A high-performance customer service culture is all about maximizing employee performance without damaging their satisfaction, engagement, or morale. This culture makes the difference between a revenue-generating contact center where experiences and relationships thrive and a cost center where agents are no more than a number. Do your agents feel listened to and valued? Do you foster continual learning? Is there buy-in or a “clock in, clock out” mentality?
Here are five steps for creating a high-performance customer service culture that drives success:
1. Define and promote your customer service culture
Clearly define and consistently communicate your customer service culture so agents will always have a guiding philosophy for taking the next best action. When defining your culture, think of the mindset you want agents to have when working. This mindset is ultimately shaped by your company values. How are your agents upholding these values in their interactions with customers? Define and redefine your culture as your organization evolves.
At the same time, you should understand who your customers are and what they want when interacting with your contact center. Contact center analytics will help you see and understand the big picture of what’s going on in your contact center in an integrated way. You’ll gain data-driven insights into your customers’ preferences and their overall journey with your brand. By identifying and sharing these insights, your agents will be better equipped to provide the level of service customers expect.
2. Fill your roster with the right people
A high-performance customer service culture prioritizes service-minded people who will embrace the culture and contribute to it. When interviewing, ask job candidates engaging questions that will give them a good idea of your culture while determining if they’ll be a good cultural fit (ex: “Can you give me a concrete example of when you went out of your way to solve a customer problem?” or “What would your last supervisor say about you?”). You can also propose hypothetical customer service scenarios to see how candidates think on their feet in line with your company values.
Experience and skills are excellent indicators of how a person will perform in their role, but you can’t teach attitude or perspective. Companies have a significant advantage in today’s work-from-anywhere world, where talent pools have massively expanded. If you don’t have a hybrid or remote work policy, it could be worth considering filling your roster with the right people.
3. Keep your agents positively engaged
Over half of employees say they’re more burned out than ever, especially contact center workers. Without consistent and genuine engagement, it’s only a matter of time until agents mentally check out or walk out. One way to strengthen engagement is through workforce engagement management. This solution uses applications that factor in comfort and engagement, along with work demands, to increase agent autonomy, lower stress, and create a greater sense of community. Workforce engagement management also helps agents align work and personal schedules, leading to better work-life balance and higher retention.
4. Invest in tools that empower agents
We hear the word “empower” a lot. Just how empowered are your agents to meet your customers’ needs? Which decisions can they make? Are they authorized to grant a return or a refund, extend a discount or a credit, or propose a replacement or a free upgrade? Do you make your agents feel like they are owners of the business or that they are just there to expedite one call after another? The ways in which you decide to empower your agents must be supported by the right tools that simplify – rather than hinder – their ability to work.
The following tools and solutions help modernize contact centers and make agents more productive:
- Screen pops that automatically display customer information at the same time an agent answers a call from a customer. Agents don’t have to manually search for the information, making them more present and engaged while reducing average handle time.
- Continuous search helps agents access the right documents faster and avoid lengthy pauses.
- AI-powered speech analyticsallows you to pass critical information like customer sentiment, trends, and demand along to your agents.
- A Workstream Collaboration (WSC) application allows agents to collaborate no matter where they are located and interact with their supervisors, peers, and experts in the organization.
- Real-time AI transcription transcribes customer conversations in real-time for complete, accurate data entry.
You can’t have a high-performance customer service culture without technology that allows your agents to serve customers confidently and comfortably.
5. Listen to what your agents (and customers) have to say
Ensuring your customer service team feels empowered, respected, and valued is essential for maintaining the culture you’ve worked hard to build. Let agents share their thoughts, frustrations, and concerns and apply their feedback to make tangible improvements to prove you care about their experiences. Always listen to what your customers have to say, as well. Their feedback is crucial for helping you understand what’s going on among your agents. Experience Management is an excellent investment for this – see why in this blog.
Customer service culture is critical for keeping both customers and agents satisfied. Connect with our team to see how Servion can help you build a high-performance customer service organization.
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