By Megan Totka

A quality customer service team can make a big difference to your bottom line. 63% of people report leaving a company after a bad customer service experience. Keeping the team motivated is one way to ensure your customers get the attention they need, but it’s not exactly easy.

Offer Employee Incentives

Give your employees something to work toward with merit-based incentives. Incentives don’t have to wreck your budget to be effective. You can use a variety of options from small cash rewards to physical prizes, such as gaming consoles or tablets. Whatever the incentives may be, there should be a choice of rewards to make sure there is something every employee will find desirable.

There is also something to be said for non-tangible rewards. Research shows 90% of employees want an honest working environment and management team, and 89% want a system where everyone is treated fairly and held accountable. Rewarding your employees for their hard work with something as simple as a “thank you” or a small break to relax at the end of a meeting can be a powerful way to foster a stronger bond of trust with your employees.

As you consider your employee rewards program, remember that incentives can also play a role in recruiting top talent.

Make Use of Your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

Communication and collaboration are important to employee engagement. CRM software keeps your sales, marketing, and customer service teams aligned, so everyone in the organization has the information they need to better serve customers. With the information in the CRM, your customer service reps have the tools and confidence they need to address any complaints, needs, questions, or orders in the best way possible.

A customer service representative can use the CRM to look up the customer’s information. Once the customer is located, the rep will see any data in the system from any other employee in the company. This lets them get a good view of what’s going on, and what’s happened with any previous representatives they may have spoken to. In the end, the agent can resolve the issue faster, keeping customers happy and increasing productivity overall. Happy customers mean happier employees.

Use Gamification

Gamification can help you train your employees in a fun and engaging way. It can also help motivate your customer service team to improve quality, call timing, and other metrics depending on the type of setup you use. Research from Gartner says that more than 40% of the top companies will be using game of location to transform business operations.

In 2013, T-Mobile incorporated gamification as part of their employee collaboration platform. The end result provided a 31% improvement in customer satisfaction scores as well as a 40% improvement in call deflection, which resulted in reduced support costs. The company also saw a month over month improvement of call resolution rates and customer satisfaction scores.

To be effective for your team, the game should be crafted to encourage participation. This means creating real-world rewards for points earned in the game, and creating a transparent system that prevents resentments from building between co-workers.

On-Going Training and Company Education

As the customer climate changes, your business processes change, and your products and services change, you’ll need to be sure your customer service staff is equipped to handle those changes. Even your most loyal employees will need the chance to brush up on their skills from time-to-time. Incentivize training to encourage employees to put forth their best effort.

Motivating your customer service team to do their best every day boosts the company all around. When your employees are excited to do their job and do well for the company, it shows in their service, and when it shows in their service, customers will be pleased. It starts a chain reaction to promote word-of-mouth marketing and better brand awareness.

Megan Totka is the chief editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources and business news. Megan has several years of experience on the topics of small business marketing, copywriting, SEO, online conversions and social media. Megan can be reached at megan@chamberofcommerce.com