Business owners today know that great customer service stems from happy employees.
When your staff feels excited about their work and the workplace environment, your team can easily create magic, which will only reflect well on your customers’ satisfaction. So what is the secret to having a content and cheerful team? Well, according to Howard Hendricks, “the measure of a leader is not what you do but what people do because of you.” In other words: You are the secret ingredient - you, and no one else. Managing customer support representatives definitely has its challenges. Busy call centers, tight deadlines, high turnover... You know the deal. That being said, if done right, you can overcome any obstacle and empower your team to reach great heights.
The truth is, empowerment starts with the manager’s approach towards leadership and management. We’ve all had that special someone in our lives who left an impact. It could have been your high school teacher, college professor or even your yoga instructor. What defines a leader can be broken down into a number of traits. Here are some tips for creating an environment where your support representatives feel positively about their jobs and enthusiastically about advancing further in the field.
Make people feel appreciated
Showing your team your appreciation is vital for enhancing their morale, and an excellent opportunity to motivate them further. Whether it’s during your weekly one-on-one or congratulating the entire team for a job well done, expressing a sense of gratitude is a recipe for instilling pride in your employees for the work they have done. This will only encourage them to continue aiming for this standard of work moving forward. According to Dr. Axel Zein, teams become more confident and perform better when there’s mutual respect, trust and appreciation between a manager and their employees. If you put this into practice, your team will thrive in the workplace and will be able to give better support to your customers.
Be candid and provide a sense of integrity
Since your team is essentially the most outward-facing element of your business, it’s extremely important that they believe in your brand, products, and services. But more than that, it’s critical that they believe in you, as their team leader. Holding that position means that sometimes certain brave and tough decisions need to be made that will impact your employees. Being clear about your rationale, and demonstrating that you have taken their interests into consideration, will help your employees believe in you and buy into the vision you’ve set for the company.
Let’s put all the cards on the table. Not everyone likes change. While the unknown does sound scary, it’s also a great opportunity for something new and exciting to come because even when things are working great, there could always be a better way forward. Being able to embrace change is a trait that can really have a positive impact on how your team performs and views challenges. The ability to adapt is really the key to becoming more successful. This skill will not only be reflected in your work environment, but in your personal life, as well.
Be a unique individual
Remember how in high school, the goal was always to fit in as much as possible? Speeding things up to the present day, we can now see as adults that being an individualist is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, many of the celebrities and the internet influencers that we look up to are far from being your ‘average Joe.’ Being a leader means feeling comfortable in your own shoes and willing to stand out. This type of confidence will radiate towards your team and inspire them in turn. Besides, no one wants a copycat manager. Be yourself!
Invest in growth
As a leader, you're consistently inspiring your team to reach for the stars. When this does happen, devotion and hard work should lead to new personal and professional achievements. Always try to encourage your team to develop new skills, especially by taking on projects or assignments that could enrich their work. One of the biggest challenges in the world of customer support is that agents tend to burn out quickly, which results in a high turnover. By giving your team additional responsibilities, not only will you give them a sense of added value, but it will also show that you are having their best interests at heart.
Maintain team spirit
We, humans, are sociable creatures. Working in a team is much like having a family, in the sense that trust and support are really important for internal cohesion. On top of it, what many of us don't realize is that we spend more time with our work colleagues than with our actual families, which is why it’s important to invest in the dynamics of your team so that they feel comfortable with one another. Encourage friendly brainstorming, idea sharing, and social activities as this will improve communication and help form a healthy work environment.
Receive and provide feedback
Feedback is not only valuable when it comes from your customers. There’s a lot to learn from your employees’ perspectives, especially when evaluating how you can improve as a manager. Whether you need to discuss positive or constructive feedback, take the time to schedule one-on-ones on a regular basis that will give your team members the opportunity to express their needs privately. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses within the team will help you to gauge their level of frustration and work with them to resolve the issues.
Well, if that didn’t motivate you, we don’t know what will! Maintaining a happy team is really all about the intersection of being positive and providing opportunities for empowerment. Having this strategy in mind will really elevate the spirit among your employees and overall, and keep them feeling enthusiastic about walking into work each morning.
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