Build Your Dream Customer Service Team

Empower agents to personalize every customer experience

January 2021 - 6 minutes

Every customer service interaction is a moment of truth for your company. Each great experience solidifies customer loyalty and improves your brand’s reputation. But customer expectations are always on the rise.
How do you ensure your customer service team delivers the best possible experience with your company? It’s all about empowerment.

Select top talent for your customer service team

When you hire, train, and motivate employees consistently, everything else falls into place. Beyond the right skill set, your customer service team needs the right attitude, which determines:

  • What they say and how they say it
  • The goals they set for themselves
  • How much they are willing to do for your customers
  • Overall job satisfaction

Employees with the right attitude have an easier time acclimating to company culture and performing well on the job. They also tend to stay in their jobs longer. To identify the right candidates for your available roles, ask these questions:

Why are you interested in customer service?

Ask candidates why they feel customer service is right for them. After all, customer service is not just resolving one issue after another. Your agents satisfy customers’ needs and put smiles on their faces. The best customer service agents have a natural desire to help and express genuine empathy.

Are you familiar with what we do?

Ideal candidates walk into interviews with a basic understanding of your company. They can explain the value of your product or service. Fill in any blanks and discuss how you make a difference in customers’ personal or professional lives.

How would you handle…?

To see if a candidate is a good fit, create a customer support scenario. Don’t be afraid to throw a few curveballs. Does the candidate respond with empathy? Ask appropriate questions? Offer proactive solutions? Did you feel they resolved the issue? Provide feedback and give candidates the chance to talk about what they do differently.

In the end, look for a good blend of operational and personal customer service skills. The best candidates for your customer service team have:

  • Empathy: Can they put themselves in the customer's shoes and understand their distress? Will they always treat customers with respect?
  • Initiative: Can they identify the customer’s problem and fix it? If they don’t know how to, will they research the issue, consult with colleagues, and escalate it diplomatically?
  • Value: Are they especially enthusiastic and aligned with your company’s core values? Will they add to your team? Do they stand out from the crowd?

If you can hire candidates who check many of the boxes, you’re well on your way to building an exceptional customer service team.

Train your customer service team to go the extra mile

To truly delight your customers, you have to go above and beyond. Here are 10 best practices for agents to ensure customer satisfaction:
It isn’t just good manners to check back in with customers. It provides another opportunity to build a relationship.
Ensure agents are putting in the time and attention to truly understand the customer’s issues. When people know you value their needs, they’re more likely to stay with your brand.
Open communication lines within the team help everyone understand every issue, not just those they handle personally.
Customers want the truth. Keep them informed at all times. For example, have agents follow up immediately with new information about their case and earn their commitment to your company.
People prefer to talk to other people. Help agents fine-tune soft skills such as communication style and listening by conducting role-playing exercises and honing communication skills.
Encourage agents to put themselves in the customer’s shoes, especially during challenging situations. Their empathy will show through. Pay attention to tone and word choice as well.
Customers love when agents respond and resolve their issues quickly. They are actually more likely to develop an ongoing relationship with your brand when you’re prompt.
Keep agents focused on your customer. Teach them to better understand their pain points and find ways to alleviate them. When customer success is a priority, better business results follow.
Analyze common requests and use these insights to create knowledge articles or FAQs. Be sure to track and share your KPIs, such as case deflections and time-to-resolution rates, to show how your team has helped customers and reduced repetitive requests.
The more agents know, the better. Encourage them to ask more questions to get all the information they need to recommend the best solution.

Give your customer service team tools to succeed

Consider common friction points customers encounter. These might include:

  • Long wait times
  • Overpromises from your agents
  • Rude or suspicious behavior from employees
  • Dealing with many different departments to get an issue resolved
  • Multiple inquiries about the same issue
  • Lack of resolution
  • The pressure to buy something

What can your customer service team do to improve these issues?

Gather customer information

Ensure agents have all the information they need before they interact with the customer. Use chatbots to ask common questions and collect information before an agent opens the case. Give agents a 360-view of the customer with access to prior interactions across your organization, communication preferences, service history, and more.

Organize cases

Assign every issue a status, level of urgency, and owner based on agent availability and expertise. Add notes for your team like “more info needed” or “call back.” Ensure agents create workflow “queues” or folders to categorize their cases, prioritize, and track them.

Optimize workflow management

When you optimize workflow management, cases route to the right agent based on skill set and availability. Once assigned to the case, agents are guided through the proper steps to reach a resolution faster. If an agent doesn’t have the answer, ensure a seamless hand-off to the right agent based on skill set.

Confirm resolutions

Use a shared dashboard to encourage accountability and reduce ambiguity. This creates an airtight system to track cases and keep customer conversations in context. The dashboard may show a case’s assigned agent and its status at a glance.

Build career growth for your customer service team

Use a shared dashboard to encourage accountability and reduce ambiguity. This creates an airtight system to track cases and keep customer conversations in context. The dashboard may show a case’s assigned agent and its status at a glance.
A customer service dream team is a happy one. Focus on employee satisfaction. Regularly ask employees how you can do better. Acknowledge your team’s hard work and help them progress with the tools they need to grow their careers.

Upskill your customer service team

Provide plenty of opportunities for professional growth and promotion. Let agents with the interest and aptitude try out other departments, such as sales or marketing, when caseloads allow. They can build new skills and apply their learning to their roles, such as cross-selling and upselling techniques, while growing their value to your company.

Provide positive feedback

Employees who receive frequent feedback from management feel they have more control over their work. This increases job satisfaction because it’s a quick and easy way to boost engagement and performance.

Take suggestions

It’s up to every employee, not just a few people in management, to build and strengthen culture. Ask for suggestions and keep your team involved in helping the business grow and thrive.

Recognize individual talents and successes

Encourage individuals to use their talents for team success. Show your appreciation for their achievements. Acknowledge them on your company’s social channels and give out rewards tied to specific actions.

Teamwork makes the dream work

A carefully chosen, well-trained, and empowered customer service team is the key to unlocking success for your organization. With the right tools and training, they know how to center around your customer and go the extra mile to deliver the best experiences every time. Consider other ways to take customer service training to the next level and inspire your team.


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