Customer service representatives are usually the first point of contact for your customers. This means they deal with all kinds of queries, complaints, and stressful conversations throughout the day.
Supporting your customer service representatives with transparency and tech ensures that you maintain a high standard of customer care. It also promotes a happier, more efficient workplace.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing industries and work processes around the world. At its core, AI software speeds up decision-making and makes it easier for employees to get the help they need. This is important in a field like customer service, where every interaction counts.
AI can support customer service representatives by automating real-time notes and suggestions. AI “listens” in on calls or reads chat logs and, using deep learning programs, gives managers and representatives access to information and resources that may help resolve customer queries quicker.
Customer support AI can also support representatives by scripting conversations on behalf of agents. Customer service agents usually see a lot of the same questions or complaints throughout the day, and often work from a “bank” of stored answers. AI can speed this process up and help spot unique differences between each customer’s situation.
Finally, AI can cut down on unnecessary interactions throughout the day. This is particularly important for businesses that use a chat function or field a high volume of queries throughout the day. AI chatbots are capable of answering basic questions without having to open new chats with real representatives. This can free up time for other tasks and help representatives avoid rude or abusive customers.
Your customer service representatives can be the target of unkind or abusive customers. These kinds of interactions are unacceptable and can harm employees’ mental health.
Left unchecked, negative mental health in the workplace can undermine a representative’s ability to do their job and cause a drop in efficiency. Poor working conditions also take the joy out of working and can lead to conditions like anxiety and depression.
You can better support customer service agents who are on the receiving end of hostile calls by offering mental health reporting services to them. These services should allow them to report exactly what happened with complete transparency. This may require an extra layer of legal protection if the representative is working in a sensitive field like healthcare.
Once employees have registered an unpleasant or harmful interaction, it’s the employer’s job to ensure that the affected representative can get the help they need. Usually, this means that representatives are given the opportunity to debrief with managers who are trained to deal with mental health issues. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, representatives should know their options and should be given adequate access to licensed therapists and other forms of support.
Employees who work remotely may find it more difficult to connect with peers after a difficult interaction. It’s easy to ask for a debrief when working in the office — it’s far harder when representatives are working from a home office.
Businesses can support remote employees by making managers and peers present and available. Engaging with remote employees and offering extra rewards and recognition can also help remote representatives feel like part of the team. This sense of connection can make a difficult call that much easier, as remote employees know they are supported.
Remote workers may also be at a higher risk of burnout than in-person employees. Employees who work remotely can go their whole work day without seeing a peer and may find the work becomes draining. Businesses can avoid customer support burnout by shifting responsibilities throughout the day and encouraging employees to take micro-breaks. Micro breaks can make a meaningful difference to employee wellbeing and promote a healthier work-life balance.
Working in customer service can be tough. Unlike other employees, customer service representatives usually complete the same type of work day-in-day-out. Eventually, this takes a toll on employees. To combat this, employers can offer extra resources to customer service agents.
Benefits like an on-site gym or memberships may be just what employees need. Exercise can have a stress-busting effect, and a quick workout at lunch may help employees return to work with a more positive mindset. If gym memberships aren’t offered to all staff, managers and business leaders need to be transparent about why customer support representatives are receiving extra support to deal with the challenges they face.
Customer service representatives work tirelessly to improve the connection between consumers and a business. Oftentimes, this work is rewarding as agents can give customers the support they need. However, working in customer service can be fatiguing — especially if employees have to deal with difficult complaints or customers. Businesses can better support their customer service representatives with AI-driven software. Employers can also offer extra benefits to employees like access to licensed therapists and free gym memberships.