Customer service is not a glamorous job.
At most companies, the customer service department gets the bottom of the barrel treatment. They are the lowest paid, their concerns are oft-ignored, and they are the targets of budget cuts and outsourcing.
In addition, they are on the front lines with customers, who are often frustrated, confused, and angry. Unhappy customers are 20x more likely to interact with customer service than happy customers. Can you recall a time when you called a service line to tell someone how great their product was working?
Think about that. Customer service teams get it from both sides – the customers and their own companies.
The best companies in the world realized long ago that this was not a successful model. Customer service teams need to valued and respected. Their standing in the organization needs to rise from the gutter. That is the only true way to create a more engaged customer service team. And a more engaged service team will lead to happier customers, which will lead to long term success.
Here are some ways to engage your customer service team:
- Make sure they are represented at meetings
- Remove barriers that keep customer service reps from moving to other departments
- Knock down structures and restrictions that keep them from making customers happy
- Incentivize feedback loops from customer service to product teams, marketing teams, and billing teams
- Reward customer service reps who solve the most problems, improve the experience for the most people, and help train other reps to do the same
- Have top level executives and managers spend time with customer service teams on a regular basis
- Everyone in the company should spend one day per month as a customer service rep