10 golden tips to become a great customer service manager

There can be no good and capable team without great leadership. This is true in many areas of life, and so it is also true in customer service. 

In this article, we will cover the basic qualities, skills, and decisions you need to make to become a great customer service manager with a great team behind you.

Stay focused and organized

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. 

Part of the family

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.

Be all ears

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.

The 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, with assigning the right people for the right job, for knowing how to improve every team member as professionals, 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.

Ways to improve

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.

Tools and resources

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.

Training new hires

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. 

Customer-centric culture

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. 

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. 

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.

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