Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Keep Your CSR s Happy to Keep Your Customers Happy

There is no doubt in my mind that being a Customer Service Representative (CSR) is one of the most demanding jobs today. Why? These dedicated professionals solve other people’s problems all day long – everyday. That is emotionally draining to say the least.

Often times, the stress of dealing with people (whether in person or on the telephone) becomes a bit too much. CSRs aren’t usually paid at the top of the scale. Add the sometimes small paycheck to the challenges of working with multiple personalities day in and day out and you have the potential for disaster.

I know we’ve all had the misfortune of meeting an unhappy CSR. The last time I came in contact with one I wasn’t happy either! It was quite obvious to me that this young man had been having a very rough day. He was irritable, uncooperative and downright nasty. Would you want YOUR customers speaking with someone that fits that description? I didn’t think so.

There are several ways to make your Customer Service Representatives happy so they, in turn, will keep your customers happy. Let’s look at seven ideas.

Provide Training. Many small businesses can’t afford professional training for their CSRs… or so they think. However, training can come in many forms. You can simply write up a small customer service manual with your policies and procedures and provide it as a reference tool. You can enroll your CSRs in teleclasses – training via telephone. These training sessions are reasonably priced and very convenient. Check out www.teleclassinternational.com for a large list of teleclasses. Whatever route you choose, make sure your reps understand what you expect of them.

Allow Room for Advancement. Unfortunately many customer service departments are considered the bottom of the barrel. These departments are the place people are assigned as “entry level” employees or worse – as a last resort.

How horrible! Integrate your customer service department into the rest of the company. Place customer service at the top of the advancement ladder, rather than at the bottom. Create a structure that allows employees to advance into, and beyond, customer service.

Offer Special Perks for CSRs. The equation doesn’t fit. CSRs are the front-line people who’s job it is to make and keep customers happy. Yet, most customer service positions don’t pay top salaries, the hours are often very long and the benefits for doing this all-important job can be lacking. Be sure those who perform well as CSRs are offered special bonuses and perks. Create a sense of prestige about your company’s CSRs.

Allow Judgment Calls. When you hire well-qualified people and provide them with the freedom to do their jobs you must also allow them to make judgment calls on behalf of the company. Don’t be afraid to let CSRs work a little “outside the box”. Accepting judgment calls gives both the rep and the customer a feeling of importance and security.

Give Authority. It is difficult to calm an angry customer and resolve problems if you must keep asking for permission to give the customer what he/she needs. It is also aggravating to the customer when their rep doesn’t have any power to overrule or make special considerations on their behalf. Empower your front- line people. Give them the authority to solve customer problems and correct wrongs.

Encourage Creativity. Place a suggestion box in the customer service department. Encourage reps to make recommendations regarding improvements that can be made in their department or the company as a whole. Don’t downgrade any suggestion. Give them all due credit and recognition. Asking for employee’s opinions and implementing ideas that are feasible is an excellent way to build self-esteem and employee loyalty.

Motivate, Motivate, Motivate. As with any stressful job, motivation is a key factor. Keep encouraging posters on the walls. Offer frequent recognition of those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Create special programs to keep CSRs upbeat and on track.

Keeping your CSRs happy will in turn keep your customers happy. It is an investment worth looking into and one that will definitely pay off!

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