are crucial to eventually have an efficient team and is just as important as nourishing that collective team spirit. At the end of the day, you must do everything necessary for your team member so that they can do their job successfully.