This week, we feature an article by Sowmya Juttukonda, content developer & digital media specialist at Knowmax, a knowledge management system to enhance customer service. She shares how organizations can create an environment that motivates employees to become more productive and improve customer experience. Talk of productivity, and we all have got something to share. […]
This week, we feature an article by Sowmya Juttukonda, content developer & digital media specialist at Knowmax, a knowledge management system to enhance customer service. She shares how organizations can create an environment that motivates employees to become more productive and improve customer experience.
Talk of productivity, and we all have got something to share. Even on days that we are not working, we have this subtle question running in our minds- Was I productive today? This is because we have come a long way in our understanding of productivity which is no longer only about the amount of work but something more. This “something more” can extend to many different interpretations, but it is safe to bring out one common element- “Value.” We want to derive value from our work today, and when we do so, it naturally motivates us to do our jobs better.
Today, business leaders strive to understand their employees better and invest in strategies and solutions that augment their employee’s productivity to deliver valuable work. No wonder the workplace environment affects people’s levels of motivation and engagement with work, which is why businesses are opening up to reform their workplace culture and striving to make their company a happy place for people to work.
A sign of a highly productive organization would be its adequate attention and emphasis on catering to the needs of both its customers and employees. True that every business prioritizes customer happiness, and it should, but it invariably begins with your employees first. If employees are happy and look up to their workplace with regard and respect, it will be reflected in their interactions with customers.
The customer support employees are under constant pressure to deliver on time. Their performance and resourcefulness are marked by their ability to respond to situations with agility and ease. Given the demands on both the support quality and time that customer support teams are met with, it is natural for them to feel overwhelmed at work and dwell in the vicious cycle of low motivation levels leading to low productivity.
Dealing with customers is not easy. Besides, customer support employees cannot afford to act their frustration out on their work, for it can cost heavily to the company. As the bearers of great responsibilities, customer support representatives deserve timely care and attention. It is vital to ensure that their voices are heard and their challenges considered.
Here are some of the key ways you can take good care of your employees and motivate them to perform better at their jobs.
According to a Cornell University study, over 85% of call center employees report high-stress levels in their workplace. Back-to-back customer calls can exhaust support reps. Keeping in mind that some of these customers may be angry or frustrated, it is extremely challenging for agents to pull off their work satisfactorily. To some extent, stress can help employees achieve their targets, but all-time stress is debilitating for their mental health and robs them of their energy to work.
Given the ever-growing emphasis on sharing exceptional and seamless customer experiences, practical and viable solutions should be worked out instead of overburdening customer support employees with unrealistic goals.
Customer service automation is becoming the need of the hour. Intelligent virtual assistants or chatbots can be trained much more quickly than human employees and can offload their work. Everyone is bound to experience fatigue when they repeat the same tasks. Automating customer service with AI can eliminate redundancy and improve the ways customer support functions.
As the saying goes, No man is an island… No one can work in isolation, and healthy workplace culture is one where employees engage in meaningful interactions amongst themselves and with their supervisors. There needs to be a safe space for customer support employees to voice their concerns and share their challenges with the management. Customer satisfaction relies heavily on support agent satisfaction, making it all the more important for establishing robust communication strategies and plans in the organization.
A healthy balance can be created between creating individualized meet-ups and establishing standardized communication channels to interact with employees consistently and gain a deeper understanding of their problems at work. Most times, employees don’t feel safe about voicing their genuine concerns, which can be harmful in the long run.
In customer support, management needs to take feedback from support agents and consolidate it to optimize business processes. Data analytics and various technological tools can help businesses record user engagement patterns, learn from them, and find ways to solve challenges faced by customer support employees in dealing with customers.
As discussed above, call center jobs are not easy and come with an aura of monotony, as many may look at it. However, technology is changing the ways call centers work. It is important not to get overwhelmed by the rapidly growing technological evolutions. The idea is to accept innovation with caution, keeping your unique business dynamics in mind.
Empowering customer support employees means giving them the right set of technology, information, and tools to confidently and effectively make decisions in real-time. As automated customer service can handle most standardized and routine customer problems, the nature of queries that come to agents via calls is complex.
Upgrading customer service tools can be a way forward to boost the productivity of support employees and make them independent problem solvers. When upgraded technology is aligned with human resources, customer support employee productivity levels rise to the next level as employees can unleash their full potential.
Productivity is directly dependent upon how people manage their time. Information overload is a growing challenge that absorbs much of our vital mental energy. Often, low productivity results from our hyperactive efforts to process information or a failure to locate it when needed.
In customer support, there is heavy reliance on knowledge resources. The inability to find the right information at the right time hits productivity levels directly, eventually leading to poor customer experiences. The key is to prevent the fragmentation of information and consolidate it in one place for employees to find the relevant information easily.
Every organization is bound to encounter low customer support employee productivity, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, what is wrong is to neglect the problem, for it can cost a loss of both money and trust. The solution is never to move away from the fundamental point, which is to take good care of your employees and encourage them to communicate about their problems which impact their productivity. When you identify the causes, take a sigh of relief because from there, you can begin to manage the situation effectively.
Take a comprehensive view of your business dynamics and implement proactive measures to help your employees perform to their full potential. Empowering your customer support employees with effective technological tools, knowledge, and resources can supercharge their efficiency and motivate them to deliver superior customer support.
Sowmya Juttukonda is a content developer & digital media specialist at Knowmax, a knowledge management solution for enterprises seeking to reduce their customer support costs & provide the same omnichannel customer experience throughout the customer journey.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
Read Shep’s latest Forbes article: Is Customer Loyalty Dead?
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