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Setting achievable daily and weekly goals should already be part of the normal management program. Putting goals in place ensures your team knows what you expect of them. This allows them to measure their own success, which is critical to employee satisfaction. Institutionalized rewards lose their power. When rewards become too much a part of the everyday we stop striving for them. Set up guidelines for how often you want members of the team to be recognized and make sure as managers you are recognizing really good achievements when they occur.

Another way to reward your staff is to recognize when they have just finished a tough call or have come through a really hard experience.

At Zendesk, we use Weeble Wobbles. Without saying a word, the employee feels seen and appreciated.

Encourage your staff to reward one another when they achieve milestones and do great things. Leaderboards and badges are great ways of using gamification to provide instant and public recognition, but be careful to drive the desired behaviors and outcomes. For example, if you would like to see more articles in your knowledge base, rewarding on quantity alone will drive staff to publish less-than-good articles just to hit quota. Recognizing quality is more important, so consider measuring by view count instead of the number of posts.

Thelanguage you use when talking about your gamification system is important too. Keep the conversation focused on personal bests rather than some being better than others. Where some people like a fanfare, others prefer a quiet word of encouragement. Your staff will recognize your appreciation as genuine if you take the time to offer praise that appeals to their personalities. Things like flu epidemics, holiday seasons, and tricky new product releases are going to happen, and no matter how well you planned, you might have to work with fewer agents than you would like.

The first thing you want to do is let your team know. Keep them engaged by explaining why you are behind, not just asking them to work more. Cancel all of your meetings and ask your staff to do the same. In fact, any non-essential activities should be postponed. Right now, you need to focus on right now. Also, make sure your team knows what your expectations are during that time.

Are there any simple tickets that someone from a different department can answer? If there are, see if you can get some help from the other department heads. Marketing, sales, product management—oftentimes tickets are directed to them anyway. If your company is customer-focused, most—if not all—the employees should have some basic training in how to respond to support tickets. Are you the kind of team that likes to go out for long lunches? Not today. In fact, lunch might have to be on you.

If you can, bring in lunch and other goodies for your agents on the company dime. It lets your team know that you appreciate their hard work. The most important thing is to stay calm and focused. One way or another, the day will end. Building a customer support team that enjoys working together and brings enthusiasm to the job every day requires a creative touch.


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An exciting way to motivate and encourage your team is to offer opportunities to get involved in other important company initiatives, including travel and outside-the-office activities. Events are a great way to do this. They often include travel opportunities and always create settings where your team can learn and network. During events, your team can share expertise and knowledge with other people in the industry.

Many times there are chances to present information, lead a group, and hone skills.

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Staff Meeting Ideas: 7 Creative Tactics That Your Team Will Love

Events not only provide occasions to switch up the routine and get out of the office, they offer new learning experiences and the feeling of being involved in the customer service community at large. An event program employed by Zendesk is called Zendesk User Groups. Zendesk invites passionate users to lead and host user groups all around the world. Each meeting features a Zendesk customer who discusses their implementation and experience of Zendesk, followed by an interactive group discussion. These user groups provide a great opportunity to share tips and tricks, access new features, network with fellow Zendesk users, and meet members of the Zendesk team.

Our advocates love to attend these events and meet the customers they interact with every day, and customers benefit by having access to our best experts. Consider event programs like these to help motivate and support your customer service team. One of the first and most fundamental steps your company can take on its journey to providing great customer service is to a hire a top-notch customer service team. That means finding and retaining talented individuals, something that is much easier said than done. One of the best ways to attract the best talent for the job is to create a working environment that is as interesting and enriching as possible.

This can be done by building a support team structure that includes rotating roles and assignments. Consider having your team work through a regular rotation of roles that includes:. Triage : responsible for assigning incoming tickets to groups. Normally this is a supervisory position, but making it a peer-to-peer position rotates the responsibility.

Phone coordinator : manages the phone queue and is responsible for getting other advocates on the phones when things get busy. When there are no calls, the phone coordinator is working on tickets. Ticket tank : responsible for drilling deeper into tickets that will likely take longer than usual, which could include tickets with multiple or complex questions.

Ticket tank : handles live interactions with customers via phone. Here are three examples of functions your support team can fill to help out their colleagues on other teams and gain insight into how different departments work. Training : helps customers get the most out of your product or service.

Knowledge manager : writes blog and forums posts, tips, knowledge base articles, and best practices. This is a good candidate for the first position that is temporarily dropped when things get busy. Subject matter expert : participates in product meetings and offers feedback. This is a great way to get insight from people who regularly use the product.

Since customer service reps are in constant contact with customers, this gives them the opportunity to truly be the voice of the customer. For certain companies, particularly those with large support teams, it makes sense to consider organizing your department into pods.

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Each support manager can be in charge of several pods. Managers can have weekly meetings with the team leaders of the pods that they are responsible for. This way managers are up to date and aware of all activities and issues without having to be bogged down in one-on-one meetings with every individual advocate. In the meantime, team leaders can be responsible for the day-to-day activities of their pods, further freeing up support managers.

When managers are freed up, more attention is paid to developing strategy and making improvements. However, be cautious! Your managers should continue to interact with your agents throughout the day, rather than locking themselves in an office. Another important benefit of the pod structure is it can work as a fertile ground for growing future managers.

Now you have your survey and the results, what do you do with them? Interpreting the results is another matter entirely. Results will come to you in raw scores and T-Scores. The raw scores will give you the average of all the responses to the survey. In times like this, having the benchmark data comes in handy. If you can compare your data to that of other companies who have completed the same survey, it gives you a better determination whether the scores are low or high.

T-Scores are one method of representing benchmark scores and tell you how your scores compare to other places.

Find Your Strategic Leaders

Upon evaluation of the survey and results using the above methods, employers can find out which percentile their employees fall when considering the different areas where engagement is measured. Now that you have completed your survey and interpreted your data, you need to know how to increase employee engagement. Once you have determined the areas that need reinforcement, there are many strategies you can implement to help drive your team to success. Now that you know why employee engagement is so important to your business, you can begin to look at the strategies to increase these levels.

A common mistake those in managerial positions tend to make is believing that these decisions need to come from the highest position of the hierarchy. The best way to carry on these strategies is starting with the employees, right up to the chain of command, to the bosses themselves. Use and share the information from the employee engagement survey with all the department managers, empower them so they can take that knowledge back to their individual teams.

The Team Leaders - Idea a Day Guide : Susan Fowler Woodring :

When the employees are made aware of the results, you can then talk to them about their ideas for improvement. When they are part of the solution, they are less likely to be the cause of the problems. As a manager, it is your responsibility to help lead the employees to be a successful, cohesive team. That starts with the collaboration of ideas to help rectify any issues that crop up through the survey.

Why is employee engagement important? The simple answer: because it motivates your employees to be productive and call in sick less often.