5 Proven Tips for Retaining Your Best Customer Service Employees

If you’re like most customer service managers, you’re facing a growing challenge within your own department: keeping your customer care agents on board and fulfilled at work.

Retaining your best agents has never been more important – or more difficult. With unemployment rates remaining below 4%, your agents know there are other opportunities out there.

The key is ensuring that your company is where they want to stay. But like most things, retaining top talent is far easier said than done.

Here are 5 ways to build and retain your high performing customer care team of highly engaged customer care agents, even in this market.

1. Hire for soft skills. Train for technical skills.

Far too many companies remain focused on recruiting applicants based on their hard skills and experience. Don’t fall into that trap. Instead, create a job description and interview questions that attract and vet for individuals who possess the core competencies and aptitudes you need. Problem solving skills, the ability to interact well with many different people, and a demonstrated ability to adapt to new technology are fundamentals that are virtually impossible to teach. Your process, system, and rules of the road are relatively easy to instill in solid hires.

2. Create an inclusive culture that values all team members.

Commit to holding regular, ongoing department meetings, team celebrations, and one-on-one check-ins. If your team is remote, make sure your supervisors access all available technology, especially video-based apps, to connect team members. Be sure that every gathering begins and ends with references to the company’s vision, mission and goals.

3. Link Individual Values to Organizational Values

Ask every candidate why they want the job, what they enjoy most about interacting with customers, and what they need most from a work environment. Then never forget their answers. One of the most important things you can do to keep employees engaged is to demonstrate, day in and day out, that you know them, you care about them, and that you’re committed to building a company culture that supports their individual values and goals.

4. Set Tangible Goals, Measure Performance, and Celebrate Successes

No one wants to wonder or worry about how they’re doing at work. Every top performer wants to feel important, informed, and appreciated for their efforts and their results. Set achievable goals for your team as a whole and for each individual on it. Then check in, at least once a week, with each team member to review how they’re doing. Remember to share corrective feedback only during private one-on-ones and lavish praise and recognition during team meetings.

5. Be a present, available, caring role model

Never miss an opportunity to show your team that you’re invested in their success and working hard to help them achieve it. The most important way you can help your customer care agents stay engaged is for you to show them that you’re engaged.


by Bobby Matthews
Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing
Skybridge Americas


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