If you’re in the customer support industry, you know that customer support agents are truly the backbone of any successful business. They’re the first people to address customer inquiries, concerns, and complaints, but they’re also some of the hardest employees to retain.
It’s a demanding and sometimes stressful role, and managers need to do their part to care for their customer support employees. But we recognize that this is easier said than done.
In this article, we’ll share some strategies to help you retain your customer support team, care for their well-being, and improve their overall job satisfaction.
Let’s dive in.
5 Tips for Improving Retention on Your Customer Support Team
High customer support turnover can have a slew of negative consequences for your business, including increased costs, poor customer experience, and a bad brand image. With a happy, engaged, and dedicated team, however, you can prevent (or reverse) these outcomes and keep your people for the long-haul.
How do you accomplish this, though? We’ve got five strategies to help you do just that:
1. Look for Empathy
Soft skills are sometimes overlooked in the hiring process, but they’re essential in building a customer support team that lasts. And while communication, problem-solving, and patience are all important skills to look for in your customer support candidate, empathy should be your biggest green flag in the interview process.
Of course, hiring employees who are inherently empathetic can positively influence your business in obvious ways. An empathetic and kind customer support team can:
- Create a more positive customer experience
- Improve customer satisfaction
- Build brand loyalty
- Demonstrate a commitment to customer service
A not-so-obvious benefit, however, is how it can improve retention on your team. When your employees feel like they are making a difference and helping others, they’re more likely to feel fulfilled and engaged at work. This ultimately leads to greater job satisfaction, which can reduce turnover and improve retention.
2. Invest in New Hire Training
Customer support can be a nerve-wracking industry for new agents. End users contact them with an issue, and they’re expected to solve the problem as quickly and efficiently as possible. Mastering this process takes practice, so you shouldn’t start your employees without providing training.
Proper training can help your customer support representatives feel more confident in their positions, and this can lead to greater job satisfaction as well as a sense of fulfillment in their work.
But continued guidance is just as important as new hire training. As technologies evolve and advance, your employees should receive ongoing training to stay current. Not only will this help them better understand the products or services they’re supporting, but it will improve their ability to solve customer issues.
3. Celebrate Your Employees
Are your best moments at work when you’re recognized or rewarded for a job well done? If it’s true for you, it’s probably true for your customer support agents, too!
Providing regular recognition and rewards for your team’s hard work and accomplishments can motivate your employees, make them feel valued and appreciated, and foster a more positive work environment. And it doesn’t always have to be monetary rewards, either. It could be a remote workday, or even the chance to leave the office early on a Friday afternoon.
However, it’s important you give your team their choice of reward, preferably offering individual rewards over group incentives. This way, you’re personalizing your rewards system and showing each of your customer support agents that you value them as an individual.
4. Encourage Work-Life Balance
If you want to retain your customer support agents, it’s critical to ensure they’re well taken care of. One of the best ways to show care for your team is by encouraging a healthy work-life balance. Why? Let’s look at the numbers:
- Research shows that 95% of human resource (HR) leaders admit employee burnout is harming their workforce retention efforts.
- More specifically, 46% of HR professionals say burnout is responsible for up to half of annual workforce turnover.
Based on these findings, it’s safe to say that encouraging work-life balance and helping your team avoid burnout is a great strategy for improving retention rates. It can lead to higher morale, better performance, and greater overall job satisfaction.
You can achieve this by offering your team flexible scheduling, so they can take care of their personal needs without having to sacrifice their work. Also consider allowing your employers regular paid time off. They can recharge and return feeling refreshed and productive.
5. Offer Your People a Path Forward
How much does your positive work environment, effective rewards program, and great work-life balance matter if there’s no room for your customer support agents to grow in their role? Without opportunities for advancement, members of your team will eventually find a new path—one that allows them to grow professionally and financially.
To prevent your team from feeling unfulfilled and seeking new positions, try building out a clear path for advancement at your organization. What do they need to do to get promoted? What skills do they need to improve or learn? Will there be chances to upskill or reskill? Provide the answers to these questions to assure your team there’s a long-term place for them at your company.
Need Help Finding the Right Agents?
By implementing these tips into your management strategy, you’ll create an environment that motivates and retains your customer support team members. But retaining a great customer support team starts with finding the right employees.
Whether you need to start, expand, or optimize your customer support team, Evergreen has the expertise and recruiting power to develop a customized solution, just for you. Contact us today!