Being a customer service representative can be one of the most demoralizing and dehumanizing experiences on the planet. You are often dealing with frustrated and hostile customers who are dissatisfied with their purchases, and in their anger, they frequently forget that there is a person on the other end of the phone, not a faceless entity. Here are five ways to motivate your customer services representatives so they do not become jaded and disheartened in their work.
1. Contagious Enthusiasm
Customer service motivational quotes are more plentiful than you may realize, and they can also provide more useful information than you might imagine. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a nineteenth-century poet once said, "Nothing is so contagious as enthusiasm." Your customer service representatives can use this sentiment to their advantage. If you get the first word in and start the conversation off on a positive note, the person you are speaking to is more likely to do the same. An unwaveringly positive attitude can be exhausting to keep up, but it can also make your job easier.
Already, many customer service jobs are being replaced by computer programs, and your team might be worried that their department is going to be axed next. However, it is now more important than ever to have a human element in customer service. People get easily frustrated when dealing with computers because they know that computers cannot understand them. So, while it is ok to automate parts of your customer service team, you need to maintain a group of real people who can both answer phone calls and respond to messages you may receive through email or social media platforms.
3. Shift the Blame
To avoid serious verbal abuse to your employees, it can sometimes be useful to give them a free pass to shift the blame onto the management, not in everyday life, but on particularly intense calls. The customers are not directly dealing with upper management, so if you can subtly give them a reason to blame someone other than the representative, they will not have someone to directly get angry at. Swallow your pride and allow your name to get dragged through the mud a little for the sake of the mental health of your employees.
4. Be Accommodating
Many employees feel more comfortable and cared-for when their employer is approachable and appears to care about their wellbeing. If an employee is having a serious issue with a customer, he or she should be able to pass off the customer to someone else and have a place to talk to someone or take a short break if necessary. You need to treat your employees like people rather than a pawn in your business. Your employee retention rates and satisfaction rates will improve drastically when employees have the resources they need to remain mentally healthy.
Recognizing your employees for the things they have accomplished is important to boosting employee morale. If the employee has exceeded your expectations or a quota that you set, always reward them with verbal or email recognition. If you want to go the extra mile, you can even give him or her a physical bonus. This bonus does not have to be monetary. It can be a gift card to a local business, company merchandise, or anything else you think he or she might appreciate. As the name implies, incentives are a great way to incentivize your employees to do well.
The morale of all of your employees, not just your customer service team, is directly linked to the success of your business. The customers are the real bosses of your business, and if your employees can give your customers a good experience, those customers will be more likely to return in the future and recommend your business to others. Your customers need to be happy, and your customer service team is your direct link to making that happen.