5 Challenges Customer Service Managers Face (and How to Solve Them)

Customer-facing teams are vitally important, but often, it's not customer challenges that prevent this team from performing at their best. Take a look at our top tips to nurture high-performing customer-facing teams.

Incentivize pipeline with small, automated rewards

It's no secret that managing a customer service team can be challenging. And not all those challenges are customer-related. Often, the hardest part is motivating and managing your team. From improving first call resolution to reducing turnover, here are five common problems customer service managers face – and how to solve them.

Problem 1: You need to improve your first call resolution rate. 

Every customer service agent knows the importance of first call resolution. A high first call resolution rate means that operating costs are low and customer satisfaction is high. A low first call resolution rate means just the opposite: operating costs are up and customers' happiness is down. 

So, as a customer service manager, how do you increase first call resolution? The fact is that most customer service reps wait for a request to come in. But if you want them to take a more proactive approach, rewarding your team is one way to achieve just that. Recognition for maintaining positive relationships with clients before there’s a problem while also settling requests quickly can go a long way. 

Improving first call resolution with customer service incentive tactics

Problem 2: Your company has a new product or service, and you need to increase user adoption.

User adoption, simply put, is the process of getting new users on board to try a product or service, and then convincing them to stick with it. Having a high user adoption rate is typically an indication of success and efficiency, meaning that more people are adopting the product rather than forgoing it. 

Customer service agents play a significant role in this process because of their direct communication with the customer. If an agent can solve a customer’s problem, that customer is more likely to continue using the company’s product or service. But that’s only half the battle. The other half is convincing your team to encourage those customers to adopt a new service or idea. That’s where incentivizing, rewarding, and recognizing the CSMs who are successful at increasing user adoption and maintaining healthy accounts come into play. A best practice is to first define and start tracking the metrics that impact adoption and utilization. Then you can develop specific employee recognition and incentives for your team's achievements related to these metrics which will build greater awareness and engagement.

Problem 3: Employee turnover is high — and expensive. 

Job turnover is incredibly expensive, and it’s estimated that every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it costs six to nine months’ salary — and that cost is only going up. According to SHRM, U.S. companies can expect annual turnover costs to increase to $680 billion by 2020.

With that being said, the customer service industry has one of the highest employee turnover rates in the country. Considering the numbers, increasing employee retention by just five percent can increase profits from 25-95 percent. How? Don't overlook the people that are working to save you money and keep your customers happy. It is understood that employees don't leave companies, they leave managers. With platforms like Cooleaf, you can improve employee engagement through a rewards and recognition strategy. When employees feel their work is appreciated, it improves their sense of purpose and overall satisfaction which helps lead to higher retention rates for your team.

Cooleaf team recognition - ticket resolution

Problem 4: Teaching new team members to upsell is challenging. 

Upselling, when implemented appropriately, can be a great way to drive sales. While this tactic is typically associated with sales teams, your customer service reps are also in a prime position to market to your customers. Even though many customer service interactions occur after a purchase has been made, there are still opportunities to upsell and cross-sell to the client.  

The truth is that customer service reps often have a stronger relationship with your clients than your sales team does. By motivating them to increase your revenue growth with upsells, you can generate significant revenue for your business.  With Cooleaf, CSMs can automatically recognize their team for cross-sells, the client saves, and more. Try scheduling monthly lunch n' learn sessions to share ideas and best practices on up-selling and cross-selling. You can ask higher-performing employees to share what's working for them and recognize them for stepping up as a leader on the team. You can also organize team challenges to highlight and reward individuals for contributions towards a team goal.

Problem 5: You need to train your team on how to respond when they don’t know the answer. 

No customer service agent knows the answer to every single customer query — and that’s okay. What’s not okay is telling the customer “I don’t know” or simply shrugging off their concerns. Not only is this response unhelpful, it tells the customer you’re not interested in helping them find a solution and can ultimately discourage them from making a purchase or even returning to your business. Industry research shows that 55 percent of consumers have backed out from making a purchase because of poor customer service. That’s a significant loss of sales! 

So what’s the solution for customer service managers? Train and incentivize your team to be proactive and find the answer themselves, or at least direct the customer down the correct path. The most important thing is that the customer’s question is acknowledged and that the agent guarantees that a solution will be found. 

Managing and motivating a customer service team to tackle these challenges is never easy, but it’s well worth it in the end. That’s why Cooleaf is here to help. We understand that customer service teams exist to keep your clients happy — and yet those customer service teams need to be kept happy, too. Want to learn how we can help you reward the people that keep your clients coming back? Request a demo today to learn more about how other customer support teams are using our employee incentive program to help improve employee retention rates, up-sells, and more!

Updated on 10.29.2020

Interested in learning more about how to engage and motivate your customer service team? Cooleaf can help — let's chat!

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