Customer service reps have significant workloads to manage. Here are three ways to improve performance through targeted training and teambuilding.
You want your customer service team operating at the top of its game. Tools and training are essential to a stellar customer service operation, and you shouldn’t overlook teambuilding activities that help your customer service representatives (CSRs) strengthen their communication skills and collaboration.
Here are three cost-effective teambuilding exercises that can improve your team’s morale and customer interactions.
The Telephone Game
The game of Telephone has been around for ages, and most of us learned how to play it in grade school. Each person whispers a message to the person seated next to him or her. But aside from just being a game, it’s also an example of the importance of clear communication, so it’s a great way to remind CSRs to focus on customer conversations. For CSR teambuilding, it can be fun to use a sentence or phrase agents hear or say frequently on the job, but any type of message can work. As the message is relayed from person to person, it can morph into something entirely different—and often hilarious or frustrating. Comparing the final message with the original phrase illustrates why CSRs must work to communicate clearly with customers on every call.
Customer Thank-You Notes
Most CSRs can tell you about at least a few positive customer interactions they had recently, but most happy customers don’t send a thank-you note, even if a CSR goes above and beyond. For this exercise, have CSRs think of a positive customer service call they handled and write a thank-you note from the customer’s perspective. This is a great exercise for busy teams because CSRs can write letters individually and then meet to share them with the team at a scheduled time. Each CSR reads the letter aloud to the team, and then the team discusses what happened, identifies strong takeaways, and looks for areas to improve even more.
The ‘I Can’ Exercise
In customer service, focusing on what CSRs can do for a customer as opposed to what they can’t do can help improve the customer experience and alleviate frustration. But this skill doesn’t come naturally to everyone. The “I Can” exercise can be done in a group or in pairs, but the concept is the same either way. One person comes up with an impossible question for another CSR—a question he or she cannot possibly answer “yes” to. The respondent must come up with positive responses while avoiding saying “no.” For instance, the first CSR might ask for a gourmet lunch, and the respondent could answer that request by listing various takeout options in the local area. The goal is to come up with the most outlandish request in order to elicit creative responses. At the end of the exercise, CSRs will have had a few laughs and a great reminder that you don’t always have to say “no” when you can’t do what a customer wants.
Customer service teams of all sizes can benefit from these exercises, and you can plan for them to take just a few minutes or as long as your team is engaged in the activities. Teambuilding exercises like these will bring your CSRs closer together through laughter while enhancing their communication skills to improve their customer conversations.