People are often unresponsive to change. It’s difficult to move on from a certain school of thought or way of doing things, but if you want to improve customer service and efficiency, it’s important to facilitate change in the office. If you’ve tried a few different things, and haven’t seen much improvement in your employees’ customer service skills, here are a few tactics to try.
1. Install Modular Systems Furniture
When it comes to customer service, privacy is of the utmost importance. Your employees need to focus on the customer and have distractions removed. Cubicles are often given a bad rap as being gloomy, but in reality, they make very effective workstations. Installing these modular systems can help employees focus more on their customers instead of their surroundings.
2. Improve the Work Environment
Sometimes the biggest reason an employee isn’t focusing very well on customer service is the work environment. If things feel gloomy and there isn’t room for fun or relaxation every once in a while, employees won’t be very interested in pleasing customers for the sake of the company.
Brighten up the work environment with a special space for breaks. Table tennis, bean bag chairs – there are many possibilities. Employees need a place to relax, even during work, and such a space can make the environment feel more comfortable for your employees.
3. Show Constant Appreciation
Much of the time, your employees don’t need monetary bonuses to make them work harder – they just need a little appreciation for their work. According to a survey of more than 2,000 employees, 81 percent said that when their employers showed appreciation for their work, it motivated them to work harder.
To make your employees feel more valued, remind them daily how much you appreciate their work and effort. When an employee does a particularly good job, recognize him or her publicly.
4. Foster Friendly Competition
A little friendly competition does wonders for motivating employees. Competition is often a natural impulse. Though not all of your employees will change their work ethics through this method, some will find the competition very refreshing, and excel in their customer relations, as a result.
Competition ideas include employee-of-the-month recognition, games to build teamwork, fundraisers, and a competition for a bonus. Though many of these competitions will have a prize at the end, the true motivator will likely be the contest.
5. Work With Employees
Don’t expect your employees to work hard if you aren’t willing to get your hands dirty as well. Customer service is not an easy job, but it becomes easier for your team if you’re there with them, sharing their frustrations, seeking solutions for better experiences, and setting a positive example.
6. Revamp Your Customer Service Strategy
The reason your customer service strategy hasn’t been working could be that it’s ineffective. Your employees can likely tell when a strategy isn’t working, since they’re the ones who deal with customers on a daily basis. It’s hard to be motivated if you know that the strategy you’re using is ineffective.
There are several attributes of a good customer service strategy that many businesses lack. For starters, it should include being personable and available. Customers should feel like they’re talking to real human beings who are interested in solving customer problems, and that the rep is willing to do anything to help them resolve their issue. The result will be customer communities that demonstrate the value of your customers and the employees who help them.
7. Involve Employees in Planning
A simple principle of business is that people often show more interest in an endeavor when they’re directly involved. It’s difficult for employees to be truly engaged in something when they had no part in the process. Initiate biannual meetings with your employees to discuss your customer service strategies with them. They’ll have far more insight than those who don’t work with customers constantly, and you’ll be able to fine-tune your customer service strategy based on their feedback.
8. Allow for Constant Customer Feedback
When looking for information on how to better your customer service engagement, there’s no better source than the customers themselves. You want to know about both the good and bad experiences your customers have, and easily accessible customer feedback opportunities are the key to that.
Phone surveys at the end of the call, email surveys to sum up a visit, or a form on the “Contact Us” page of your website can all be harnessed for quality feedback. Be sure that the questions are specific and useful in order to best improve the experience for all involved.
It’s hard to keep your team motivated, but if you’re willing to support them completely, the result will be happier employees and loyal customers.[amazon template=iframe image&asin=0814416411]