What are some alternative solutions to how a company might maintain overall customer satisfaction while not overloading a favorite customer service agent with so many customers who prefer that...

What are some alternative solutions to how a company might maintain overall customer satisfaction while not overloading a favorite customer service agent with so many customers who prefer that agent's service?

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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A few alternate strategies relate to payment, training, hiring and shadowing. One strategy is to tie customer service agents payment to commissions or to earnings incentives. This approach works with some who just don't put out enough effort while it fails to work with those who are simply not as skilled as the high performer or who are intrinsically or internally motivated as opposed to being externally or reward motivated.

Another strategy is to modify the company's customer service training to reflect the things the top agent is doing, who is obviously doing things that differ from or go beyond the company training. After analysis of the top agent's service approach, training could be modified and weekly "in-service" retraining sessions could be scheduled to bring the rest of the customer service staff up to the new standard.

Another strategy has to do with hiring practices. Human Resources (or the individual responsible for hiring) might incorporate psychological testing into the interview process and, in future, hire individuals who match with the top performer's traits and characteristics so that all service agents have the same personality types. The disadvantage of this is that it will only be effective over time and offers no solution in the short-term.

Another strategy is to incorporate shadowing in which each customer service agent is required to shadow (with pay) the top performer for a day or a week etc. The advantage of this is that the others will see the strengths of the top performer in action and, after taking notes, can incorporate some or all of that approach into their own customer service technique. The disadvantage of this is that there might be animosity built up from the under-performers toward the top performer. This potential for animosity might be dispelled by regular earnings, or regular earnings plus incentive, during shadowing and by individual encouragement and recognition before and throughout the shadowing (or retraining) process.

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