Best Ways to Deal with Underperforming Employees

Customer service roles can be very much daunting. Solving the same problems, speaking with the same customers and having same conversations can significantly wear down your motivation over time. When in customer service, some teams have accepted this fate and decided to adopt tools such as chatbots and help desk software with the aim of compensating for understaffed teams. While these options may help, you still need employees to execute some functions in your business. When you teams have a lot on their desk to handle, they may feel overwhelmed and may get demotivated. It is very important to ensure your teams are always motivated and can deliver on the tasks at hand.

If you are faced with some employees who are underperforming, here are some of the ways to go about it.

Discuss their work life balance

Employees who suddenly meet metrics don’t suddenly forget how to have their jobs done. Even if they are unhappy in their roles, they will definitely have no single intention to underperform. The poorer the service offered to a customer, the more frustrated they become. There is need for managers to change their conversations and focus on all external influences that might be posing a negative work experience to customers. There is need for measure to be taken that are aimed at addressing all external issues that might be affecting employee perfomance.

Review Perfomance

You need to provide customer’s perception of the perfomance of your team. Sometimes, your team lacks proper understanding of how their work affects customer’s experience. When you task your employees with different daily metrics, they may prioritize some tasks over others. They may not think its a big deal, but meeting every metric is very important in providing a consistent customer experience. You can motivate your employees by explaining metrics from customer’s perspective.

Tell a story

You need to tell a story with the use of daily metrics. One of the most useful tools a service desk can provide is an analysis of daily perfomance of a rep, to see exactly on the areas they are underperforming. After they, you can give them tips on how to enhance perfomance in their given areas. When reviewing this perfomance, it is important to tell a story about daily metrics. Metrics are often connected to each other and when your reps fail to meet them, it often relates their perfomance to something else. You need to look at the numbers collectively and obtain a more complete picture of the agent’s workflow to improve perfomance.

Set time-based goals

If an agent is struggling to meet their metrics, it makes a lot of sense to implement time-based goals. You need to give your reps a benchmark to achieve within a given period, and then consistently check with them to monitor their progress. You need to narrow goals down to one or two key metrics. That way, reps will have a simple task of fully focusing on one task and see its success.  It is important to highlight all key roles your team play in implementation of their duties. Your most experienced reps should be assets to your customers.

How Artificial Intelligence is Shaping Customer Service

When we think about artificial intelligence, what inmost case comes to our minds are robots and other computerized elements that have the power to automate processes. Today, AI is not a mysterious technology that threatens us with digital revolution. Instead, it is being used to enhance operations and make work easier. In customer service, Ai is used with the purpose of improving the customer experience and creating more delightful interactions with users. When properly implemented, it can dramatically influence how teams interacts and serves their customers.

Here are some of the most notable ways in which AI us being used in customer service.

Chatbots

Chatbots are usually that in most cases comes to our minds when we think of Ai and customer service. This is because they are the first in the implementation of AI in customer service. Chatbots are programmed to interpreted a customer’s problems then provide troubleshooting steps to resolve an issue. This helps in saving a customer from having to pick up the phone and call support teams every time they have a minor problem or just a simple question. Instead, they can just type their inquiry through live chat channel and receive instant responses from automated agent.

Augmented Messaging

While chatbots are so great at troubleshooting smaller issues, most of them are not ready to tackle complex or sensitive cases. If a customer doesn’t feel like they are getting the answers they are looking for from a bot, they may start to get frustrated with the service experience. Bots can nly make use of prewritten responses so it becomes hard to salvage a situation when bots can only fire generic messages. This is where augmented messaging comes into play. It is a AI tool that identifies opportunities where human agents should step in and help the customer. The agent can then either continue with the case or hand it over to the bot.

Sentiment Analysis

In an ideal world, bots will not have to perform this task. Instead, they would read the emotions behind a customer’s message and make a decision whether or not the case is going well. In case it was otherwise, they could generate personalized responses that are based on their assessment of a situation. We are not too far from this reality. Today, many bots have sentiment analysis tols such as natural language processing that helps them in interpreting customer responses. This tool helps in telling the bot how to respond when a customer behaves in a certain way, so the bot will not have to escalate customer emotions.

Email Distribution

While sentiment analysis can be great for outgoing messages, it can equally be use for incoming ones as well. Many brands are making use of AI to read and tag customer emails so that their support teams can respond to messages quickly and more efficiently. When an email comes in, the AI analyzes customer problems, emotions as well as the history of the customer with the business. The process helps in saving time for customers and your reps as well.

