The most common question I hear from managers and business owners is, “How do I get my CSR’s invested in the company? How do I make them WANT to do well?”
It’s no secret that customer service representative turnover is much higher than other industry averages. In fact, call center turnover is between 30 and 45 percent.
Creating long-term CSRs begins with YOU as a manager/owner, and the company culture you’ve created. If you’re looking for CSRs that will be invested in their role, follow these steps:
1. Hire the right people
A customer service representative is the first point of contact a customer has with your company; first impressions are critical.
Make sure a candidate has at least a year of phone experience and that their past employment has been consistent.
When you’re completing your first interview, hold it on the phone. Listen for how well they communicate, for their energy, and for their use of filler words. Is this the voice that represents you best for your customers?
Finally, consider how this person would work with your team and company culture.
2. Value the CSR’s work
A manager recently asked, “What can I do to make your job training my CSR’s easier?” My response, “Make them feel valued.”
Since then, this company has created a weekly CSR and management meeting, just as they do with the dispatchers and technicians. This simple, one-hour meeting made the CSRs feel like their work and opinions were important and valued. They were so excited! In addition, it creates an avenue for continued training and open communication between management and the customer service department. This won’t just make my job easier, but yours as well. And you’ll create a company culture where CSR’s are invested!
3. Recognize and reward CSRs
In addition to feeling valued, everybody wants to be recognized for their hard work and contributions. This can be as simple as sending a group email or vocalizing your appreciation for a CSR’s accomplishment. For example, you could offer praise for a great booked call, a higher booking ratio, or successfully dealing with an upset customer.
I work with a company with more than 14 CSRs in friendly competition to win “CSR of the Month,” which included gift cards, privileges within the company (such as an extra break or first to lunch) and a plaque on their desk for the month. The CSRs loved it, and they were always trying to go above and beyond to win it. Talk about a company culture that fosters invested CSRs.
4. Hold them accountable
In addition to praise, CSRs need to be challenged to improve if they’re going to be invested. Make your expectations clear, and set tangible goals with both rewards and consequences. Instituting the weekly meeting is a great place to set those expectations and check in on the progress. Benchmarks help a CSR monitor their performance.
Some ways to hold CSRs accountable are to:
- Record and monitor calls
- Track booking rates
- Enroll in the power certification program
5. Invest in the CSR’s training
Companies are constantly investing in training for technicians, but your CSRs are a customer’s first point of contact for your team. In-house training keeps your team on track, helps establish expectations and fosters a strong team.
Out-sourcing training to a company that comes to you can also create invested, indispensable CSRS. Call handling teams that get Power Certified are guaranteed to book at least 85% of their incoming calls and consistently WOW their customers. This is is because we hold them accountable with a combination of in-person training, webinar based trainings, one-on-one phone based coaching, and call monitoring–all supported by our vast library of pre-recorded calls that showcase best practices.
Amanda Wray is a Power Coach and Assistant Coach Mentor with the Power Certification Program. She has a master’s degree in professional communication and has experience as both a journalist and a communication director for a national nonprofit organization. Amanda loves traveling, eating out and exploring the outdoors with her family.