The Makings of a Successful Customer Service Manager

Beyond the traditional traits that managers are expected to possess, those who lead customer service teams must hone a very specific skill set. They not only have to be able to motivate teams and think on their feet, but they also have to be intuitive and empathetic to customer and employee needs. Being empathetic as a manager is important because no matter what, customer service managers must lead by example. Failing to do so can result in a team that lacks motivation and a poor customer experience.

To ensure the seamless operations of any customer service team, we’ve identified a number of specific skills that are vital to becoming a great customer service manager. Here are our top tips to help you sharpen your managerial skills:

1. Develop a Customer-Obsessed Approach to Work

Managers have to lead by example. In order to have a successful career in customer service, managers need to be extremely customer-oriented. A great manager knows how to put the customer at the center of everything they do. This entails doing everything they can to deliver a better customer experience such as monitoring customer service performance and trends and hosting regular internal training sessions with team members to improve the level of service offered.

This means making your customers’ needs and feedback the primary driver for your priorities and actions. You shouldn’t only collect feedback, but action it.

The feedback customers provide will help your company make data-backed decisions that improve the customer experience – resulting in more loyal customers and a healthier bottom line. It’s the manager’s job to ensure that customers are being listened to.

2. Communicate Clearly and Efficiently

Managers are sometimes responsible for resolving the most difficult customer concerns, those that their frontline team members are sometimes unable to handle. This requires professional and expert communication skills.

As such, great communication skills are critical for customer service managers. A manager who knows how to navigate delicate situations and turn a negative customer issue into a positive will make a direct impact on the customer experience.

But great communication goes beyond interactions with customers. Customer service managers must also be able to communicate clearly with their teams, ensuring agents are trained properly and understand what is expected of them, as well as acting as an inspiring leader that can rally their team.

Strong communication between managers and their employees can also allow agents to continue to expand their knowledge and skills to handle more complex customer inquiries in the future. So don’t forget to recognize when your agents do well, and, when they don’t do so well, give constructive feedback – but be careful not to micro-manage your team.

3. Cultivate a Culture of Inclusion as a Manager

Empathy is a critical skill to learn for customer service managers who want to build loyalty among their customers. Developing this skill will also help you to cultivate inclusion within your team.

In fact, studies continue to prove that an inclusive workplace generates better business. This is especially true for customer-facing teams. A manager that exemplifies and models empathy and transparency produces a workforce that excels in empathy – which we know is an essential skill for successful agents.

4. Become a Great Multitasker

A good customer service manager will be an expert at navigating and juggling the numerous requirements of the job. They can recognize which tasks need to be prioritized and how to maximize their time and resources to accomplish those tasks. They will also be proactive about tackling challenging situations and addressing them quickly, all with a strategic mindset that helps deliver great results for both internal teams and customers.

Being a great multitasker can be a challenge, especially when you’re being pulled in a number of different directions. Finding a customer service platform that automates repetitive tasks and provides you with automatic performance insights and trends will help you stay on top of the most important aspects of the job.

5. Know the Value of a Strong Team

Good customer service managers know they are not an island. It takes a team to make any real progress and hit quotas and ensure deadlines are met.

Building a strong feedback culture, where agents regularly get opportunities to improve their performance is a vital part of strengthening your team.

Focusing on hiring the right agents is also key.

6. Pair Your Expertise with the Right Tech

Developing the right skill set to be a great customer service manager is only one side of the coin. Flip it over, and you’ll discover that finding the right customer service tech stack is just as important. Especially when budgets are tight!

Explore our guide, 6 Must-Have Customer Service Tools When Consolidating Your Tech Stack for just the insight you need to get started.


Lia Ciner

Lia Ciner

Lia brings her non-profit experience to the world of technology and corporate business growth. Her passion is in maintaining a human-centric digital reality, in which both people and business can thrive with their technology.

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