Ways to Boost Your Customer Retention Rate

If you ask a business leader out there what’s their number one goal, they will tell you something related to growth. When you consider business growth, you may think the key to achieving the same lies in acquiring new customers. Although obtaining new customers is a good thing, getting out to acquire them is not always the most noble thing to do. This is because the process pf identifying, qualifying and nurturing leads with the hope of converting them always require some significant resources. So instead of always concentrating on acquiring news leads, you can instead focus your energy on retaining your existing customers.

If you are interested in retaining customers for your business, here are some of the ways to go about it.

Adjust pricing for returning customers

You can adjust your pricing in a way that makes it easy for your current customers to return and do more business with you. You may decide to offer your customers discounts via email on their next purchase after they have received their order. Additionally, you can decide to offer them free shipping and returns as well as additional price related perks for all your frequent shoppers. You could also come up with a cost-effective subscription for your services.

Implement cross selling

Consider implementing cross-selling and upselling strategies for your customers. Ensure every customer checks out with something extra in their cart as a result of cross-selling and upselling strategies throughout your website and all other channels of communication. Upselling to shoppers in a physical store is very simple. You only need to place related products next to each other and make use of merchandising techniques to draw attention and drive impulse purchases. Online shoppers often begin their journey in search of a particular item and this explains the reason you need to be strategic when it comes to cross selling and upselling Look for patterns throughout your sales data and ask yourself on two or more items that customers normally buy together. Look for all items that complement each other

Create a customer loyalty program

Implement a program that aims at rewarding your most loyal customers as doing so presents you with an opportunity to build on existing relationships and offer incentives for them to return to your business. You might email your top 10 percent of customers with a special offer each month. Work to test which of your offers will resonate with specific customers and fine tune your rewards with time. Rewards you decide to offer can range from a simple thank you note to free shipping. Work on knowing your customer demographics, actions as well as preferences that reflect to a successful conversion based on the offers you give to them.

It is important that you personalize your buyer journey. If you can personalize their experience, you will be making their lives easier while at the same time making them feel valued. You can encourage your visitors to sign up for coupons, inside information and other notifications related to products and services you offer.

Tips for Collecting Payments While Maintaining a Positive Customer Experience

Regardless of the business you are running, one of the most important aspects when it comes to businesses is collecting payments from your customers. You have put a lot of hours working for your clients and the last thing you want is delayed payments. 54 percent of businesses report how it takes them too long to receive payments for services rendered. The issue of unpaid invoices is a major concern to many businesses. To handle the subject of payments, require a keen and direct communication. Additionally, you must deliver your message in an emphatic manner. Here are some of the approaches you can use to ensure you are balanced when asking for funds from places you owe.

Ask for payments upfront

In most cases, you can avoid challenges with invoice by clearly establishing a payment system before you begin working on a new client. Asking for payments upfront may seem to be a bit strange, but this is one of the concepts used by some agencies including SaaS providers. When a client pays upfront, you will never have to worry about sending an invoice afterwards. All you need to do is to deliver a completed project on the agreed deadline. While not every client will be willing to pay upfront, many will be open to paying a certain fee as commitment, and this is done in good faith to ensure everyone’s commitment to what has to be delivered.

Clearly communicate your expectations

Regardless of wen you get paid, it is important to iron out all issues regarding payment before you can start working with a client. Ensure you agree on the method to be used for you to get paid, be it direct deposit, PayPal, among others. As soon as you have delivered on the project, what method and mode of payment will be used for you to get your funds? Part of your duty would be to provide a mutual level of convenience. A good thing is that online scheduling platforms can integrate credit cards to be processes by applications such as PayPal, Stripe, among others. This helps businesses to get serious, long term clients and avoid the task of manually asking for payments every time.

Send polite follow up emails

There are many reasons why a client may not pay an invoice on time. It is not always that they are trying to avoid you. They may also be experiencing challenges on their side to pay you. Other times, the person in charge of processing your payments may be on vacation. Chances are that your email requesting for payments might have landed on the wrong address of spam folder. The first thing you need is not to complain, but seek to understand why the payments were not delivered. If you want to maintain a positive relationship with your customers, it is important you give them the benefit of doubt, at least initially. If more than a week passes without getting your funds, then you can go ahead and seek for a reminder.