The Front Lines: Why CSRs Play an Integral Part in Your Company and How to Keep Them Engaged
We’ve all dealt with bad customer service. Sitting on the phone for over an hour before being transferred from representative to representative while you stare at a router that you fear may never work again. Maybe you aren’t even lucky enough to speak with a live person no matter how many times you shout “representative“ into the phone. Experiences like these leave a bad taste in your mouth that could be generalized, even subconsciously, to a negative view of the whole company. Moments like these are more important to a company’s brand than you may think, and unfortunately negative experiences like this will affect the brand perception of your company too.
Not only are customer service representatives (CSRs) important to your company’s brand perception, they’re also instrumental in understanding your customer base. Of course the employees speaking with your customers every day are the ones that know the most about them. Appreciating that a CSR is a valuable asset to your brand perception as well as a resource for knowledge about customer experience will not only improve the quality of your customer service but will also allow the company to improve on existing products and services.
A long-tenured CSR is a valuable CSR
Being a CSR is not an easy job, and it can often be thankless. This is a dangerous precedent to have in your customer service department. While difficult, the job opportunities within this broad field are abundant. No company should assume loyalty from their CSRs; instead a company should aim to create an environment that inspires loyalty.
Learning on the job is a huge part of an employee becoming an all-star CSR. Customer service is challenging because of the fickle nature of customers. No matter how many scripts a company may create with the intention of having ready-made solutions for a variety of potential problems, there will always be a new question or concern to handle that hasn’t been thought of. In order to learn and appropriately respond to the nuances of a given customer base, a CSR must learn through experience.
Thus, it is paramount to keep your CSRs around for a while, and the only way to keep employees at your company is to keep them engaged.
How to keep CSRs engaged
So how do you keep your CSRs engaged? Below I’ve compiled a list of ways that I’ve seen companies do just that:
- Give the customer service team the tools they need to succeed while giving them the freedom to solve problems as they arise. After all, a good CSR wants to help people– let them do that!
- Gather insights from CSRs– they know your customers better than you do! This will encourage critical thinking about every call while reminding a CSR that their perspective is valuable. Utilize insights to improve the customer experience and processes within your organization.
- Create a career pathway for those who express interest in growth.
- Reward employees for a job well done!
- Make it clear how the customer service department fits into the company’s goals and plans.
One of our clients has exemplified how to keep CSRs engaged and loyal. Although this organization is a Fortune 100 insurance company with over ten thousand employees, making each CSR feel like an integral part of the company is one of their priorities from the very beginning. During the second week of training, a C-suite executive came to the office and introduced himself and explained how the customer service department is the foundation of the whole company. He then spent time with the new CSRs on the floor, answering questions and offering advice. A candidate that we placed in that position remarked that this made her extremely excited because she saw it as proof of her own importance and contribution to the company.
The Bottom Line
No matter what industry you’re in, the employees on your customer service team are the ones who interact the most with your customers. This is a great deal of responsibility that cannot be taken lightly. By facilitating a good customer-CSR interaction, you’re offering high-quality care which bolsters your brand and creates the perception of a high-quality product or service. With so much riding on the skills and engagement of CSRs, it’s paramount that you are hiring the right people to begin with, and Percy is here to help!
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you maintain an ongoing recruiting process for your customer service roles, please contact us. We’re always happy to chat, share our experiences and proven tips, and, if there’s a need, explore how we might be able to help.