Customer Experience News & Trends

What do customer service employees really want for the holidays?

Customer service professionals work hard all year to keep your customers happy. Now’s probably a good time to reward them for that. But are you on target with what they really want?

If you’re thinking holiday bonus, gift cards or company-branded items, you might be off base. Why?

“If your employees are making a good, competitive wage and are doing work they enjoy, it only makes sense for you to listen beyond the requests they make for money and promotions to figure out what really brings out their best work,” says Mary Jo Asmus, president of Aspire Collaborative Services.

In other words: “They want you to ask them.”

Surprise, surprise

And the answers might surprise you.

Remember though: For any reward, recognition and/or perk to have an impact, the basics of a good wage, fair benefits and decent working conditions must be in place first.

From there, here’s what Asmus and other experts have found customer service pros want most now and all year:

1. Freedom

Assuming they’re well-trained — and you likely work on that throughout the year — employees want the freedom to figure out how to do things on their own, make a mistake or two, and pick up and learn from those experiences. Yes, they want you to give them direction, but they like autonomy and sometimes collaborating with colleagues to find solutions.

2. Respect

When they can accomplish everything mentioned in the previous point, they want to be recognized for their good work and respected for being resourceful, smart go-getters.

Then show you believe in them by offering them bigger challenges and the freedom to take them on as they see fit.

3. Inclusion

Staffers want to be part of the organization, not just employees. That means they want opportunities to be in on decisions that affect their work, customers and the organization as a whole. They can only do this if they’re in the loop on nearly everything that goes on in the organization and the industry. They need to understand the company and department vision, and how they fit into it.

When information from the top makes its way to managers, customer service staffers want those managers to share it with front-line employees.

4. A perk

It will never hurt to throw a little bonus their way. They may not connect a smoked turkey to good performance, or a chocolate-of-the-month membership to reaching a goal, but tokens of appreciation will at the very least garner short-term goodwill.

Subscribe Today

Get the latest customer experience news and insights delivered to your inbox.