5 Ways to Deal with Customer Service Burnout

customer serviceWhat is it that one thing that could make frustrated customers happy? Is it offering them quick resolutions to their problems or a helping hand that makes all the difference in the world of client servicing? In 2012, 33% of consumers preferred to switch to another brand or company on the basis of rude and unresponsive customer service representative. No matter what it is but the end goal for businesses continues to be the same i.e. achieving customer satisfaction and retention. After all, satisfied customers are the primary focus of every business, irrespective of its size and industry vertical.

Although the goal is clearly defined, but figuring out how to satisfy customers and deal with annoyed clients is a constant challenge. The key to customer satisfaction stresses on the need for being patient, communicative, effective, and knowledgeable. It has been observed that when support representatives are able to meet the customers’ demands, the chances of business growth increases considerably.  

According to Statista, about 29% of respondents to a survey in 2011 stated that the customer service provision was below their expectations. Since satisfaction for working in client support department is declining rapidly, which is why the customer support professionals are hardly excited about their job. Increased workload and pressure to perform results in stress and burnout, leaving no scope for the support reps to invest in personal growth.

In simple words, customer service burnout is a major career hindrance. Hence, it is important to know how to prevent and tackle this concern.

WAYS TO DEAL WITH CUSTOMER SERVICE BURNOUT

With so much emphasis placed upon the customers, companies often lose sight of the client-facing support team and the key roles they play in the business. It is imperative to remember that organizational success is dependent on the skilled workforce, hence customer support executives should be treated as ‘assets’. In fact, the frontline workers, those who interact daily with the clients, know the customers best. They enjoy an in-depth understanding of the processes in place and know exactly how to improve them.

At times, customer support professionals feel that their job is neither inspiring nor fulfilling. This is manifested because of a lack of motivation and enthusiasm towards work. Exhaustion, low morale, ineffectiveness and team differences also add up to job dissatisfaction. Customer support crisis is not a new phenomenon and it dates all the way back to the 70s.

Since customer service representatives are actually on the frontline of all complaints and have to constantly deal with the heavy workload; the responsibility lies on the organizations to encourage them, make them feel important and equip them with the best tools.

Customer support burnout shouldn’t be ignored. To ensure that company goals are achieved and customers are happy, it is important to support customer reps, especially when satisfied agents are rare to find. Here are some ideas:

1. Arm Them with Knowledge

Trying to convince a stranger to do something he/she is cynical about isn’t easy. Customers who feel the need to call customer support may be looking for quick solutions. In simple words, it means the helpdesk agents interact at varied instances with clients who may be indecisive, skeptical (prior to and during the purchasing process) or disappointed and irritated (post-purchase). Customer support agents thus have to appeal to both reason and emotions.

In order to do that effectively, customer service representatives need to know as much about the customers and potentials as possible. Being data-based is not just a fancy new requirement put forth by the industry insiders but a real support mechanism that is capable of empowering employees with an actionable insight. Talking about data-based technology and apps, an asset tracking software can also be helpful in providing your employees actionable data and insights. For example, auditing assets or playing asset custodians within the organization promotes accountability and provides up-to-date equipment information.

Read More: Utilizing data for Success

Although the tricks to delivering awesome client servicing depends on appreciation and empathy, but in practice, delighting customers isn’t easy and straightforward. According to an American Express survey, 78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of inefficient customer service. The bottom line is bad customer service plays havoc on the image of a brand. Customer feedback is key. Hence, using a productivity tool like a knowledge base is the best option to explore as it will allow the client servicing team to fix the problems at the earliest.

2. Automate Your Help Desk

This leads us directly to the automation talk. If a robust management and an effective collaboration are what makes an individual efficient and operative on a team level, then the main focus should be on how to streamline them to their maximum extent. Don’t ignore all those feature-rich apps, tools and solutions that the market is brimming with since they are truly beneficial for both group organization and personal productivity.

There’s no denying that collaboration stands at the heart of modern business processes, but companies need to be sure of how to approach and manage it. In simple words, the rising specialization of knowledge-driven work has made organizational collaboration more important than ever. According to the Queens University of Charlotte, 39% of employees worldwide are of the opinion that their colleagues don’t collaborate enough and nearly 3 out of 4 employers rate teamwork and collaboration as important.

This study brings forth the fact that organizations should promote workplace collaboration as it will make the employees more resourceful and efficient. Apart from the aforementioned knowledge management tools, use of an automation software can come in handy as well. The idea is to save the time of the customer support agents by allowing them to immediately access important information, promptly obtain it from their colleagues when needed and share with customers in a way most convenient for them both. And, this becomes only possible when a flexible knowledge management solution (such as ProProfs) is used to its full potential.  

Businesses can opt for collaboration tools for seamless data exchange, fixed asset management software to manage access control for large teams, ticket helpdesk features and call centre solutions designed to manage customer support workflow, employ live chat software for quicker resolutions and social media monitoring tools that help keep track of the brand mentions across all channels.

3. Include Customer Self-Service

If the above-mentioned pointers fail to reduce the workload and prevent regular employee burnouts, then it is time to consider a customer self-service option. It is most suitable for those who prefer to search for solutions on their own and agents who face crunch time to deal with every customer at once. Self-service is a great way to move forward but it demands time and effort.

Business gurus are of the opinion that a knowledge base or a self-service help center is a valuable asset for any company, irrespective of its size and industry vertical. Hence, it is vital to be vigilant for managing it efficiently.

In order to establish a comprehensive knowledge base that your customers can use for themselves, you’ll need to do a lot of writing. Besides providing useful information about your company’s products and services, it should be thorough, straightforward and user-friendly. In fact, it is suggested that the content should be created after understanding the writing principles and formats so that the customers are happy and satisfied. After all, Content is King.

Read More: 6 common problems that SMBs encounter

4. Allow Them to ‘Think outside The Box’

Both performance monitoring and KPI metrics play significant roles in any successful organization, and customer support is no exception. However unenthusiastic about being constantly supervised, help desk representatives understand that. It is possible to make this unnerving productivity tactic a little more flexible.

Consider redefining the customer support scripts or at least the way they are used. In most companies, agents are not allowed to improvise and variate from what’s pre-written and formatted despite the demand of the situation. It is key to understand that some problems can have more than one solution and hence allow the employees to step out of the box while trying to fix the issue can do wonders.

Moreover, it can yield favorable results in terms of customer relationship management and push the client support agents to think faster and make necessary improvements.

Read More: How Asset Tracking Software helps you track 5 valuable KPIs

5. Share  Performance Feedback

Finally, always acknowledge the efforts put in by the customer support representatives. The lack of feedback is one of the key challenges that the helpdesk agents face, which leads to loss of confidence and enthusiasm – two of the major reasons for job dissatisfaction

Applaud those who perform well and meet the customers’ and business’ demands. Negative feedback is most effective when given behind closed doors, so ensure not to discourage your overstressed employees by criticizing them in front of their peers and superiors.

Whether they try to do their best against all odds or fail to manage their workload, your customer support representatives are likely to appreciate a result-oriented feedback.

CONCLUSION

For the client-facing representatives, supporting and offering solutions to the customers should not be such a struggle. There are innumerable ways to impress the clients. Try and do this for your own self as it will bring a sense of achievement and the customer support burnout will go down.

This article was written by Robin, who is a Technical Support Executive with a combined experience of 6 years. He is well acquainted with various Knowledgebase tools and is currently associated with ProProfs. In his free time, Robin enjoys reading and traveling.