This week we feature an article by Johanna Rivard about the Perfect Customer Service Manager. Your staff is only as strong as their leader. Mystery shopping should include shopping management too. How would you or your management team score? ~ Angela Megasko
Customer service managers are not just in charge of managing a team of customer support representatives. They also must stay on top of ensuring customer satisfaction, deal with irate customers, and complete a plethora of administrative tasks.
Not only do customer service managers need to demonstrate effective management skills, they also need to be an exemplary customer service agent. Here are 5 qualities that make the perfect customer service manager.
- Customer-centric Attitude
A customer service team should put the customer’s needs and interest at the center of everything they do. Providing excellent customer service is the ultimate goal. If the head of the team does not advocate for the customer, neither will the team members.
At the end of the day, customer happiness is the most important metric for a customer support company. Remember, happy customers are the best brand endorsers.
- Strong Leadership Abilities
No manager will ever be effective if he/she doesn’t demonstrate strong leadership skills. You have to guide your team to perform well, keep them motivated, support them in difficult situations, and lead them to provide the best customer experience.
Part of being a good leader is having the empathy for both customers and employees. A customer service manager needs to empathize with the problems customers are facing, as well as the challenges their team members experience on the front lines. Without this, it will be difficult for you to address issues and solve problems effectively.
- Effective Communicator
Effective communication is key for a great customer service manager. It also goes hand-in-hand with customer service.
Whether it’s done verbally or in writing, in-person or through phone, you need to convey the right information to the right people at the right time. This prevents misunderstandings between you and your team, your agents and the customers, and you and the company.
However, communication isn’t just about getting your message across. A great customer service manager knows how to listen to properly assess the situation and take the most appropriate course of action.
- Prioritization Skills
A good manager knows how to prioritize tasks and goals, so their team members can focus their energy on the more important things.
Many businesses struggle with balancing efforts spent on delivering customer service and addressing customer service issues. A good manager knows how to prevent the urgent issues from completely consuming important tasks.
It’s highly crucial for a manager to know how to multitask and prioritize matters that need their attention and the tasks that can be delegated—without sacrificing quality of work and results.
Customer service managers don’t just deal with their team members or customers. In fact, they serve three communities to serve: the customer, their team members, and the company.
They are constantly challenged to find the balance between what customers want, what employees can provide, and what the company is willing to offer.
He or she might be on the phone with a frustrated customer one minute, dealing with employee concerns the next, then attending a meeting immediately after. As such, they need to know when to push employees, when to follow through on customer demands, and when to handover issues to senior management.
A manager needs to maintain diplomacy and a positive attitude through all this.
A customer service manager should have all the necessary skills of a customer service agent while possessing leadership and managerial skills. Above all, a customer service manager should have the drive to serve people.
Does your management team have these qualities? Comment below to let us know how you monitor your management team.
Johanna Rivard is Executive Vice President at PureB2B, a data-driven marketing platform that offers lead generation and data services.
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