How to Build and Support a Customer Service Team that will Truly Increase Sales
The first interaction a customer has with your company is vital to the way your company is perceived and directly affects the probability of a sale. This initial interaction is relatively easy to control, if it happens to be online; you can make sure your site is navigable and running smoothly, and there are statistics to help you make adjustments. But, what if a phone call or face to face interaction is a customer’s introduction to your company? In this case, your employee directly delivers the customer experience. How can you control that? Having confidence in the capabilities and performance of your customer service employees will lead to more sales and allow you to concentrate on your own responsibilities.
Happy Employees = Happy Customers
Being greeted by a genuinely cheerful and helpful employee puts the customer at ease and sets a positive tone for the whole customer experience. The last thing a customer wants is to feel like an inconvenience and, in addition, consumers are conscious of how companies treat their employees, now more than ever. Happy employees make customers feel at ease about the decision to give you their business. So, give your employees a reason to smile:
- Create a culture that inspires dedicated to the success of the company. Show them that the success of the company is really the success of the individual employees. Encourage employees across the company to interact; this will create connections, loyalties and the desire to help one another succeed, which will strengthen morale and the company as a whole.
- Be an example. The easiest way to develop a productive company culture is to engage and respect employees at every level in the company. Let them know you recognize the value in each and every one.
- Give them something to reach for. Implement a bonus system or competition to get more than minimum effort from your employees. Even if the prize isn’t overwhelming, the sense of accomplishment will stick with them.
- Balance the workload. A full work load will let your employees know that they are fulfilling a real need, but consistently demanding too much will lead to a burn out. Don’t drive those smiling faces into tired eyes and scowls.
- Encourage proper breaks to keep your employees sharp, focused and healthy.
- Provide competitive wages and benefits. Simple, but true: you get what you pay for. There are loads of poorly paid customer service reps, and they are easy to spot. You must be willing to pay for what you know the face of your company is worth.
Be Aware and Take Action
This is the hardest part, but there are companies out there to help you keep a pulse on what’s happening at your front desk or in your call center. For example, we love CallSource. Here’s what they they do to help:
- Record and review calls.
- Grade the calls based on industry standards or standards specified by you.
- Highlight changes or trends in your team’s performance.
- Recommend targeted training to fill the gaps and strengthen the weak spots.
- Provide said training – online or in person.
This is a hugely helpful service and the benefits are too many to list here. Please visit the CallSource website for more details.
Give Employees the Tools They Need to Succeed
The most valuable assets for a customer support team are a good internal communication system, a customer relationship management tool (CRM), and knowledge.
- Internal Communications – It may take some testing to figure out which internal communication system and CRM are the right fit for your company and they will take some effort to implement, but it will be well worth it. The payoff will be a competent, well informed, helpful customer support staff that can efficiently locate current details about customers and projects.
- Training – Properly training everyone on your front line to have a solid understanding of the company’s products and services will give them the confidence they need to upsell and cross-sell. But, don’t stop there. Aside from improving performance, ongoing training let’s employees know that you believe in them, that you are invested in their future and that you want them to succeed.
Again, if you don’t have a good training program in place, we recommend CallSource to help. They have a wide variety of online training materials that are interactive and easily accessible and their in-person, instructor-led classes are invaluable. Most importantly, all of these resources are targeted specifically to your employees’ needs, aiming to strengthen confidence and, ultimately, improve customer satisfaction and drive sales.