This post was originally published on lessonly.com.
If you own or manage a medium to large size business, you likely have a team of customer service representatives. It is often said that customer service representatives have the hardest job within the organization. They have to deal with irate customers, repeat many of the same answers over and over and rarely receive any praise from customers. This is why there is such a high turnover rate for the position. Do your customer service reps a favor and grade them on a regular basis. It will provide them with constructive feedback and let them know where they stand within the organization.
It can be difficult to evaluate customer service reps. They spend all day speaking with customers and you can’t observe their work or its results unless a customer calls back to complain about a certain representative’s performance. Your first step is to determine the criteria for the performance evaluation. This will be largely based on your organization’s priorities. Do you value a rep’s ability to handle a heavy call volume, his problem-solving abilities or something else? You should implement a standardized employee evaluation form to help you determine how a rep performed. The best way to grade a rep is a combination of all of these criteria.
Organize and standardize
Create a spreadsheet that contains representatives’ call times. It will inform you how long calls take and how many calls a rep can take in an hour. You should also consider evaluating reps based on the number of calls that they were not able to complete and had to transfer to a supervisor as an escalation.
If you don’t have a system in place to measure call times and other pertinent call information, grading your reps will be more challenging. Regardless of your organization’s technological capabilities, you should always study customer feedback. Take a look at your customer service surveys and read the reviews of your representatives. A rep might not take many calls in an hour compared to others, but his reviews could be absolutely stellar.
Spy a lil’ bit
It is imperative that you listen in on calls. You can listen to live calls that your rep handles or record them and review them later. When you listen to a call, check to see whether the rep is abiding by the company script that he has been trained to follow. Take note of his tone and the clarity and volume of his voice. If your rep is impolite or has a tone of voice that isn’t representative of the company, bring it up in his review. It is especially important to review calls in which customers expressed anger or frustration. These conversations will give you a good idea of whether your rep is able to keep his cool and speak in a cordial manner while under duress.