The 3 Challenges of a Customer Service Manager
By Cate Schreck - Service Excellence Coach
If you lead or manage a team of staff who interact with your external customers, then you might have your hands full and be very aware of the top 3 challenges of your role:
- Juggling the triad of needs – yours, your staff and your customers
- Educating and motivating staff – getting all of your staff delivering consistently excellent customer service
- Feeling isolated - little or no access to feedback or support that keeps you confident, positive and motivated
During my early days as a customer service team manager, I too found the above three things not only a challenge but frustrating and at times, downright energy zapping. I would spend hours thinking up creative (and I thought) motivating ways to focus my staff on providing amazing customer service. Most of what I implemented was OK but more often than not, I felt pulled in 3 directions and there always seemed to be someone that wasn't satisfied.
Managing and Leading a customer service team is a tough gig.
What I know now makes me reflect on my early leadership and management days and cringe. So take it from me and consider implementing the following 3 steps so you can gain time, save money and sleep better.
Step 1.Get a Mentor – Approach someone in your network who you consider an accomplished customer service manager and offer (bribe) them with dinner/wine/coffee/chocolate or whatever it takes. You want their time so you can vent/de-brief/ask questions. Before you meet, prepare a list of the topics or issues you want to cover and keep those lists. Overtime, a theme of problems may arise which you can overcome by completing Step 2.
Step 2. Get Trained – You have lots of training options that will give you the skills you need to become a respected and successful Customer Service Manager. You may want a full qualification ie: Diploma of Frontline Management or perhaps more specific skills ie: Time Management, Assertiveness or Communication. Choose wisely as vocational training cost, quality and content does vary. If you’re not sure what’s best for you, contact us as we are happy to chat and help you untangle the options.
Step 3. Get a Specialist – Unless you have been trained as a workplace trainer and you also specialise in customer service skills, then don't waste time training staff yourself. Customer Service training specialists get to know your business, your concerns, your goals and your team and they have the skills to design programs that cover all of the learning and behavioural styles of the attendees. One size does not fit all so be wary of the external training provider who offers a “generic” solution to your unique requirements.
When you put the above 3 steps in place, your role of managing and leading a team of customer service staff will be much more rewarding for you, your staff and your customers. And remember, Customer Service Managers who have fun as well as bring the right learning to their teams, are highly valued and highly sought after...... in every industry.
You're not alone. LTS can help you build a team of Customer Service Superstars. For more information and to book your Free 30 minute Customer Service Analysis - contact us now.