Motivating People in Customer Service

How do you motivate employees to deliver excellent customer service?

Organisations that excel at customer service prioritise serving the customer well. If you want your company to be like this, your team need to have the ‘make it happen for the customer’ attitude and care about the details. 

Tips for motivating people in customer service

Company reputation

It starts with reputation. Companies with happy customers have good reputation and employees are proud to be part of and want to identify with the organisation. 

Create opportunities to please the customer

In the ideal scenario, the customer service team take every opportunity to please customers and build great relationships with them. When appropriate they will go beyond their standard responsibilities and create positive customer experiences whenever possible. 

Going the extra mile

Usually when most people mention excellent customer service they talk of heroic acts, of employees who went the extra mile to make customers happy, made exceptions to the rules etc. A famous example of such an act is Zappos.com, an online shoe merchant whose employee helped a customer to deliver pizza in the middle of the night, when asked for help. For such things to happen you need to leave some flexibility for your people to make decisions and be able to take non-standard actions. Although systems and procedures are hugely important and you won’t be able to scale up without them, in customer service there needs to be space for unpredictable and the human touch.

Your role as a leader

As a manager of a customer service team you need to put a strong emphasis on the soft aspects of management and the soft skills of the team. This means awareness of the psychology of selling, employee motivation, relationships and communication. Your own energy will radiate towards the team and influence their motivation.  

What you want to avoid in customer service

If you run a  business where customer service is an important part of your delivery, you don’t want your team to just follow the rules and do the bare minimum for the customers. This is a quick way to lose customers. 

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