As the saying goes, “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” This holds a lot of weight with customer service workers as well as administrative staff, who are often the initial point of contact for a company’s clients, vendors and other business contacts. But as their boss, do you know the value of good customer service team building?
Providing good customer service is the key to attracting and keeping business. Your administrative and customer service employees, in particular, play a key role in how others perceive your organization. While it’s easy to provide quality service when dealing with simple situations, the real challenge for your workers is when they face difficulty, like rude or angry people.
Here are five ways you can provide customer service team building when it’s needed most:
1. Be head cheerleader
As the boss, you lead the cause. You can’t expect your staff to provide excellent service if it’s not a personal commitment of your own. If you’re going out of your way to exceed expectations with everyone you meet at work, your employees are more likely to follow suit.
Find out what you need to build good customer service skills.
2. Don’t expect it to come naturally
The most important customer service mindset to possess includes the ability to listen and read nonverbal cues, strong verbal and written communication, patience and sound judgment.
Not everyone will excel in all of these areas, so invest in training when needed. It’s especially helpful to have people engage in role-plays to learn the correct way to handle certain situations. You might even choose to do this periodically as a refresher on providing top-notch service.
3. Allow creative solutions
Even if there are standard procedures in place, allow staff to make their own judgment calls sometimes. A customer has received a defective product? An employee might let the customer know he’ll work directly with the person packing the replacement to make sure the one going out is perfect. Going above and beyond can help to rebuild the relationship.
4. Promote the value of negative feedback
While it’s certainly not fun to hear people vent frustration or complaints about your company, let employees know that there’s an upside: People are giving you the chance to make things right. Your staff can help to turn around the situation or, at the very least, provide empathy and action that diffuses the tension. If your employees have had sufficient training, they should be prepared for what comes their way.
5. Reward those who practice good customer service
Be sure to recognize those who have an excellent customer service skills. Make a real effort to acknowledge group achievements. Quality service is a team endeavor, and you want everyone to be motivated to do their best, even if they’re just supporting someone else.
Customer Service Week every October is a good excuse to call attention to the importance of the people who serve and support your customers — but you can show your appreciation at other times, too.
Keeping up with salary and retention trends is a great way to reward your hard-working customer service staff. According to the 2019 OfficeTeam Salary Guide, customer service and call center professionals are in high demand by employers.
Here are some of the midpoint salaries for customer service jobs: $30,750 for customer service representatives, $32,500 for call center representatives, $38,000 for senior customer service representatives and $40,000 for senior call center representatives.
At the midpoint, candidates have average experience with the necessary skills to meet the job requirements, and the role may be in an industry where competition for talent is moderate
Are you offering your staff up-to-date salaries that keep pace in your market?
Use our Salary Calculator to find out the salary ranges for customer service representatives in your city
This post has been updated to reflect more current information.