Gaining customer loyalty in a world of price competition is tough. A CSR manager can approach their job in various ways, and knowing some of the more efficient ways to do so can be beneficial to any company. As a candidate seeking a position in CSR management, what is your strategy, and how would you explain to the hiring agent your approach to a customer service department?
Power to the People: Or rather, the employees. When the CSR team has little to no authority or power in their hands, they become almost useless. Managers will be working way more than needed, since the CSR team will be unable to do anything beyond parroting the adequate response before finding a manager. This can lead to more frustration for the customer, who now has to explain their situation a second time to a new person (the manager). As Susan Baroncini-Moe at Thought Leaders points out, “Angry customers are never loyal customers, but you can turn an angry customer into a very loyal customer, if you have empowered employees who, rather than passing the buck to the manager or to another department, takes ownership over a problem and stays with the customer until the problem is solved.”
As a CSR manager, you need to pick your team carefully, and find people with the right personality traits and skills to be exceptional employees. Finding the proper people that fit into the company culture and who have those strong people skills needed for the position should be goal number one. Once you have found such a team, give them enough trust and authority to act and respond to issues without having to run to you for every answer. With such a team in place, and one that is being compensated well for their work, you will create a much smoother operation that allows the employees to feel more satisfied in their position, which tends to lead to a better work culture overall.
Being Present: Once you have the right team in place, it will free up your job to focus on other management duties, but don't become distant from the team. Engaging the employees and just occasionally being present is the only way you will know how things are truly going, and where attention may be needed. Talking to and being involved with the team is the best way to find out the issues that need resolved, as well as the things that can improve the culture overall. Do not be distant or shut them out, but lead them by being present with them. The main goal is to find, empower and encourage your employees so that they will create a fine-tuned team that offers exceptional service.
The Customer Experience: While the end goal of any CSR team is to offer an exceptional customer experience, it must first be rooted in having an exceptional CSR team in place. Once that is the case, then you may begin looking at the customer’s experience to determine where any weaknesses are in the system. Putting yourself into the customer’s shoes to see how the experience goes is a great way to find out this information. Knowing just what the customers expect can go a long way in assuring they will receive it. Having an easy customer feedback system in place can go a long way to assist in this area too. As Lauren Krotosky at eHow properly puts it, “Knowing how your customers feel about your company will give you a jumping off point for what needs to be addressed.”
The customer experience should be easy and stress free. Look for issues that may bottleneck things in the steps of that experience. The goal is to keep things customer-friendly, and this includes the experience as well as the CSR team. So, as you go out seeking a position in the CSR management field, when asked for your management strategy, know what it takes to create the best team that can offer the best experience.
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