There’s an old song that says â€œMake new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other gold.â€ These words not only apply to friends, but also to your employees. Your employees are goldenâ€”do all you can to keep them because they’re your ticket to excellent customer service.
Great employees become even better over time, having learned from training and experience. If they get unhappy and leave, you have to train new ones who don’t have the depth of experience of your former employees. Recruiting and retraining new employees hurts not only the budget, but also the customer experience. The customer doesn’t want to be the guinea pig for a beginner; they want their problem resolved quickly and correctly. Another thing customers don’t want: to be the victim of an unhappy customer service agent.
Keeping the front line happy
Satisfied employees know, or are taught, behaviors that help them form and keep great customer relationships. Happy employees are confident in their performance and know they have your trust, with no need to be micromanaged. They’re given the freedom to make the best choices to ensure an outstanding customer experience.
Train your people about the products they will support, make certain they know what they can do to help a customer, give them the best tools to do it and let them go.
- Let them know of career advancement opportunities if they are interested in moving up the ladder.
- Provide real motivation and recognition. Dare to go beyond the standard (ho-hum) swag such as coffee cups bearing the company logo. Yawn.
- Make sure you provide them with efficient and easy-to-use tools.
The other side of the coin
But wait? Aren’t customers the ones that are golden? Yes, they are too. After all, they’re paying the bills that keep the company in business. So how do you keep them happy and returning to you time and time again?
There are many ways, but one of the most importantâ€”the thing that separates you from your competitorsâ€”is your relationship with your customers.
Who fosters that relationship? Certainly not your website, your self-service center, or the product itself. It’s your customer service agents. When that â€œmake or breakâ€ call comes in, a good customer service agent can make lemonade of the problem and sell it to the customer; and the customer hangs up smiling because they have a relationship with you that makes them feel good.
It’s a symbiotic relationship: happy employees help keep customers satisfied by providing excellent service, and satisfied customers help employees to stay happy as it validates their reason for being in the support center: to help people. By keeping your employees happy, you help keep the balance intact.