Customer Experience News & Trends

4 customer service benchmarks you need to know now

The latest trends suggest there’s a lot of love, but not so much money in Customer Service — and that can hurt customer satisfaction.

Most customer service leaders, like their teams, worry about and constantly deal with attrition in their calls centers and know it’s a huge factor in customer satisfaction, according to Jacada’s Call Center Salary and Business Survey.

Here are the latest issues — and how you can respond to or stay ahead of them:

1. It’s a volatile environment

About two-thirds of customer service leaders are very or somewhat concerned about the stability of their jobs, the survey found.

While most leaders are confident in their abilities to lead and help their employees do well, many of their concerns still lie in the health of the economy and their industries. Their agents often feel the same.

To quell those concerns, it’s important for leaders to keep each other and their teams stay informed of industry and company news — both good and bad.

2. The door revolves early and often

Most customer service leaders have a “green” staff. More than 40% said the average rep has been with them for two years or fewer. Another 22% said the average rep lasts between two and four years. Just 7% of leaders said their average rep is on duty for more than 10 years.

Employee longevity in customer service is a key to higher customer satisfaction. Customers learn to know, trust and buy from familiar reps over time.

A competitive pay and benefits package will bring good reps in. One of the best ways to keep them is to give them more ownership of their work. Train reps to handle almost any situation — and then allow them to use that knowledge and their skills in ways they see most fit to benefit customers and the company.

3. Pay should be higher

Most customer service leaders (55%) say employees leave their jobs because the pay is too low. And a quarter of say they lose agents who want to “pursue better career opportunities.”

Although customer service leaders don’t have total control of their reps’ pay, they can do things to increase the value of that pay. You might try to arrange paid time off as a performance incentive. One thing is for sure: It only benefits the company if the pay you offer is competitive with similar companies in your area.

4. Training is the strongest tool

If leaders aren’t highly satisfied with how their reps are compensated, they’re at least pleased with how they’re trained — a  key to retention.

More than 90% of leaders in the survey said employees have adequate training at their disposal to help customers. Nearly 70% agreed that reps also have a computerized help library and customer database to do the job well.

Training and availability of information help reps succeed in — and enjoy — their jobs. So it’s important that information that’s shared is always current and relevant to customers’ latest needs.

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