How Building Team Morale in Customer Support Influences CX
Especially in an era of remote work, it can be difficult to manage the morale of your customer support team. After all, a support agent isn’t a career choice for professionals who are afraid to talk to people. Support teams in the B2B (business-to-business) industry are often full of social personalities and employees who choose to work in an office environment where they can collaborate with colleagues to solve problems.
So, what happens when the model of an in-office support team is flipped to a fully remote operation, and how does this change impact the morale of not only your team but also your customers? Let’s look at some ways keeping customer support morale high influences CX (customer experience) and reduce churn.
- Happy employees create positive conversations – This concept is quite simple. Have you ever called up a friend who’s in a great mood, and after talking to them for a few minutes, your mood has improved? The same effect can happen with support conversations. Keeping employees happy through praise, empowerment, and recognition—especially in a remote support team environment where it’s more difficult—will resonate through the phone and calm customers that are angry. This emotional shift not only creates a better CX with support teams, but it also improves agent ratings and overall customer satisfaction. A smile can change a lot of things!
- High morale teams are more willing to jump on new issues – In every office, there’s an issue that gets thrown out there and the support manager asks, “Who can handle this?” to a room or conference call full of dead silence. When this happens, it’s a clear sign morale among the team is at a low point. Maybe employees are overworked, unhappy, or a mixture of both. Avoid these situations by understanding your employee culture better and building team morale. Are you asking agents to work on too many tickets in a day? Is their customer portfolio too large now that they work remotely? Do they have too many “difficult” customers (especially now when customers are on edge and likely experiencing long hold times)? Evaluate your team and create a work environment where the workload is distributed evenly. This will let employees breathe more, and you’ll often find they are more willing to jump on projects when they aren’t behind on their current workload. After all, if an employee isn’t willing to go the extra mile internally, they probably aren’t willing to do the same for your customers.
- Agents in a good mental state are more perceptive – The last way is also the one which impacts churn and revenue the most. When an agent is working in a low morale environment, they aren’t focused on the customer. Instead, they are worried about clearing the ticket queue or other arbitrary metrics. Agents working in a team with high morale approach issues with a customer-centric approach and are perceptive to the many “hints” a customer can drop during conversations. For example, a customer may mention in passing that their budget is up for review at the end of the month. A support employee with low morale and initiative wouldn’t think twice about this comment. In contrast, an employee with high morale would jump on this comment and suggest scheduling time with a product expert to go over some additional features that may be a good fit for their business. This opportunistic attitude can not only reduce customer churn but can also increase bottom line revenue. Keep tabs on the mental state of your remote employees by scheduling informal “coffee and chat” sessions to build internal familiarity and relationships. It may not seem like a great use of time on the surface, but it may be exactly how your employees need to talk with you to stay mentally strong.
Keeping customer support morale high influences CX because positivity does make a difference. By creating a work environment with high morale that employees want to be a part of, it improves the quality of customer conversations and makes employees more attentive and willing to go the extra mile. Morale isn’t always easy to quantify, but it can be a key factor in reducing churn and expanding your business. Don’t forget about it, even if your whole team is working from home!