It’s a tough gig working in customer support, even at the best of times. So, when something unexpected rears its head, things only get harder as your customer service team are the first to feel the strain.
43% of consumers who go online looking for help expect a response within the hour. It’s little wonder employee burnout is becoming more commonplace when support teams are expected to be available 24/7 across multiple platforms, such as live chat and social media.
So, what can be done to help put a stop to customer service burnout; and can your customer reviews hold the key to taking the pressure off and building a great customer experience?
Let’s take a look.
There are plenty of quick and easy things you can start doing to show that you value your customer support team and stop them from feeling overwhelmed.
First, make sure they have everything they need to do their job, whether it’s answer sheets, extra training, up to date software or functional equipment. The more prepared and equipped you can get your team, the better service they’re likely to provide and less likely they are to become overwhelmed.
Let your team know that they’re valued. You could create a reward system or just make regular acts of kindness to boost morale. Take the time to congratulate staff that have been praised through your customer feedback. Every great experience is another customer who may use your business again in the future and knowing that they’re getting positive feedback is excellent for staff morale and makes all the hard work worth it!
Employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work and less likely to suffer from burnout.
This is a powerful stat and it’s easy to take those on the front line for granted once you get into the swing of things. It’s always important to keep one eye on the wellbeing of your team, but even more so when the pressure is on.
Whether it’s having open and honest one-to-ones on a regular basis with your team, or sending out anonymous feedback surveys, giving them a platform to voice their concerns is a must.
Using employee engagement surveys to collect private and anonymous feedback from your staff is a great way of encouraging them to speak up, and you could get some invaluable insight into what work life is really like for your customer support team. They can also help identify and stop employee burnout before it becomes a real issue.
Customers expect speedy service when dealing with a business, (40% of customers want customer support reps to take care of their needs faster), and these expectations only go up when something goes wrong.
Giving your staff tools to help get the job done quicker will provide them the best possible chance of weathering any future storms and make the day to day grind of handling support issues easier.
Here’s a couple of solutions that could help you and your team out and reduce the risk of burnout:
Help desk software and a ‘ticketing’ system
These are the keys to keeping everything in one place, so you can track and learn from your conversation histories. There are loads of tools to choose from, all with different capabilities.
Shared project management software
This will help your team stay on track – it’s basically a shared to-do list with your customer service team where they can record everything from what bugs need fixing to which knowledge base articles need to be written.
Customer experience surveys
Asking your customers for feedback after they’ve been in touch with your support team is a great way to track and measure how effectively you’re answering queries and solving issues, so you can make improvements to your service.
Improving your processes means collecting a lot of data, which can be overwhelming. Invest in a reporting tool that brings everything into a single dashboard can be used by your whole team to spot issues and make impactful changes.
More often than not, the answer to many customer support queries are hidden somewhere in the murky depths of your website. Having to answer questions like this day after day not only takes up a lot of valuable time from your support staff, it’s not a great experience for your customers either.
There’s an easy solution. Start collecting a list of your most frequently asked questions and put your answers front and centre of your website. Your customer support team will know exactly which questions are asked the most and your customer feedback highlight some important pain points too. Read your reviews and identify any issues your customers raise time and time again, so you can nip these concerns in the bud with your FAQs.
Provide as much help as you can where it’s needed most. Constant enquiries or returns about sizing? Make sure a size guide is easy to access, especially on those products where it’s likely to be an issue. Frequent questions about returns and delivery? Build confidence by putting the answers on your checkout page. Concerns about quality? Display customer reviews to provide reassurance.
Having a dedicated FAQs page that seeks to answer as many of these common issues as possible should significantly reduce support tickets and take the strain off your team.
Working in customer support can be emotionally and mentally draining. Listening to customer complaints all day will take its toll even on the most hardened of souls, so it’s no wonder that employee burnout is on the up.
When things get hectic, it’s so hard to get away from your desk and take a moment to yourself. Don’t create an environment where this is frowned upon. Encourage your support team to take regular breaks during the day to flex their legs (and their brains). If possible, create spaces in your office that give employees the opportunity to socialise, relax and disconnect from their work, even if only for a moment.
It can be even tougher for people to give themselves a break away from their keyboard when they’re working from home. The constant need to be seen to be ‘online’ and respond to emails and tickets quickly is a hard mindset to break. As an employer it’s your responsibility to teach best practice and set a good example. Your leadership team and your HR department can help remove the stigma around this by organising regular break times and encouraging staff to step away from their desks.
The happier and healthier your customer support team, the better service they’ll give to your customers. It’s a win, win!
Taking the time or investing the money into just one of these strategies will go a long way to helping prevent burnout in your customer support teams. Everything you can do to reduce heavy workloads and make life easier for your staff is not only going to help them do a better job for your customers, but also do wonders for their own health and wellbeing.
Your customer feedback can play a major role in helping you to understand not just what your customers think of your support team, but with the help of employee engagement surveys, you can give your support team the freedom to express themselves and a voice to make real change.
To learn more about how you can prevent customer service burnout when times get tough, check out our complete guide.
If you want to find out more about our customer feedback and insight tools, get in touch today!
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Nathan is part of the Content Team at Feefo. Between writing blogs and creating case studies, he is our resident webinar guy, spending time squirrelled away in the studio producing and editing all of our latest “How tos”. He loves to travel, which bodes well for his role working closely with our Boston office and overseeing US content.