Lessons Learned from Managing a Customer Support Team

Managers of customer support teams find themselves with divided responsibilities. Of course, the customer support representatives underneath them need their experience and guidance to do their jobs. But even team managers still hold an allegiance to the customer. At Desk.com’s blog, Marie Rosecrans lays out five important lessons she learned as a support manager.

Listen to your customers

Even if the managers aren’t down on the frontlines answering phones for customer problems, their experience remains the number-one objective. The blog points out that “for every customer complaint, there are 26 other unhappy customers who’ve remained silent.” Marie goes on to write that managers need to “set up a process for capturing feedback, categorizing issues, and feeding to the appropriate people at your company.” Once you start hearing where the customer pain points are, you can go about fixing them.

Help customers help themselves

One of the biggest trends in customer service right now involves providing as many self-help options as possible, and Marie agrees:

“Today’s customers want to find their own answers. In fact, 72 percent would rather use your Web site than phone or email you. You can increase satisfaction and reduce costs if you give them tools that will let them quickly and easily find their own solutions.”

Self-help doesn’t mean leaving your customers out in the frontier with no tools. Make it easy every step of the way, and your customer satisfaction ratings will rise. However, don’t implement this without informing your support team. Building and assigning out a Lessonly Lesson describing the new strategy to your support reps will keep them on the same page.

Encourage your agents to collaborate

Learning from peers can shorten the time it takes you to onboard a customer support rep. Strategies like collaboration, crowdsourcing, and adapting user-generated content all bring your team together and help all members do their jobs better. Marie uses this tool at Desk just like we do at Lessonly. Some of the very first Lessons we give to new hires were created by fellow employees. These range in complexity from “How to Use the Coffeemaker” all the way up to “How to Use Intercom for a Customer Problem.”

Trust your team

Trust between leaders and their teams can really increase the quality of work. Marie points out that if your customer support team “feels empowered, they’re more likely to want to come up with suggestions and drive improvements.” For some, this level of autonomy can feel like a big ask, but with the proper dialogue, it benefits for both leaders and teams. Lessonly can ease this transition by adding regular check-in Lessons that ask for updates on customer efforts. These answers are sent immediately to team leaders for grading, so they can gauge progress and identify areas of need.

Thank your team

Most importantly, Marie emphasizes the need to thank your customer support team. They often face stress, so make sure to let them decompress, tell them that you appreciate their work, and just let them take a breath. Doing so produces a return for particularly great managers:

“If they don’t feel appreciated, it reflects in the kind of support they give your customers, and they certainly won’t feel inclined to go the extra mile.”

Hosting games or friendly competitions to lighten the mood every now and then aren’t just suggestions in the customer support space, they’re almost necessity. Leaders looking to build a world-class customer support team need to take this final point to heart.

Interested in how Lessonly can help enable and educate your customer service agents? Take a tour of Lessonly. Sign up today.

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