Customer Experience News & Trends

4 ways to help new customer service employees succeed

Put an under-prepared employee on the front line, and you’ll likely lose the new rep and a few customers quickly thereafter. Here’s how to avoid that unfortunate situation.

Contact center leaders can ease the transition for new employees and lower the risk of failure by taking an extremely active role in the first few days on the job, says employee relations expert Emily Howard.

Act early

Take these four steps early in the process:

  1. Set regular goals. After the informal introductions and tour, schedule an hour or more to go over 30-, 60- and 90-day goals, and talk about the key skills that will need to be mastered in order to accomplish those goals.
  2. Establish ground rules. Explain the decisions you trust them to make and those that will need to be approved as training continues. Let the new hires know the best times to reach you and your preferred methods of communication — email, phone or one-on-one meetings. And tell them what to expect from you — like how long a response will take and the kind of details you will need to provide.
  3. Address emergencies and ease their minds. Tell new hires about things that can and did backfire for yourself and others — and how you rebounded in your early days. Let them know the protocol when something goes wrong and the importance of taking action rather than trying to hide or downplay it.
  4. Be accessible. Beyond letting new hires know when to contact you, reach out to them for at least 20 minutes every day for the first two weeks. Check in at least once a week after that.

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