For a company that provides a support service to another company, your biggest asset is always your staff. Your employees are the people that will be the first point of contact and the global representatives of your service so you need to ensure they are skilled, motivated and willing to go the extra mile to help customers. The managers and people in charge of the service should be competent and vigilant so they notice everything that is going on and can react in an appropriate manner. Your equipment needs to be functional in order to provide an efficient service and the team should be trained on how to use it to its full potential. Once you have all the key ingredients; the staff, the managers and the equipment, the team need to focus on continual improvement so that the contractual agreements are met and surpassed. We should always remember that a happy customer will always buy more.
Tips to increase performance of support team:
- Recruit the right people
The performance of your support team depends on the type of people you employ. You can have all the rewards, team building activities and incentives on the planet, but if your team members are fundamentally not inclined to be reliable and friendly, your team is going to struggle. Look for people with a friendly nature, who are eager to work and learn, rather than the most experienced people. When recruiting, use an experienced recruiter who is a good judge of character to interview recruits.
- Regular performance appraisals
As an employer or manager, it is your responsibility to ensure your team is working to a preset standard. It is also your responsibility to ensure that if these standards are not being met by some individuals, you work out why. Hold regular meetings with the entire team and regular meetings with every team member to find out what is going on with them. Look at their statistics and praise good performance. Don’t always criticize a poor performance; find out why the targets are not being met.
- Team building activities and events
In the modern business environment of cut-backs and cost-saving, some companies will try to save money by not funding team building exercises and events. When this happens, your team will no longer be a team but a group of individuals. This is never good for business because a team functions well when people look out for each other and help one another when times inevitable get tough. If you are looking for ways to improve your team then spend a little, get the team for a meal or even a few drinks and they can talk and get to know each other better. Promote a good culture in the office and the team will work harder for each other, meaning they are working harder for you.
- Challenge the team
Challenge the team to always do better. Set a challenge for the best agent of the month, the agent who takes the most calls or solves the most issues. Set challenges, have small rewards and encourage a culture of friendly competitiveness.
- Continued training
A service provider will always have busy periods and quieter stretches; use the quieter periods efficiently and provide extra training during these times. Refresher training can be held on anything at all that could be relevant to the job and help to improve the service. Make the training fun and interactive to really improve the service.
- Keep your tools up to date
If a plumber wanted to provide a better service to his customers, he would probably buy new tools that allow him to do a better job in less time. As a service provider, we should also look at upgrading our systems to ensure that we have the best technology in order to provide the best service we can. Ask the agents what might help them to do a better job and develop your own personalized e-tool-kits.
- Client meetings and visits
Invite your clients to view your offices and meet your employees; it will foster a more personal relationship between your staff and the staff of the company you are working for and encourage everyone to work harder for each other. Your clients will usually want to come and visit at some point anyway, so ensure they have a great time when they do and build good client relationships.