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Identifying and rewarding your best customer service employees is critical.
Identifying and rewarding your best customer service employees is critical.

Are you making the most of your customer service superstars?

For some employees, providing outstanding customer service comes naturally – and their talents can be used to enhance your whole team, writes JEANNIE WALTERS.

Ask any group of customers what they liked about a recent customer experience, and they typically mention the same thing – although, they aren’t ‘things’: it’s always about the people.

Senior executives across different service-based industries have noted that, when leaving feedback, customer comments often included a specific name.

Instead of saying, “The flight attendant was great,” they would say, “Kelly is really extraordinary!”

These extraordinary people in your organisation should be not only rewarded for their behaviour, but also observed and invited to participate in creating the best practices for your business.

The tricky thing about humans is that we have trouble observing ourselves. So it’s up to business managers to identify the customer service ‘superstars’ and discern how they create better customer service.

If you aren’t paying attention to you staff ‘superstars’ then others won’t feel the need to follow their exemplary lead.

Here are some of the ways customer service superstars stand out, gathered from years of observing different businesses and organisations.

Listening and responding beyond the data

One customer service representative working for a national business call centre noticed customers would contact her requiring the same instructions again and again.

Many of their questions weren’t available as choices in the business’ customer service system. The call centre employee recorded the questions in her notebook, created a set of resolution instructions, and presented her work to the call centre manager.

"It is easy not to pay attention to the individual staff member who excels at his or her job; often, they do not seek glory or recognition"

However, the manager refused to add the questions and answers to the system because the numbers on file didn’t reflect a large caller demand for that information.

Not to be discouraged, the employee simply provided her instructions to her fellow customer service representatives and, as a result, transnational customer satisfaction rates increased.

In this case, the call centre manager’s decision simply reflected the data-driven culture of the company.

However, the superstar saw a truly customer-centric solution and made it happen in a low-tech way.

This staff member helped the rest of her team learn how to really listen for the root cause of reasons for inbound customer requests.

Empathetic and engaging behaviour

At a world-class art museum, some of the visitors were reporting an unfriendly and uptight environment.

Staff working in customer-facing roles were trained in ‘soft’ skills – yet still the comments kept coming.

Observation of individual gallery experiences revealed the unexpected cause; security guards stationed to protect each individual gallery in the museum, were often abrupt and unfriendly to visitors.

They were doing the job for which they had been employed, however sometimes they were perceived as rude. For an example, an adult exclaiming, “Don’t touch that!” is startling to a young child.
One guard, however, had a unique approach, especially with children. He crouched down to speak to them at eye level and used phrases of engagement such as, “Do you like that sculpture? I do, too! It’s one of my favourites. That’s why we have to be so careful.”

His warm tone and engaged behaviour should have become the standard across the museum’s security team, but that could only happen if leadership was paying attention.

Getting out of their silo

A small university discovered its superstars when its academic advisers began asking students about their experiences outside study.

Students trusted the advisers for academic counsel, but as the relationships grew they shared more than just feelings about their classes.

Superstars were all over the campus: dining hall attendants, health centre nurses and registrar clerks were all mentioned in glowing terms by the students. As more student responses were analysed, it was found that each of these groups had at least one staff member who could help the rest of their team better serve students.

It is easy not to pay attention to the individual staff member who excels at his or her job; often, they do not seek glory or recognition – they simply do their job in the only way they know how.

By actively identifying your superstars, your customers’ experience can improve thanks to their intuitive skills.

So… do you have superstars and do you recognise them?

Jeannie Walters

Contributor • 360Connext

Jeannie Walters is the Chief Customer Experience Investigator and founder of 360Connext. Learn move:

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Saturday, 30 May, 2020 02:51pm
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