Customer service managers have a direct impact on your company's customer relationships.
A good customer service manager recruits, manages and inspires customer service staff to strengthen customer relationships and build a loyal customer base. An ineffective customer service manager, on the other hand, lacks the skills that are necessary to facilitate seamless call center operations.
In a small business, the owner is responsible for providing ongoing training for their managers and key employees. Although it would be convenient to completely offload the responsibility for customer service management to someone else, it's more realistic for owners to take a proactive role in developing a customer service management training program. If you're unsure how to begin, here are several elements to look for in customer service training for managers.
- Recruiting & retention. Customer service managers are tasked with the jobs of recruiting talented customer service agents and retaining them beyond more than a few months. That's a lot easier said than done, so your managers should be trained in your industry's latest recruitment and retention strategies.
- Decision making. Managers are decision makers and the last thing you need is a customer service manager who lacks the confidence to make a decision when it really counts. Equip your managers with resources to improve their decision making skills and create a work environment where it's okay to make mistakes.
- Conflict management. Managers not only have to handle conflicts with customers, but also internal conflicts that arise between team members. The best managers have been trained to resolve internal and external conflicts in a professional (but firm) manner.
- Communication. It's hard to imagine how a customer service manager can succeed without good communication skills. If you aren't 100% confident in your management team's ability to clearly communicate with employees and customers, it's time for retraining.
- Employee motivation. Good customer service managers excel at motivating employees through training programs and everyday interactions. An upbeat attitude goes a long way, but they will also need specific skills to keep your workforce energized and enthusiastic.
- Evaluation. As a business owner or company executive, you need to be able to pick up the phone and receive accurate evaluations from customer service managers on a moment's notice. That won't happen unless you've trained your managers in staff evaluation and reporting techniques.