It is the Age of the Customer. Everyone acknowledges the importance of keeping their customer base happy and loyal. But the core of keeping customers happy really begins with your employees.
Engaged employees create happy customers. Increasing customer service agent motivation has been shown to increase call quality and profitability. Not to mention, productivity and service levels improved as well.
All these proven benefits of increasing employee engagement leave just one question – how do you go about driving agent motivation in your own business?
Follow these tips and your team will feel more inspired than ever before.
1. Acknowledge individuality
Everyone is unique. Each team member will have a distinct character. Their goals will not be the same and they'll respond differently to your initiatives.
For instance, someone who is competitive may enjoy gamification in the workplace. A parent might really appreciate a flexible schedule that allows them to be there when their kids come home from school.
Designing a motivation program that takes into account the individuality of your team members has a two-pronged advantage: You can offer each staffer something they really want while showing that you know and care about each team member as a person, a motivator in itself.
2. Ensure quality work
A program that ensures the maintenance of a certain quality of work can be highly motivational for your agents when coupled with a good reward scheme. A quality program makes sure that agents are judged according to their proven performance, not any sort of favoritism from management.
Good performers are rewarded, staff who need improvement get the help they need, and the system doesn’t carry any deadbeats.
It’s highly demotivating for team members who are doing their best to watch agents with sub-standard work skate by because there’s no way to measure performance. A quality system ensures that everything is fair and above-board, and rewards go to the staffers who have earned them.
3. Have a good reward program
A top-notch reward scheme gives you the option of handing out instant prizes. A monthly bonus for good performance is a great idea, but an instant reward is much more exciting and motivational. One of the reasons social media can be so addictive is that you get immediate gratification from ‘likes’ and ‘shares’. You feel appreciated and you’re more likely to repeat that behavior.
The Karma store lets your team members redeem karma points for more tangible rewards. It functions as a catalog showcasing your prizes – from an extra day off to a trip for two to Hawaii, you decide. There's also a gift card program that works with popular retailers, such as Amazon, to bring even more variety to your rewards program.
4. Make the most of your coaching/training program
Agents are more engaged when they feel that their employer cares about them and supports them in doing a good job. A good coaching program assists your agents in feeling competent and empowered. They'll see that they're getting better at their role and feel like they're progressing in their lives.
A through-out training program supports your team in their chosen careers. It’s also a good idea to have career progression plans available to staff members. They’ll be more engaged in their work when that see that they can grow and improve on a more personal level.
5. Ask for agent input
Your customer service team spends every working day interacting with customers. It’s very likely that they know more about your customer base than anyone else in the office.
Asking your staff for insights into your customers widens your scope of information and makes your team feel valued and included in the company’s decision-making process.
They’ll feel more inclined to think of solutions to problems with your customer service matrix. Instead of worker drones who do what they’re told, they become co-creators within the business.
6. Get good tech
A customer relationship management system lets you offer an improved and personalized customer experience. But it also helps your team be more productive, and provide more added value to your customers.
For instance, an omnichannel system with one queue for live chat, email, social media, and phone queries give customer service staff variety in their working day, instead of repeating the same thing over and over (and over) again.
When one of your team members engage with customers, a CRM will give them a complete customer history, thus saving time, increasing productivity and decreasing agent (and customer) frustration.
Looking for a tech solution that improves customer satisfaction and decreases customer service staff churn? Wireless headsets are a great example of that. They untether your team from their desks, allowing for greater productivity.
Technological improvements not only benefit your company but can simplify the work processes of your staff, keeping them happy and motivated.
Your customer service team should be a priority investment in your company. By keeping them motivated and happy, you’re sure to put your best foot forward with your customers.
What tactics do you use to keep your customer service agent’s motivated?