AI has created a possibility for large productivity gains. One of the areas where it’s already started being used is customer service. Naturally, as the world of customer service changes, so does the role of the people in it.
So, what has changed for Customer Service Managers in 2024? For one, CSMs are expected to find ways to improve OKRs by using AI, data analytics, and process excellence.
In this blog, we will discuss the key responsibilities for a CSM in 2024 and how you can differentiate in a crowded market that is getting disrupted by AI.
The customer service manager position is key to a company’s ability to provide exceptional customer support. The core duties of the job include understanding and attending to customers’ needs, keeping operational costs in check, replying promptly and professionally on inquiries/complaints received, as well as guaranteeing high levels of satisfaction from users. CSMs must also support their team while managing the agents’ workloads.
Customer service managers must understand what customers want and their CSAT levels, so they can come up with better ways to make the customer service experience even better. They can do surveys, interviews, or focus groups to collect feedback and figure out where they need to spend more effort. By taking care of what customers need, customer service managers can ensure they come back.
Customer service managers are required to demonstrate sensitivity and expertise while attempting to resolve complex customer complaints or queries. The customer service manager also leads by example. Jumping on escalations and handling complicated situations demonstrates leadership and ownership, qualities that every customer service agent must aspire to.
Little things go a long way and addressing issues proactively can ensure sustained high CSATs.
Customer service managers must hire right. What is the secret to hiring the right customer service agents? Good customer service performance is a combination of the right skill set, motivation, morale, empathy, and experience. When hiring, the CSM must look beyond just the resume. Build a customer service team that understands your vision and the company’s and is motivated by the same goals you aim to achieve.
Customer service managers must have the ability to guide and drive their team. As a customer service manager, it is important that you understand and fix the weak links in the chain. Training your support agents to understand the company values and process is not enough. You need to conduct regular refreshers and training sessions to keep up the quality of customer service. Another factor that leads to a high-performance customer service team, is coaching agents based on individual metrics. If you notice a customer team member has a higher response time than average, point out ways in which they could manage their tickets more effectively.
Great customer service is adapting to the changing needs of the customer. Needless to say, your approach to customer service should be fine-tuned to the need of the hour.
Customer service managers are accountable for managing operational expenses while consistently delivering 5 star customer service. A large part of the expense is likely from the technology infrastructure such CRM systems, workflow management applications, or chatbots. While they streamline tasks for agents and managers, the expense can add up.
If you use a diverse set of applications, it may make sense to evaluate and consolidate spend. With the increasing prevalence of AI, there may be avenues to deploy vastly more efficient processes by adopting better customer service software with AI capabilities.
Customer service managers must monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) such as Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), Employee Satisfaction Score (ESAT), Customer Effort score (CES), