The customer service manager is the person who is responsible for managing the customer service department. They are in charge of hiring, training, and supervising customer service representatives. They also have to deal with customers who are dissatisfied with their products or services.
The biggest challenge facing today's customer service managers is that they have to deal with a lot of irate customers on one end and rapid agent attrition on the other end. This can be very stressful and difficult for them because they have to handle these situations in a calm manner. Leading contact center managers from major brands have shared what the best practices are to deal with such situations.
Customers who are angry need more than just a skilled customer service representative. Sometimes they need more than just the right words to calm them down. They need a call center manager with the right tools and high level of empathy to help them through their troubles.
A customer service manager is not only responsible for knowing what to say and how to react in different situations, but also for putting the best tools in place for their team members to do their job even better.
“We cannot always be perfect in our interactions with customers, but with the right tools and resources, we can at least try our best.”
1. Taking Control of the Quality
2. Investing in the Right Tools
3. Agent Empowerment
4. Being Available on all Channels
5. Be Prepared for Unexpected
One of the primary tasks of a manager is to take control of the service quality (the agreed SLA). It is under your ownership for the customer service that is offered. Hence the responsibility is to ensure it is of the highest order. There are many challenges for customer service managers who look after quality, such as:
Through budget optimisation, updated knowledge (product/service) and agent assistance, managers can deliver optimum results and better service quality.
One important task for customer service managers is that they have to learn about trending tools that will improve their contact center. Modernizing your contact center means knowing the right tools and technology that areis calling the shots. Managers deal with different types of customers, channels and situations. But at the same time, the demand for better customer service is growing.
There are many different tools that can support managers to improve their customer service. The best way to choose the right one is to first identify what type of customer service challenges they are facing. For example, some companies need a chatbot to communicate with customers on social media channels while another company needs a chatbot as an assistant to answer emails in real-time as they come in. There are other customer facing tools like automatic call distributors to ensure the right people connect with your customers, email ticketing systems and more.
Customer service managers are also responsible for improving efficiency. They must strategize these techniques without compromising on service quality or intentionality. The ideal way to do this is by empowering your agents. Agent empowerment doesn’t mean just providing them with tools. It means understanding their lacking and then resolving them. Most agents often struggle with product details or get tired of redundant tasks over the time. As a manager, you can offer them a knowledge base to assist with product information or invest in a good CRM system to reduce their redundant tasks like logging in call data and more. One cannot emphasis, how important it is to invest in a good CRM solution as it will resolve most issues and improve your efficiency.
You can also assist them while they are in-call with customers. Agents struggle too when communicating with customers. They might get cold feet, hurt by arrogance or even lost during an interaction. Managers can monitor calls and barge in or whisper to assist them. This will boost their confidence, reduce churn and improve efficiency. C-Zentrix Live call analytics can help the manager to find out which of your agents need a real time assistance.
Every company wants to provide the best experience to their customers, but it is difficult for customer service managers to maintain a low response time on all channels in a call center. Customer service managers must be able to respond quickly and efficiently when the customer does contact them. Response times are critical for a call center or any business that provides customer service. It is important to have a low response time so the customer will be satisfied and not hesitate to contact your company again in the future. Many industries have a low response time standard, like airlines or banks. One way to reduce response time and improve channel-wise communication is by investing in self-service options on all channels. Very recently I kept calling my internet provider to improve my broadband connection but eventually I couldn’t reach customer care. Instead, I was assisted by their chatbot which swiftly resolved my issue in a few minutes. Hence, managers are responsible for ensuring that help is available on all channels. And if not, customers are routed to other channels. I recommend to have an Omnichannel customer engagement solution so that the agents are available across all the channels.
Every call center experiences crisis here and then. And it is a manager’s responsibility to come through in these moments. Managers need to be prepared for an unexpected crisis and deliver on customer’s expectations or even go beyond. Some days there might be high volume and you might be understaffed by chance. You must ensure your team and motivate them to rise up to the situation. You should always be crisis-ready. This can be done only by knowing your team better. A good manager is aware of his team’s flaws and is always working to remove them. These managers invest in data and keep analyzing different metrics to find cost cutting methods, and improve quality. Call forecasting, agent forecasting and shrinkage analysis are the best practices to apply data driven decision making in contact centers.
It is obvious that overcoming challenges is not a big deal if you have the right knowledge and tools. Using data to make decisions, coupled with your experience, you can reach new heights. You should look into newer trends and advanced tools to modernize your contact center and assist your team. Being a good manager isn’t easy but isn’t hard either.
Author Bio: Sweta is a passionate technical writer with experience in digital marketing. Outside work, she is a devoted Esports advocate.