Motivate Your Team for Outstanding Customer Service: Six Secrets of Customer Service Motivation
By Ed Sykes
Providing outstanding customer service is one of the most rewarding yet challenging activities within your organization. Exceptional organizations that provide outstanding customer service will experience the following benefits:
Increased customer satisfaction
Increased repeat and referral customer traffic
So how do we support and motivate our customer service team to give outstanding customer service? The following are six secrets to motivate your customer service team to give exceptional customer service to your customers:
Provide Ongoing Learning – It's important that you not only provide training on organizational policies and technology, but also how to handle customers. Create an ongoing system for training and feedback. Request continuous feedback and have the "courage to listen" to your customer service team's responses. Your customer service team members, because they are on the frontline, can provide you with excellent information on how to service your customer. Market conditions are changing all the time and the one piece of information your customer service team can share with you can make the difference between success and failure. After receiving the information from your customer service rep, if necessary, provide the training to your customer service team so that they can provide outstanding customer service.
Adjust the Attitude – Constantly work on your own attitude and your team's attitude to providing outstanding customer service. As a customer service leader, always be aware of the tone you set and how your customer service team will be motivated by your attitude. If you are upbeat, your team will follow the lead and provide outstanding customer service. If you have a negative attitude, your customer service team will follow your lead and communicate this negative attitude to the customers they serve.
Work with your customer service team members to create a positive attitude in the following ways:
Look at every customer service experience as a learning experience that is preparing them for future opportunities.
Put your team in the customer's shoes to understand the customer's "pain" and create empathy for outstanding customer service solutions
Have your customer service team take on the persona of a positive individual they admire to help them through a difficult customer service situation.
Create "positive triggers" to remind your customer service team why it is important to give outstanding service. Your trigger could be as simple as a family picture or a picture of an item (new car, home, etc.) that is important to you.
Give Incentives – Motivate your customer service team by giving incentives based on meeting your organization's mission, goals, and values. Be timely, fair, and public with your incentives. Also, when putting together an incentive program, ask your customer service team what they would like as incentives. Many times organizations will invest thousands of dollars on incentives which are not the ones their customer service team wants. Just ask!
Show Appreciation – Appreciate to motivate your customer service team as much as possible. Remember, many times they are facing very challenging customer service situations everyday. Keep them motivated by sharing your appreciation in a timely, sincere, fair, and encouraging way. For more detail on this, go to my article, Appreciate to Motivate, on my website. By consistently showing appreciation, you will motivate your customer service team to excel when it is most difficult for them to do so.
Support Outstanding Customer Service – Support and motivate your customer service team in a number of ways. You can support and motivate your customer service team by making sure the technology supports them and the customers. For example, I recently called my internet broadband company about a mistake on a bill. The automated system disconnected my call five times before I finally spoke with a customer service representative; and I told him that he must experience many upset customers if they experience the same. The customer service representative agreed and said it made his job very difficult.
Support your customer service team by "cheer leading" their concerns to upper management. Champion their concerns to upper management and let your customer service team know the progress of each concern.
Support and motivate your customer service team by keeping standards high for customer service. When your organization is facing challenging times, it is very tempting to lower standards. That's the last action you should take. By lowering standards, you decrease customer satisfaction, increase customer service turnover, and muddy your organization's name in the marketplace.
Apply these customer service motivation secrets with your customer service team and you will have highly motivated customer service teams and happy customers, and your organization's bottom line will increase.
About the Author
Ed Sykes is a highly sought after expert, author, professional speaker, and success coach in the areas of customer service, leadership, motivation, presentation skills, stress management, and team building. You can e-mail him at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at (757) 427-7032. Go to his web site, http://www.thesykesgrp.com, and signup for the newsletter, OnPoint.
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