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9 Steps to building a strong customer service team
There’s no denying that customer service is a vital part of any business. After all, without satisfied customers, your business simply wouldn’t exist. But what goes into building a strong customer service team? In this blog post, we’ll give you a few tips.
Start with the right hiring process
Are you struggling to find quality candidates? You’re not alone. Gone are the days of posting a job ad and watching the qualified applications come in. Consider that most job postings are full of inaccuracies, inflated job descriptions, and unrealistic expectations. If you want to find quality candidates, take some time to write a great ad by getting on the same page with your team to determine the specific skills and qualities that are necessary for the role, taking your company’s culture into account. Today’s job seekers are looking for more than just a paycheck, so if you can offer a great company culture, training, opportunities for growth and recognition, it will make your job opportunity more attractive. Beyond traditional job postings, social media is a great way to connect with potential candidates. In addition to job listings, you can also use it to connect with candidates on a more personal level, showing potential candidates what it’s like to work at your service company. Share photos and stories of your team in action, and be sure to responsive to any questions or concerns potential candidates may have. If you don’t have a lot of time or resources to do your job search, working with a staffing agency is an attractive option as they’ll help you screen and interview candidates weed out the candidates who aren’t a good fit. While hiring the right person for the job can often be time consuming, hiring the wrong person will end up costing you even more.
Train your team members
It’s no secret that proper training of new employees is essential to keep your service business running smoothly – but don’t overlook the benefits of recurring training for your team. Poorly-trained employees can have a negative effect on customer service as well as on co-worker morale. Ongoing team training is an investment worth making for your service team, your customers and your business, and results in higher quality of service to your customers. (See our article on combatting software knowledge erosion! )
Put systems and processes in place
Set up standards and procedures for your team to follow, so they can best serve your customers. As you build your workflow, look for areas that you can automate to improve efficiency and improve responsiveness to your customers. A strong integrated service management system which incorporates your processes will support your business from end to end. It will create smooth experiences for your customers, streamline your internal team, and provide a solid framework for future growth.
Share information between departments and keep your customers informed
From the sales team to dispatchers, inventory managers, field workforce, accounting, office and management, having a connected team will improve efficiency and result in better customer service. When everyone has up-to-date information, they can more appropriately react to improve customer responsiveness. For field service companies, this includes knowing where your technicians are at all times, viewing job status in real-time, and being able to receive instant alerts at different stages of job completion. Customers will enjoy improved service notifications and on-site effectiveness, as well as more reliable service scheduling and more accurate reports and invoices.
Make sure your team has the right resources
Equip them with the tools and information they need to do their job properly. Implementing a strong service management system with CRM, dispatching, ticketing, customer service management, inventory control management, contract management, sales & service billing, mobile access and a self-service customer portal, will keep your team connected and the latest information at their fingertips. Using the best service software will help you to forecast your customers’ needs, improve effectiveness and customer service to keep and grow a solid customer base.
Measure your service performance
What does not get measured does not get fixed. Having access to key data about how your customer service is performing over time, will help you to take advantage of the data to improve customer satisfaction and identify important emerging trends. You can’t just rely on gut feelings to determine service performance. Getting key performance data is crucial, but this can be tough to compile if you use multiple systems. Fortunately, a unified service management software can help you measure more accurately and make sense of business data. Armed with this knowledge you can optimize your field service and customer teams more efficiently and effectively.
Know your team
How is the team performing and are there some members who could be more effective? Weak service team members can have a significant drag on a company. Keep in mind that measuring employee performance is not about rewards and punishments. After all, experienced service technicians and skilled employees can be difficult find. To get a clear view to who is good, and who is struggling in specific areas, you need solid data. For service businesses, valuable data such as the productivity of each technician, like average times to complete service calls, average response times, parts used and call-backs, helps you determine the strengths and weakness of your service technician team to generate improvements and make needed changes. This kind of service reporting can be provided by a service management system designed for your industry. When you have a clear understand what is happening in your service business you can make better decisions about hiring, training, scheduling, and mentoring to improve the effectiveness of your service team.
Encourage your team members to give you feedback on their customer interactions, so you can identify areas for improvement. Feedback allows you to identify areas where your team members may be struggling. It also allows you to gauge how satisfied your customers are with your team’s performance. To encourage your team members to give you feedback, start by letting them know that you value it. Make it easy for them to give you feedback by setting up a system that is convenient for them. Don’t forget to follow-up to show that you are taking their feedback seriously. By encouraging your team members to give you feedback, you can work to make your team more successful and ensure your customers are always getting the best possible experience.
Show your team members that you value their efforts and accomplishments!
A strong customer service team is the key to a successful business. When customers receive great service, they’re more likely to trust you, buy your services again and tell others about you. By following the steps above, you can make sure that your team has the knowledge and resources they need to provide top-notch service to your customers.
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