Customer support agents are typically the first people a customer speaks to when they have an issue. That means they may not always be at their most pleasant, and the interactions can be frustrating. With that being said, a study showed that as many as 74% of call center agents are at risk of burnout.
That’s why it’s crucial to keep your customer support staff positive and motivated, for their own sake, the customer’s and yours. In this article we’re going over the benefits of motivating agents and 10 ways to do so.
Benefits of motivating your customer support agents
To start, customer support agents are the backbone of the customer experience. Whether they’re on the phone, on a cobrowsing call, or in a live chat, they are the ones interacting with real customers. When they are motivated, customer support agents are more likely to exhibit enthusiasm, dedication, and a positive attitude in their interactions with customers.
Being motivated contributes to:
- Higher job satisfaction
- Reduced turnover rates
- Improved employee retention
- Happier and more loyal customers
10 ways to motivate your customer support team
There’s no question that customer support team motivation is important. So let’s look at 10 ways to motivate your team. If you’re looking for more best practices about how to run and effective customer support team and call center, you can check out this article for tips: call center tips.
Managers need to understand that motivation varies among individuals. No two customer support agents are the same. You’ll need to understand what drives each agent. This can be professional growth, recognition, or perhaps a sense of purpose. Knowing this information will help you tailor motivational strategies.
Give your agents the tools they need to succeed
One of the biggest contributing factors to burnout and turnover is that the job of a customer support agent — especially those who work in call centers or the tech industry — is hard. Giving employees the right tools can make it much easier to deliver exceptional customer experiences without straining or overworking them. This is a win-win because it also improves productivity. 24/7 customer support agents will be happy to have as many tools as they need to do their jobs effectively.
One tool you can use to assist your agents is software. For example, cobrowsing tools can help agents resolve tricky customer tickets faster without the back and forth that typically happes over chat and email by making it possible for them to initiate zero-download screen control calls with users to solve tricky support requests directly and guide users in their product. They’ll be able to do so while the customer watches the resolution in real-time, and hopefully avoids future issues.
Session replays can make it easy for agents to understand what a user did in their web app or on their website to gain context on issues. Multi-channel support software also makes it easy to manage all support and communication channels in one place. Having great tools can help motivate agents to do better.
Invest in training
Training is essential to keep your customer support agents motivated and well-informed. Agents need to be up to date on customer support protocols and escalation procedures, especially for dealing with difficult tickets and customers who may be upset.
Investing in training is another great way to keep customer support agents engaged with their job and prepare them for anything. Training should involve sensitivity training, going over policies, and ticket escalation management.
Back your customer service agents
If you are offering customer support, there will likely be a time when a customer is upset and may lash out at your agents. It’s important for you to back them up — especially if a customer becomes abusive towards them. This will help keep them motivated to continue providing top-notch customer service even in the most difficult situations.
Set goals and communicate expectations
Establish clear and achievable goals for your team. You can use the SMART method, which stands for:
This method can help you set goals and regularly communicate your expectations to your team to keep up with customer support best practices.
Empower your agents to evaluate their own performance periodically. Self-reflection is important when it comes to identifying strengths, areas for improvement, and personal goals.
Reward and recognize achievements
Recognizing achievements is another great way to keep up motivation in the workplace. Rewards can be in the form of raises, gift cards, and awards. Incentives will help with motivation and overall morale.
Provide resources for wellbeing
Support the overall well-being of your team by offering resources for physical and mental health, promoting work-life balance, and creating a positive work environment. Offering wellness days on top of sick days is another good idea.
Engage in team-building activities
Team-building exercises and activities will help your agents feel more connected to their coworkers and the larger purpose of the company. Hosting events that foster camaraderie and collaboration can make them feel like they’re a part of something bigger and that their work matters. This will provide a sense of unity among your support team because they should feel like they can count on each other as well.
Recognize the signs of burnout
As we mentioned in the beginning, burnout within customer support teams is a real concern. Staying vigilant for signs of burnout among your team members can help you catch it before it goes too far. Address workload concerns and provide support to stay ahead of burnout and maintain morale. This can help turnover and employee engagement.
The bottom line is that customer support is not an easy job. Your agents are the backbone of your business, and it’s important for them to be happy and motivated to provide effective support. Following these tips and giving agents the tools they need to succeed will keep your customer support team in good shape.
Remember that you should always be on the lookout for burnout before it starts so you can intervene before it’s too late.
Sources last checked: 28-Nov-2023