Rise Performance Group

The Importance of Retaining Customer Service Employees

By Jaylyn Schumpert

Employee turnover is a challenge that every organization faces at one time or another. It is uncommon in today’s world for an employee to remain at the same company for more than five years. Sometimes an employee leaving may be the result of a managerial decision and other times it may be voluntary on the part of the employee. Regardless of the reason, every year organizations spend precious time, energy, and money to fill empty job positions. When those empty job positions are for customer service roles, filling them becomes even more challenging.

Customer-facing employees are the ones who make the first impression on a customer; they are often the primary delivery point of service, and they are often the last person a customer will see when they leave. Keeping customers satisfied is essential to building a successful, growing business and this is difficult to accomplish if an organization is experiencing a high turnover rate in customer service positions. If an organization has a turnover issue with customer-facing employees, their customer service usually suffers. Organizations with poor customer service or inadequate customer-facing employees risk losing potential customers, and often lose business rather than retain it.

Here are some steps that organizations can take to improve customer service and employee retention among customer-facing employees:

Identify Customer-Facing Employees

Not all employees value the importance of excellent customer service. Although some applicants may be qualified to do the job, they may not have the personality to service others. To determine how well a person fits a specific job, organizations should use assessments. Assessments evaluate each individual’s behaviors, attitude, and skills to determine who is most capable of holding a customer-facing position.

Train Employees to Keep Customers Satisfied

An organization interested in serving customers on every level possible should invest in both assessments and adequate training. These tools are designed to give organizations the necessary insight to excel in customer service. One bad experience can ruin a customer’s perception of an organization. Training customer-facing employees and having the right people in the right place will enable businesses to exceed customers’ expectations and generate more business through their stellar reputation.

Coach to Ensure Customer Service Excellence

Organizations must be certain that every employee performs to the best of their ability and delivers significant value to the organization. Assessments give managers insight into the core characteristics of individual employees and then use that information to assess the employee’s fit with their job, manager, and team. They can help managers tailor their coaching approach to meet the needs of each employee by identifying an employee’s strengths and looking for areas that may present challenges to the employee (i.e., difficulty performing in their job, possible conflict with a manager or team member).

Employee turnover in any department can present a challenge for an organization, but employee turnover in a customer service department can be devastating to an organization. It is crucial that organizations put the right people in customer-facing roles, train them appropriately, and provide coaching based on individual strengths and weaknesses. By doing these three things, organizations can improve their retention rate of customer service employees and improve the overall customer service experience for their customers.

“Customer service is training people how to serve clients in an outstanding fashion.”            – Unknown

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