Basically, the ultimate goal of every business is to forge and maintain a customer-company relationship. This can be possible with the right product and the right price. Be that as it may, the competition in the marketplace now considers customer service as among the key factors for companies to achieve their end goal. Having said that, the attitude of the customer service representative (CSR) when assisting a client will determine whether the service provided was satisfactory or not.
Customer Service Representatives
The role of CSRs is very important. They are the ones who will first (and hopefully the last) address customer concerns and are tasked to make customers happy. Their attitude not only towards the customers but also to other people and themselves has an impact on their overall job performance. Unhappy customers are not good for the business. Unhappy CSRs are also not good for the business.
Customer Service Representative Burnout
For Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) employed in a B2B or B2C set up, having a burnout or job stress is not good since there is a constant influx of customers. The challenge here for business owners is how to integrate approaches that will prevent their CSRs from having burnout. Remember that a burned out CSR has a tendency to leave his/her job. This is a nightmare for business owners since there will be a swell in turnover rate, which translates to incurring extra costs for promoting job vacancies and training for new employees.
According to the American Management Association, burnouts can be thwarted by employing the C.H.A.R.G.E system.
- C stands for challenge. To motivate your CSRs, they have to be challenged. Examples are establishing sales goals, competitions, or contests that have corresponding incentives.
- H is for hardiness, which is the ability to recover from adverse situations. Companies must promote and inculcate hardiness to their employees.
- A refers to appreciation. Appreciate your employees’ efforts and commend them if they did something good. CSRs who are acknowledged, appreciated, and esteemed will be able to do well even if they are under extreme pressure.
- R is for relaxation. Give your employees a break. It would be better if there is a place within the company wherein employees can sit and talk, have coffee, or stretch for a bit.
- G stands for goals. Always set goals no matter how difficult it may be to achieve. This way, your employees will be challenged and motivated.
- E refers to empathy. Have a giving ear. Employees are inspired to attain more if there’s someone who can listen to them and understand what they feel.
Customer Service Representative Turnover
CSRs have the highest turnover rates among all the company’s employees. This is quite alarming since every business must have at customer representatives who will address customer concerns and queries. As mentioned earlier, a high turnover rate does not only bring inconvenience, but also additional expenses. To overcome this, here are suggested pointers that companies must enforce.
- Provide Proper and Additional Training for Your CSRs. One of the many reasons why companies have a high turnover rate on their customer service department is because customer service employees do not receive training that will help them perform well on their jobs. Under performing employees either get laid off or quit their job.
- Create a Conducive Working Atmosphere. Employees quit their jobs because they are offered better opportunities by other companies or they don’t feel like their previous employer supports them. Having said that, businesses must act on this and ensure that the atmosphere in the workplace will drive CSRs to do their best and use their full potential.
- Appreciate their Work and Provide Incentives. Like any other employees, CSRs are motivated when they are appreciated either through words or in the form of company bonuses and incentives. No matter how big or small these incentives are, it can flare up and intensify the performance and work ethic of an employee.
- Gear Them Up With Tools, Techniques, and Product Knowledge. CSRs who want a growth in their career will only achieve this if they are performing well. To enable them to be the best they can be, they have to be equipped with the correct instrument, working strategy, and product knowledge.
- Give Feedback. When a CSR feels disconnected from the management, they get disinterested on their job and look for other employers. To prevent this, the management can provide feedbacks and encouragement. An example is giving the “Employee of the Month” award.
Customer Service Representative Retention
Being able to provide the opportunity for highly qualified CSRs to work for your company is already an achievement. What’s more is if you’re able to retain them. The first step in retaining your employees is to screen them. Select the best candidate by considering not only their abilities but also their attitudes. To do this, you can test them for their adaptability, personality, and creativity. After considering the right candidates and hiring them, the next step is to introduce your company. Have them meet other employees and management team. With that, they can see their purpose and realize their value to the company. Next is to create goals. This is not measured by how many customer concerns they resolved, but by gauging the skills they have improved or new skills they acquired. Lastly, manage them well. This involves paying them well, giving incentives, providing a healthy working environment, instituting teamwork and cooperation, and career pathing them.