Delivering exceptional customer service can help differentiate your organization from your competition. Competition in business is a fact of life, but many companies struggle to stay competitive and earn their customers’ loyalty. One of the key differentiators between companies can often be the delivery of exceptional customer service.
I can say that in fact, consumers’ expectations for great customer service are higher than they have ever been. Delivering this exceptional service to customers can be challenging, but is a critical business activity in today’s market.
Hire the Right People
Building an exceptional customer service team begins well before hiring even starts. With over 15 years in the customer service and support industry, and being team manager at EssayWriter, I have learned first-hand that hiring the right people for your specific organization and the specific job is the key. It is much more effective to hire the right people for a job, than to mold people to a position after they are hired.
Certainly, it is important to know what you are looking for in each team member. Is experience in the industry important? How much experience is required? What personality traits or soft skills will make the candidate successful? Will the candidate fit well into the existing company culture or the culture that you are working to create?
Creating a checklist of the skills and annual goals required for success in the job is an important first step before the interviewing process even starts. This simple step will help reduce employee turnover and help strengthen the company culture.
Once you hired the team members, maintaining an exceptional customer service team is an ongoing effort. The customer service team is important to the organization and the team members should feel valued on a consistent and ongoing basis. This will help keep this critical team happy and motivated to continue to provide exceptional customer service.
Customer Service is a Tough Job
Customer service is a tough job and often customer service representatives are on the receiving end of irate customers, challenging situations, and phone calls that seemingly will never end. Certainly, creating an exceptional customer service team means recognizing that these challenging situations exist, hiring the right people to handle them, and appreciating the team for what they do. Therefore, it is important to make sure the customer service team feels appreciated and valued.
Make the Customer Service Team Feel Valued
When employees feel valued, they are more likely to perform at a higher level. It is estimated that 75 percent of employees polled believe they can have a direct impact on their company’s success. In addition, 72 percent derive a sense of accomplishment from their job. Certainly, valued employees feel better about their work and believe they are contributing to the organization as a whole. Therefore, organizations and managers need to make each employee feel valued and important to the success of the company. Making employees feel valued can start on the day of hire.
Steps in Building an Exceptional Customer Service Team
- Orientation and ongoing training are important. All employees want to know how the business is doing, what standard procedures are in place, and what do you expect of them.
- Hold weekly one-on-one meetings and frequent team meetings. Employees need continuous feedback and communication to stay connected with management and the organization. This is a great time for positive feedback.
- Every team and team member should have realistic, measurable, and attainable goals. Outlining these important goals and communicating results to the team will ensure everyone is working toward the same measures of success.
- Make sure the team has the right tools to do their job. An exceptional customer service team needs incident tracking tools, monitoring tools, automation tools, and a knowledge base. Providing the right tools for the team will set them up for success.
- Reward and recognize exceptional service and work. A rewards and recognition program is a great way to let employees know that you value and appreciate them.
The customer service team can be the key differentiator between your company and your competitors. It is critical to hire the right people for the job, train team members properly and ensure each person knows what you expect of them. Providing rewards and recognition for exceptional employee performance will help motivate the team and ensure that each person feels valued. In turn, they can make your customers feel valued.
Good Team Communication
Every team that has ever been successful has mastered the art of good communication. It allows members to share ideas, provide feedback and give the group direction and focus. Certainly, if a team fails to communicate, it risks conflict and misunderstanding, leading to poor results.
The Importance of Communication in a Team
It is important for team members to communicate so that they can share their feedback on how the team is progressing, and voice suggestions and ideas as to how to improve the way they work. This ensures that they look at the project from every angle possible. Therefore, the results produced are correct and complete.
The best way to communicate is face-to-face, as emotion can be conveyed through tone and body language- something that is lacking in written communication. However, e-mail and fax can be valuable communication tools, enabling a record to keep of correspondence. And the use of mobile phones ensures that you can contact team members at all times. Besides, the team should all swap contact information at the beginning of the project.
Listening as a Form of Communication
Certainly, communication is as much about listening to the other person as it is talking to them. Therefore, if a team member does not listen carefully to instructions and information, they can misunderstand and arise confusion. Team members should respect one another’s beliefs and values, allowing them to voice their opinions without dismissing them out of hand.
A manager or team leader plays an important part in ensuring effective team communication. Therefore, it is their responsibility to convey the main objective of the project in a clear and informative manner, ensuring that there is no ambiguity. Not issuing instructions in this manner will lead to confusion as to the aims of the team, resulting in a completed project that is of poor quality.
The Effects of Poor Communication
Ineffective or poor communication within a team could lead to conflict, as misunderstandings arise and team members argue over their differing opinions as to what should be done. This will negatively affect morale, which will lower productivity. This, in turn, will result in a project that is incomplete and inaccurate.
Besides, emotions should always be controlled, and it is damaging to team morale to argue or conflict with team members. Therefore, it is important that each team member gives their opinion or positively makes suggestions, not enforcing views on colleagues but listening to what is said.
About the author:
Diane H. Wong is a search engine optimization specialist and freelance team manager. Besides, she is a writer at DoMyWriting so she prefers to spend her spare time working out marketing strategies. In this case, she has an opportunity to share her experience with others and keep up with advancing technologies.
How to Build an Exceptional Customer Service Team
- Orientation and ongoing training
Tell your employees how the business is doing, what standard procedures are in place, and what do you expect of them.
- One-on-one and team meetings
Employees need feedback and communication to stay connected with management and the organization.
- Set realistic, measurable, and attainable goals
This will ensure everyone is working toward the same measures of success.
- Provide them with the right tools
They need tracking tools, monitoring tools, automation tools, and a knowledge base.
- Reward and recognize them
Let employees know that you value and appreciate them.