Confidence in the workplace is important because it helps us break free from our anxieties and trust our own abilities. Some employees have strong self-confidence, while others struggle with the mindset. But it is possible to create the conditions to help self-confidence flourish. If you want an effective and efficient customer support team then that’s exactly what you need to do.
Not sure where to get started? We’ll cover 7 customer service confidence tips to help you make your team more successful.
1. Provide your team with the training they need
Confidence is born of competence. When you achieve mastery of a skill, nothing can hold you back. Getting there, though, requires the proper training.
As the public face of your brand, your customer service reps need outstanding product knowledge. Without that, they have no hope of dealing effectively with issues and enthusing customers about your offering. To make sure they are at the top of their game:
- Commit to regular training with product experts
- Provide in-depth information around updates and new releases
- Encourage reps to use your products or services for themselves
Your customer support team should be comfortable navigating tech tools they need for their job. Make sure you provide the training opportunities they need to reach this point. That means providing:
- Sufficient time to gain competence
- Access to software
- Simulation of real-life scenarios
Even when it comes to dealing with other people, in this case customers, the old adage “practice makes perfect” still holds true. Equip your customer support staff with:
- Role-playing sessions to help prepare them for difficult situations
- A large array of potential customer scenarios with scripts when possible
- The chance to develop people skills relevant to the role e.g. empathy
With the right training, your staff will feel confident transferring these skills into a real-life scenario.
2. Place trust in your team
Trust is a powerful gift. Placing trust in someone shows that you believe in their ability to do what they do – and that is a real confidence booster.
In a work scenario, this trust allows a level of freedom for support reps to go about their job. There is no more debilitating feeling than being micromanaged down to the nth degree. Even just saying “You got this” every now and then can make a difference.
So, make sure staff know they are trusted by:
- Sharing important information with them
- Listening to them and taking on board their suggestions
- Giving them the space they need to do their job
- Encourage them to set goals and tackle projects that are just outside their comfort zone
3. Recognize when your team has done well
As a social species, we depend on feedback. Our actions feel less meaningful when we don’t see their positive impact on other humans.
Businesses tend to focus on weaknesses, but this is a counterproductive, draining habit. Positive recognition does wonders for both motivation and confidence. This is particularly true of the opinions of those who really matter. In the case of a customer support rep, this could be their manager or the customers they serve. When providing recognition:
- Focus on and encourage strengths
- Provide staff with positive feedback from both other staff and customers (e.g. “This customer told me you provided them with excellent support yesterday, well done!”)
- Implement a weekly practice to recognize good deeds (e.g. at a team meeting)
4. Embrace mistakes as learning opportunities
Everyone makes mistakes, but that doesn’t mean they’ve failed for good. After all, mistakes are the greatest learning opportunities we have.
So, avoid setting unrealistic expectations. Your team members won’t measure up and that will damage their confidence. Mistakes happen. What matters is how your team learns from them. When dealing with mistakes:
- Embrace them and avoid reacting with anger or disappointment
- Take responsibility both personally and on behalf of the company
- Dissect the issues brought about by particular mistakes
- Make sure the lessons learned are shared with your wider team (without exposing individual employees)
5. Communicate effectively
Not knowing what’s going on around you can be very disconcerting. It’s hard to maintain confidence when you don’t feel in the thick of it with your job and the impact it has.
Good internal communication is key to ensuring all staff are equipped with the same information and can easily collaborate with colleagues. Fostering this team dynamic engenders a sense of camaraderie and builds confidence through the belief that the team can tackle issues even if an individual agent stumbles.
The smooth transfer of information is central to this. Make sure to:
- Make good use of communication technology
- Keep the dialogue open and encourage the exchange of ideas
- Hold regular meetings to discuss issues that crop up (e.g., in the form of one-on-ones)
6. Use the right tools
For any job to be done properly, the right conditions need to be in place.
The right tools empower customer service reps to do their jobs better. With the rise of increasingly sophisticated tech, they know they have the means to help them unpack and address customer issues in the most efficient way possible, right at their fingertips. That includes:
- Knowledge bases - a sharing ground for useful information to refer to provides reassurance
- Cobrowsing - communication with customers can sometimes be difficult, so the ability to highlight and explain issues is a real confidence booster
- Live chat - with more time to think and the chance to share links and useful documents, customer service reps know that will be able to bring queries to a satisfactory conclusion or send them on the right track
7. Structure your onboarding
There’s nothing worse than feeling like you don’t know where you are or what you are doing. We operate at our best when we feel secure in our surroundings.
Helping new customer service reps get up to speed and get settled lays the foundations of their experience working with your company. Get a clear process and build in stages that can be followed for each new hire, and you’ll help them feel secure in their knowledge and part of the team. A good onboarding process involves:
- Orientation: An introduction to policy and your products and services.
- Immersion: Build up and get them used to their work.
- Engagement: Feeling comfortable and tied in through personal relationships.
- Follow-up: Review and evaluate immersion and performance.
Customer service technology helps with onboarding new hires. Acquire client HLC found live chat allowed new team members to learn the ropes of the business and get comfortable answering the most common requests before being unleashed on the phone.
Deeper relationships await
Once confidence spreads throughout your team, it will infuse into all of their customer interactions. Customers will feel more comfortable dealing with your support staff and they’ll be happy to come back. Through strengthening the customer experience in this way, you will, in turn, strengthen your customer relationships. We’re confident about that.