4 Ways to Motivate Your Customer Service Team
This guest article comes courtesy of Marie Johnson, a contributing writer at Enlightened Digital.
Good things happen to your customers when good things happen to your employees. When people feel good about their job and are proud to be on your team, they strive to achieve more and do better.
If you want to provide the best experience for your customers, you must first start by motivating your customer service employees. Recent research has shown that 41% of today’s consumers are willing to pay more for knowledgeable and helpful employees. In addition, superior customer service has also been shown to improve customer loyalty, average purchase value, and overall brand sentiment.
Your customer service team can have an impactful and integral role in your overall business performance, so it’s important to ensure they’re consistently motivated. If your employees are low on morale and lack enthusiasm, that will only reflect in the service they provide your customers, which will have a negative impact on the workings of your company.
Demonstrate Your Appreciation
Above all else, one of the best ways to keep your team motivated is to appreciate all the efforts they put into their work. Your employees will take notice of this endeavor; in fact, according to a Glassdoor study, four in five (81%) employees report they’re motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work.
Simply providing praise, which is one of the easiest (and free!) measures you can take, can have an insurmountable impact on your employees’ motivation and performance. After all, it is human nature to want to be noticed and recognized. As a manager, always be on the lookout for praiseworthy situations. Make sure that your employees hear from you when they’re doing a good job. This reinforces their positive actions and communicates your value.
Foster (Friendly) Competition
When used properly, competition can deliver tremendous results for a team’s performance. Of course, not all workplace competition is a good thing. Pitting employees against each other surely doesn’t bolster a healthy workplace and can result in high levels of stress and discouragement.
Competition, when it’s functioning correctly, will boost morale and a create feeling of team spirit to the workday. Start by incentivizing and rewarding your top employees when they perform particularly well or suggest an innovative idea. Employees can’t be competitive with each other if they don’t have a realistic idea of how their coworkers are performing. Make it clear who your top performers are (and what they’re doing that makes them so great), so your other employees have something to aim for. You might be surprised how they rise to the occasion!
Friendly competition can also be created outside the workplace through charity fundraisers, fitness competitions, or other non-work-related activities. These challenges are a great way to foster a sense of community, while also creating a bit of friendly competition.
Listen to Employee Feedback
One of the most surefire ways to boost employee morale and motivation is by actually listening to what they have to say. Be sure you meet regularly with your employees to check-in and make sure they’re still happy and motivated.
If you’re willing to go the extra mile, spend some time with your customer service team as they perform their day-to-day. Many companies, including Zappos, Amazon, Craigslist, and Rackspace practice “everyone does support,” a model that calls on all employees to spend time responding to support tickets and engaging with customers. You won’t simply get a better appreciation for what your customer service team does and build a better relationship with your support employees; you’ll also learn potentially business-changing insights about your product that you’d never get from hearing customer concerns second hand.
Schedule Team Building Activities
Corporate events, training sessions, and team bonding activities are important in maintaining employees’ motivation levels. It builds trust, mitigates conflict, encourages communication, and increases collaboration. Effective team building means more engaged employees, which is good for company culture and boosting the bottom line. It can also be adventurous and enjoyable if you get a little creative.
The most successful, memorable team-building events are ones that don’t feel like a day at the office. Whether it be an outdoor activity like a kickball tournament, a day dedicated to volunteering in the community, or even an impromptu experience like a mid-day coffee cart, there are tons of ways you can encourage your employees to connect with each other. In the long-run, these events will help your team grow more comfortable with each other, arrive to work happy and excited to start the day, and will sustain their motivation.
A motivated customer service team isn’t just beneficial for company culture, it’s vital to business success too. Keep your employees motivated and you’ll be rewarded with happier, more loyal customers who love doing business with you.
Marie Johnson is a contributor to Enlightened Digital, UX Designer and technology writer from New York City. If she's not writing her latest blog post in her kitchen, you'll likely find her strolling through Central Park, cappuccino in hand.