A large part of many customer support reps’ days is consumed by responding to CAPS-LOCKED emails full of question marks.  They create and send out templates, personalize individual responses, manage lengthy email threads, remain calm on escalated phone calls and resolve countless customer issues.  And once they’ve heroically swooped in to save the day, they rarely see a word (caps-locked or otherwise) of thanks.

This is where you come in!  Creating a positive work environment by offering various forms of recognition for your customer support reps’ dedication and can-do attitudes is the best way to let them know how much they’re appreciated and foster continued performance.

Bad Appreciation = Bad Support

According to a 2010 study by Maritz Research, there is a direct correlation between employee recognition programs and the quality of service those employees offer.  In other words, if you don’t have any kind of acknowledgement or rewards system in place to honor exceptional customer support reps, your clients probably aren’t receiving the best support.  However, you can begin fixing that by making a few simple changes in the workplace.

Sing their Praises

Whether it’s an email personally thanking your reps for their exceptionally important role in your company, or a verbal announcement at your monthly team meeting singling out a rep for their efforts on a particularly difficult issue, you’d be surprised at how a few words can go a long way for someone’s self-esteem and morale.  Although days can be long and stressful, thank you’s are something we all need to remember – even those of us at FuseDesk!

Sharing is Caring

Every so often, those in customer support are blessed with a miracle – a happy customer who simply wants to point out the great service they received, how friendly and polite a rep was or how quickly their question was answered.   Any positive feedback from customers begs to be acknowledged and shared.  Encourage reps to share these phone calls, letters and emails with each other and to pass them on to you as well so you can see how they’re making a difference.  Because positive reinforcement from customers is often few and far between, it’s really important to highlight this kind of feedback, massage your reps’ egos and remind them that their job well done is directly rocking your customers’ worlds.

More Tangible Rewards

The economy may not yet have fully recovered but that doesn’t mean you can’t offer your customer support representatives incentives to give them something to look forward to.  So pat them on the back with a wall of fame or “Rep of the Month” program – who doesn’t want their picture on the company wall?

A physical certificate of achievement may seem fairly elementary, but an employee who returns to work each day with one hanging in their cube will be reminded often of their achievements and will have that much more pride in what they do for your company.

Of course, incentives like free vacation days, convenient parking spots and flexible work hours are also easy ways to reward excellent performance without putting a dent in your company budget.

As customer support work forces often have a high turnover rate, it’s important to make these individuals feel loved on a daily basis.  Because you not only want to keep your customers by offering them phenomenal support, you want to retain your employees as well!