Customer Relationship Management while remarkably fulfilling, is not for the faint-hearted. Customer Service Managers build and nurture profitable relationships with old and new customers through excellent customer service with the help of customer service representatives. They lead service team members, putting customers first to provide nothing but exceptional customer service.
As a customer success advocate, they have a deep understanding of both customer and business needs, appeasing both parties. While the roles and the job titles in customer relationship management may vary, we have listed some best qualities and skillsets a leader must possess to successfully lead a workforce.
Top Customer Service Manager Skills
- Team Building
- Lead By Example
- Innovation in Customer Engagement
- Strategies, Planning, and Documentation
- Customer Advocacy
- Emotional Intelligence
1. Team Building
A manager is not a person who can do the work better than his men; he is a person who can get his men to do the work better than he can.– Frederick W. Smith
A Customer Service Manager’s primary goal is to create a team of individuals committed to providing exceptional service to customer issues. This starts with hiring the right candidate. Managers are responsible for overseeing the hiring process and the successful training of the new service employees. The manager understands their strengths and weaknesses and continuously strives to eliminate barriers that may bring down the quality of customer service.
2. Lead by Example
A great manager leads by example. Whether it means getting their hands dirty or keeping the organizational spirits high, the customer service manager must set a good example.
As a guide to the call center team, a manager personally works with each and every team member on a regular basis to empower them and guide them in case of tricky situations with a customer. A manager has to build a framework of performance goals for each member of the support team, on which they will be periodically evaluated for their incentives and appraisals.
Successful teams are made out of passionate individuals who are highly engaged in their work with great time management skills. It is a Customer Service team leader duty to have sound rewards and recognitions program to facilitate the same so that customer service is never deterred and the employees are always driven to perform better.
3. Innovation in Customer Engagement
Especially in this digital era, an ideal customer support practice is not limited to only delivering good customer service, but also to witness continuous improvement. And innovation to improve support infrastructure by keeping customers in mind is the key here.
A Customer Service Manager’s role is to make it an enriching experience for both the employees as well as the customers. Enabling seamless omnichannel customer experience and digital engagement can lead to greater customer loyalty and the manager must adapt to stay relevant and profitable. With the onset of automation in customer services – such as Helpdesks, ChatBots, etc., the manager and the service reps can now truly spend their time and energy delighting customers.
4. Strategies, Planning, and Documentation
A Customer Service Manager is highly involved with the leadership to plan and build customer-centric strategies. The goal of the collaboration is to have more satisfied customers with a loyal base and to have more engaged employees. Along with problem-solving, the manager should continuously strive to discover any unmet needs.
An important part of this is also to encourage the team to maintain a comprehensive and accurate record of all the tickets, discussions with customers, critical issues. This not only keeps all party members accountable but also helps with reporting. After all, you can’t measure what you don’t track.
A good manager should be able to create measurable goals and provide key stakeholders with data-driven insights. Making data-driven decisions helps remove roadblocks, thus reducing the cost invested in the support process.
As a new age Manager, they have to be technology savvy and must utilize the power of a self-service analytics tool. As a Customer Service Manager, it is essential to keep a track of important metrics and KPIs such as CSAT Score, First Response Time, Breached SLAs, etc. Apart from this, there have to be competitive goals for the team members so that there is a hunger to chase down numbers and achieve stiff targets for overall productivity.
6. Customer Advocacy
A business can never place too much emphasis on its customers. At the end of the day, top companies remain successful because they put their customers’ needs first. Customer advocacy is about building mutually-beneficial relationships to enhance company value and revenue while at the same time providing nothing but the best experience for the customer.
As a skillful manager, the pressing priority is to analyze complex issues that customers face, troubleshooting, and providing resolutions, or in case of a delay, the right timeline for providing the same. The goal is to also identify frequently occurring customer complaints and provide extensive feedback to the right product teams.
7. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and manage not only your emotions but also others’. In customer service, this means being aware of your own and your customers, handling their concerns appropriately in difficult situations.
A professional with high emotional intelligence in customer service is able to sense how others feel during an interaction and convey respectfully that their grievances are heard. Managers are equipped to run a customer service team only if they polish their and the team’s skill to understand the context of the customer’s problem and set up frameworks and processes to help control escalations.
As leaders of the customer service department, they are self-motivated professionals with exemplary customer service skills and leadership skills who not only proactively attend to customer needs but also provide the absolute best customer satisfaction through strong problem-solving skills, customer service management, and design of company policies, to set and exceed companies’ service standards.