5 Tips for Delivering Next-Level Customer Service
Following customer service week, here’s a look at our takeaways, best practices, and tips for how to make your customer experience shine.
What do 4Patriots, Wonolo, Greenhouse, Twilio, Stitch Fix, and Scopely have in common? They were all winners of Pathlight’s Customer Service Week awards! They use Pathlight to deliver outstanding experiences to their customers, manage—and uplevel—their performance, and build their teams, knowing that customer and employee experience is key to staying competitive and achieving business goals.
Here’s a look at our top 5 tips from customer service week—taken straight from our top-performing Pathlight customers—to help you take your customer service org to the next level (and leave your competitors in the dust).
1. Be an energizer bunny: Stay active and engaged at work ⚡
Energizer Bunny Award Winner: Andre Blanchard with 4Patriots for always checking in with Pathlight’s Performance Intelligence platform and showing top performer engagement over the last six months!
Staying engaged with your work, customers, and team goes a long way for your business. According to Gallup’s State of the American Workforce report, companies with an engaged workforce are 21% more profitable. Being engaged at work also creates a virtuous cycle: leading customer service providers have 60% more engaged employees.
Achieving your engagement goals starts with alignment on goals, expectations, and performance. Pathlight provides alignment that can keep your entire customer service team engaged and thriving—which also means your customers will be getting the best treatment possible.
Why it matters to customer service: Customers can often tell if someone is engaged at work by the tone of their voice. If an agent is engaged at work, they’re more likely to be enthusiastic, positive, and willing to help a customer, thereby providing a positive experience.
Use Pathlight: Staying active in Pathlight can keep agents engaged with their work and team and performing better. In fact, high performers log into Pathlight 6x more than low performers. Whether they’re checking in on key metrics and where they stand on the leaderboard, messaging or high-fiving teammates, planning one-on-ones, or monitoring their progress towards goals, logging into Pathlight frequently keeps agents motivated, informed, and on top of their work.
- Send regular messages to your team to keep them in the know about priorities, announcements, and team wins
- Encourage agents to check in on their progress towards goals with Mini Goals
- Check your team’s Health Score to get a pulse on how things are going
2. Challenge yourself to climb: Track—and beat—your metrics ⛰️
Mount Everest Award Winner: Declan Kelly with Greenhouse for ranking at the top of high priority metrics over the last six months!
Climbing Everest takes planning and focus—and so does delivering great customer service. Keeping your team laser-focused on their most important metrics will help them reach success. Pushing them to new heights will keep them engaged, motivated, and learning new skills along the way. And by tracking their progress with performance metrics, you can help them set new goals and elevate their skills again and again.
Whether you’re looking at CSAT, QA scorecards, or have set a coaching goal to hit this quarter or year, metrics can help challenge you to do more. Keeping a pulse on how your team is performing against key metrics will not only help you hit business goals but also point to areas where you can coach your team.
Why it matters to customer service: Being successfull in a contact center takes knowledge, empathy, and speed. Agents focused on doing well in all of high priority metrics for your organization have the best chance of overall success. Someone with fast call resolution may have low CSAT scores. Or someone with high CSAT may have low quality scores because they aren’t adhering to policies. Being a leader across all of top metrics takes balance and an awareness of the organization’s priorities.
Use Pathlight: Set a metric’s importance level using Pathlight’s Priority Metrics feature to help your team stay focused on what matters the most. Priority levels impact health scores, natural language summaries, and notifications.
At Pathlight customer CLEAR, team members use the mobile app to track metrics and performance throughout the day. Ambassadors for the company can check their performance while they’re on the floor working, providing them with visibility, real-time data, and motivation to reach their goals—and deliver better customer experiences right where they happen.
Be a one-on-one of a kind manager: Build trust and empower your team 🥇
One-on-one of a Kind Manager Award Winner: Alice Van Hoorn with with Stitch Fix for having the most one-on-ones per rep over the last six months!
One-on-ones have the chance to change your report’s career—and yours as a manager. The regular time spent with an employee creates connection, provides visibility, builds trust, and empowers agents to do a better job—and helps you become a better coach. It also helps your entire organization retain and hire talent (in fact, “The organization cares about employees' wellbeing” ranks in the top two things that Boomers through Gen Zers care about at work, according to a Gallup survey).
