Supporting your support team: Three ways to rescue your agents

Customer service jobs are difficult, and that’s putting it mildly. They’re so challenging, in fact, that support agents are leaving (or thinking about leaving) their jobs in droves.

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Customer service jobs are difficult, and that's putting it mildly. They're so challenging, in fact, that support agents are leaving (or thinking about leaving) their jobs in droves.

This year, most support leaders seem to have horror stories to tell: thousands of open positions with only a handful of applications; candidates who accept an offer and then don't show up to work on their first day; new employees who receive their equipment to work from home and then disappear after one week; others who don't last more than a couple of months wasting all the expense of onboarding and training.

But even with these struggles, managers of customer support teams often don't get a lot of buy-in from leadership. Your leadership team might be thinking, "so what? It's an entry level job, and all industries are grappling with the Great Resignation. Why should I focus precious resources on keeping our support team happy?"

But the answer is simple. Providing an exceptional customer experience starts with providing an exceptional employee experience. As the business innovator Richard Branson of Virgin Group once said, "take care of your employees, and they'll take care of your business. It's as simple as that."

Why?

Your support team is on the front lines listening to your customers' complaints and requests. How quickly (and politely) they can solve a customer's challenge is critical to fostering brand loyalty, increasing your revenue, and avoiding churn.

Here are three ways to support your agents so they are empowered to deliver a better customer experience.

How to rescue your agents

Prioritize career growth: A survey from Salesforce found that 86% of service agents want career growth opportunities. Are you setting your agents up for growth by clearly defining success, outlining different career progression paths, and giving them the tools to achieve these plans?

Here are three ways to get started:

  1. Take your omnichannel support strategy to the next level: Have an omnichannel support strategy? Great. But it doesn't stop there. Your support function is most effective when data and interactions across all your channels - from websites, chatbots, email, and your representatives - are working together effectively. This is easier said than done, but it's a critical step to ensure your agents are working at peak efficiency.
  2. Lean on tech for both your customers and agents: A recent CCW report stated that an easy-to-use digital environment not only benefits your customers, but it also benefits your agents. And, it makes sense - better self-service options means fewer calls and tickets, reducing the workload on agents.
  3. Consider how AI can work for you: One foundational capability to consider is AI-powered, natural language search which empowers both agents and customers to find the information they need, when they need it, improving both your CSAT score and time to resolution.

Take the time to support your support agents. When you give agents a better experience, they'll thank you — and your customers will too.

Ready to take the next steps to level up your support experience? Read more here.

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