May 20, 2020 8:51:04 AM
Often, customer service teams don’t get the love they deserve ﹣ neither from companies nor customers.
We believe service departments should get more (positive) recognition and praise for the amazing job they do ﹣ which is why we dedicate this article to all the different super powers of service employees!
Customer service agents take care both of the inside and outside concerns of a company. They tend to the many customers that reach out to them for their problem solving skills and empathy and at the same time juggle internal problems from the other departments and their needs. As an interface between business and customer, the service agents are right in the middle of different demands and needs and they often act as facilitators between the two.
So let’s give kudos to the customer service agents we know and celebrate these everyday heroes of the business world for their hard work, smarts and endurance!
It’s a well known fact that service departments are usually at their maximum capacity. Service agents move from one inquiry to the next, without much down-time. They solve anything from simple inquiries to complex problems in a timely manner, all the while staying professional and cheery.
They are the true Zen masters of a stressful environment, since other people’s stress is their business as usual. Whatever you throw at them, they stay calm.
While many work-related projects have a defined beginning and end, customer service can be seen as an ongoing process. Sure, the individual customers’ problems get solved and tickets closed, but the next request is always just around the corner.
Generally, service agents manage from 20 to 100 cases each day, a lot of the time different tickets are even worked on simultaneously. This makes service agents the champions of multitasking. Distinguishing the different cases they’re handling and finding satisfying solutions to each one of them? Not bad, not bad at all.
Not many other departments resolve their projects in the same manner ﹣ it definitely is a lot of work and some next level multitasking. Customer service agents excell at this every day ﹣ so let’s start acknowledging the mammoth task they take on for their companies!
By solving customers’ requests on a day to day basis, service employees become the true product experts of a company. They acquire and maintain a whole lot of up-to-date knowledge, simply by figuring out the customers’ problems and in the process learning everything about all the hiccups and quirks of the company's product(s).
Therefore, customer service employees inherit the knowledge of all the different departments ﹣ from design to production. They also know the production chains and delivery channels inside and out, especially, since complex customer questions often touch on different aspects of the products. So service agents will in most cases already know how to handle a customers’ problem ﹣ and even if they don’t, they know who to ask. When encountering “new” (formerly unknown) issues, customer service agents will go out of their way to update their expertise and find a solution.
Customer service agents are right in the middle of customers and company. In contrast to marketing departments, customer service agents speak to customers on an infinitely more personal level. Since service staff is handling this giant task of company-to-customer communication, they can be seen as a company's frontline.
As that, the agents’ actions are required to serve both sides. If they don’t manage to satisfy customers, the company will suffer ﹣ and vice versa.
On top of that, they also have to adhere to different KPIs, some of which may head in different directions. It’s hard to find balance in a predicament like this. With all these different waves crashing over their heads, customer service agents tend to be the most resilient rocks of any company. The varying requirements are just one aspect service agents have to prove resilient to, though. Some customers are tough to handle. It takes serious skill to stay zen, when dealing with these ﹣ daily business of many service agents.
There is a lot of power and potential in this position, which many companies neither recognise nor utilise. Especially customer retention and satisfaction lie at the fingertips of service departments. Looking from that angle, the whole company should understand itself as a customer service department.
Service representatives handle so many different social interactions each day. May it be goal-driven back and forth at best, or listening to furious insults at worst. Some people can’t even stand spending an afternoon with their family ﹣ imagine talking to people all day long as a job!
For somebody, who enjoys being social, there is a great opportunity here. Customer service agents are in a position where they can help many people and experience their happiness on a very immediate and personal level ﹣ it serves a sense of accomplishment.
Let’s face it, though: most customers get in contact because they have encountered an issue. And a non-neglectable portion of these customers seem to find it hard to contain their emotions. Consequently, service agents also get hit by lots of negativity (hopefully you don’t feel addressed here ﹣ service agents are there to help you, so let them!).
Since they are expected to stay on top of the situation, service staff rarely gets praise for managing these stressful situations so well. Especially being able to greet each new customer with a clean slate and fresh positivity is a super power. Therefore, service agents deserve a price for handling anything that goes wrong on the customer side of a company with such precise determination.
The UX topic is trending for a reason! Since customers are the ones using a company’s products in real life situations, they can obviously provide the most valuable feedback about it. This is where service agents come into play: basically their job is to receive a bulk of customer feedback, already. Most companies just haven’t realised that they could benefit, yet.
While customer service departments don’t receive feedback as clearly as maybe a UX department would, service employees have to categorise and read between the lines ﹣ and they shine at this!
If companies would take advantage of the knowledge accumulated by service agents and implement the fixes service employees recommend, they would help customers while at the same time acknowledging the work of the everyday heros working in their CS departments. There are a lot of precious UX gems to discover in a customer service agent’s treasure chest.
To sum it up: customer service agents are usually bastions of calm and solid as a rock when it comes to handling upset customers. They know a company’s product inside out and could probably say one thing or another about UX and according improvement.
Therefore, companies should learn to appreciate those everyday heroes in their service departments and stop seeing them as a cost centre. Empowered service agents bring huge value to every company and they should be treated accordingly.
Since everybody needs a customer service agent to help them at one point or another, we shouldn’t forget to treat them with respect and gratitude. Those every day heroes are the ones who are there to help us, after all.
Friederike is part of Solvemate’s marketing team. She enjoys being creative, but has always had a weak spot for science and nerdy stuff, too. In her free time she loves expanding her horizon through travelling and many other opportunities that come her way.