Why it matters to customer service: Building an empowered team is critical to delivering a great customer experience. By dedicating the time and resources to supporting your team, you’ll see benefits passed on to your customers tenfold.
Use Pathlight: Use Pathlight to manage your one-on-ones—keep your agenda template, meeting notes, goals, and updates in one place. The 1:1 screen houses all of the information you need to have smooth one-on-ones—and removes any excuse not to have them. You’ll free up the time you spent on operational reporting and now have time to coach your team during 1:1s instead. What’s more, the dynamic with your reports will open up thanks to the transparency Pathlight provides. Now everyone can arrive to their one-on-ones well-prepared.
Use feedback to your advantage: 🔥
X-Factor Award Winner: Lorie Ann Canoza with Keywords Studios for her top performer status on grading the most QA scorecards on a weekly basis over the last six months!
When feedback comes from Simon Cowell on X-Factor, it can be intimidating or deflating. Feedback at work shouldn’t ever feel that way—it should be informative and constructive, and help improve outcomes for everyone involved. Customer service metrics, like CSAT, combined with internal evaluations like QA scorecards, provide customer service organizations with a great way to evaluate performance and provide feedback. Feedback—no matter who it’s coming from and whether it’s positive or constructive—should ultimately help you and your team improve.
Why it matters to customer service: Feedback is hugely important to customer service because it helps agents improve. By understanding where they can elevate the customer experience, such as through changing their tone or phrasing, agents are empowered to improve their skills and customers have a better experience.
Use Pathlight: Create QA Scorecards using Pathlight to streamline grading, appeals, and the entire Quality Management process. And if you’re grading QA Scorecards with Pathlight, try to provide meaningful, pointed feedback that helps agents improve. Using Pathlight’s annotation feature, you can easily highlight feedback for an agent.
Be the best coach around: Channel your inner Steve Kerr 🔑
Steve Kerr Award Winner: Curtis Tang with Twilio for averaging the highest number of coaching messages sent per week, per rep over the last six months!
Steve Kerr, the head coach of the Golden State Warriors, is a nine-time NBA champion and one of the greatest coaches of our time. You might be wondering: What does Steve Kerr have to do with customer service? As a manager, it can help to channel your inner coach by supporting your team, challenging them to be better, and coaching them to new heights. In order to be a coach, you must give your team ownership, empower them with your trust, support them in gathering the tools and resources they need—and then hold them accountable to outcomes.
Why it matters to customer service: By holding your team accountable and coaching them to the next level, you’ll help them provide a better experience for customers. On the basketball court, great players can come together to play a sport, but with the help of an exceptional coach, the team will be more united, hone their skills, and develop a true edge over the competition. You can do the same for your team by acting as their coach.
Pathlight tip: Use Pathlight to communicate with your team, keep an open line for them to reach you, and ensure alignment on goals and outcomes. Send coaching tips or recognition to your team, whether in a direct message about a specific event or metric, or to the team as a whole to announce something or congratulate them (using an Applause message). If you’re overseeing multiple teams, use the Insights section of the Communication tab to make sure that managers are connecting with and coaching their teams. You’ll be able to see how frequently managers are messaging their teams and what kinds of communication they’re sending out, and get a pulse on who your best coaches are. And at a time when engagement is critical across remote and hybrid teams, keep communication fun and engaging with GIFs, emojis, and personal videos so everyone feels connected, even if it’s not in real life (IRL).
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Key takeaways from Pathlight's session on Building a Resilient Contact Center with AI-Driven Performance Intelligence at the Customer Response Summit hosted by the Execs In The Know community in Austin, Texas.
Agent performance is vital for CX success. Taking a holistic approach to monitor, evaluate, and manage agent performance can be a game changer for driving productivity at scale.
By adopting Pathlight to manage their entire QA process, run 1:1s, pull reports, and provide visibility to both agents and leadership, they’ve saved time, improved agent engagement, and seen customer service improve.