How To Increase Performance Of Your Support Team

Here it goes again. Never ending debate about effectiveness, right people, team chemistry, priorities and measurable outcomes. Everybody in this business is searching for magic bullets and ultimate solutions. Well, surprise! There are none. For now, I will just speak from my experience. I am not intending to say that any of following lines are generally implementable solutions or that those will work as in every single case.

This article will be about thinking a bit differently. I will try to make a case, that putting rationality behind for a while may be just, what your support team needs. From my perspective, it all comes down to single premise: humans are not machines, reports are not ultimate indicators of success and simple set of soft skills can play a major role in making your support work better, harder and more effective.

So what it is I am talking about? Thing that is quite easy to do, but crazy hard to act upon – paying attention.

Firstly, you need to answer these questions to yourself: Are your support guys happy? Are they frustrated? If so, why? Do I need additional headcount? You can very well pick it up from there.

It is up to as an employer or support team manager to give your people proper motivation. Space and opportunities for personal and career growth are equally important. When you are going to set up some kind of performance rating mechanism, make sure it is decent in a “human” sense of word. What do I mean?

Take quality of their support into consideration, not just pure performance like number of ticket answers or live chats. If you need to go ticket by ticket and read what is going on, so do it. There is no other way how to dig deep into actual performance of your team. Getting overview from reports is simply not enough.

I am very well aware that there are too many factors playing role in your employee’s performance. You’d better be prepared to take immediate action, to be flexible and to do ad-hoc solutions depending on current situation.

Whatever you have planned in months before, can become irrelevant in mere hours. That is why you need to pay extra attention to your guys. Listen, be prepared for criticism and act accordingly. Bottom line is that happy employee = great performing employee.

Let’s wrap it up, because, who does not like lists with attractive title? Here you go:

5 easy (or not) steps to increase your support team’s performance

  1. Set realistic goals for your team. Be specific, understanding, flexible and if something goes south, it does not necessarily mean there is something wrong with your team. Look at your goals and reconsider.
  2. Never underestimate good training. It will pay off. Reward the best guys, be generous and provide room for growth.
  3. Motivation is not just about money, money and more money. In many cases sympathetic ear, will to listen and forgiveness can do miracles as well.
  4. Embrace personal connection with your customers. To provide real excellence, do not limit your people with maximum lengths of calls, conversation or time spent with tickets. Put quality before quantity.
  5. Make sure that your team is not just a team on paper. Your employees should stick together and not work just for themselves. Hardest part is to convince them to work for a company itself with all their dedication. If you achieve this, consider yourself master of managing support team. Congratulations! 

Andrej Csizmadia

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