The service rep has the greatest influence on overall customer service experience. A CEB survey of more than 4,500 customers revealed that 65% of a customer’s perceived level of effort is driven by how the rep made them feel during the service interaction. What the customer had to actually do during the interaction only accounts for 35%.
Service Reps Hold the Key to Customer Loyalty
In other words, when it comes to customer effort, reps hold the key. The skills, competencies, and words they use—and how they use them—are the deciding factors for delivering a superior, low-effort customer service experience.
4 Key Capabilities to Drive Rep Performance
In an environment where customers increasingly demand more tailored, customized service, reps must have the capabilities to guide customers through the service interaction.
We identified a critical skill set required to create the feeling of a low-effort experience and boost rep performance. Baseline customer service skills, such as professionalism and product competency, are required of any rep. Continuing to focus on developing these skills, though, is likely to elicit only minimal returns.
Instead, to maximize rep performance in today’s service environment, service leaders should prioritize the training and development of 4 higher-level capabilities:
Tailoring the rep’s communication style to match the communication style and preferred issue resolution path of the customer
Identifying implicit and explicit customer needs through improved listening and asking purposeful, probing questions
Influencing the customer’s perception of the experience through positioning techniques and use of language
Preemptively resolving the next likely issue(s) that customers may not articulate in the moment but that will cause a repeat call
Through mastery of these capabilities, reps will be able to provide a better low-effort service interaction to your customers and thus mitigate potential customer disloyalty.
Our white paper, Key Capabilities to Drive Customer Service Rep Performance, explains the importance of mastering each of these capabilities and provides tips for service leaders to help their reps apply them in practice. Fill out the form on the right to download your copy today.