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In the 2021 State of Customer Service, Five Star Call Centers discusses the post-pandemic effects on employees, including the future of work-from-home in the industry.

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2021 State of Customer Service: People

By Joel Sylvester, Chief Marketing Officer, Five Star Call Centers


Each year, Five Star Call Centers shares the State of Customer Service to shed light on trends and insights that impact the customer service industry. Our team has garnered this information from best practices, tradeshows, conferences, and publications we’ve reviewed throughout the year. In this three-part series featuring industry, technology, and people, we dive into each topic and provide you information and resources for your business. New parts in the series will be release May 13 (Industry), May 20 (Technology), and May 27 (People). Today, we focus on the backbone of customer care – the people. 

What You Need to Get Right – Your People

So, this isn’t rocket science. The key to truly moving your business forward in a customer service-centric world are the actual people providing the service. This knowledge isn’t a hidden gem. But finding the right people to represent your brand are the hidden gems.

A career in customer care isn’t for everyone. And it’s important that you look for the right candidate to add to your team.

Quality Customer Care Begins with Quality Customer Care Representatives

Input in equals input out. This golden rule of life applies to your customer care. You can teach a person how to use the equipment and what script to read. However, if you aren’t hiring quality customer service representatives, you’ll find the quality of your customer care will quickly follow.

Don’t cut yourself short when recruiting a customer service associate. Set what you are looking for in the right candidate and make sure the whole team is looking for these qualities during the interview process. Remember, these associates are often the only “face” of the company that customers interact with. Make sure each associate is a good representation of who and what your company wants to project to your audience.

Training-and Continued Training-is Key to Success

You’ve hired the perfect customer service team. Congratulations! That said, the job is far from done. Nothing can destroy the perfect team faster than not providing the right training. While you’re planning how to hire the right people also plan how to train them to be the right representative for your business. Think about:

  • How to train on your technology
  • Plan where the team will find information to answer customer questions
  • Coaching on the tone of voice to use – Should they be empathetic? Happy? Solemn?

A properly trained customer service representative will be confident in caring for your customers. But don’t just set training as a one-time program. Providing coaching and follow-up training to help them succeed.

Work-From-Home…Yes, it’s this Important

Okay, so I’ve talked about work-from-home already. But in 2021 it’s important enough that it’s worth a second conversation.

Work-from-home is here to stay in the customer service industry. Not only does it mean happier associates, but it saves capital dollars. It’s a win from 2020 that we never saw coming.

If you haven’t planned for long-term work-from-home, I encourage you to start now. The industry has embraced this hiring practice and it’s something quality employees are looking for in a new employer.

It’s not surprising that 2020 changed the landscape of the customer service industry. It gave the industry time to shine. It’s time to leverage this new appreciation for customer care and carry it into 2021. If you’re not, your competitor is. Let’s make 2021 the year where customer service shines through the business world.

About Five Star Call Centers

Five Star Calls Centers has been an industry leader in the contact center outsourcing industry for over 35 years. They deliver voice, IVR, digital, and consulting services across the U.S. and are dedicated to learning and implementing state-of-the-art technology and leading-edge practices.

About the Author - Joel Sylvester

Joel’s career spans hundreds of companies and helping each enhance their customer experience. He has recruited, trained, and coached award-winning customer services teams across the globe in industries spanning retail, finance, product support, healthcare, hospitality and more. Today, Joel serves as partner and chief sales and marketing officer for Five Star Call Centers, an outsourcing call center with five locations based in the Midwest.

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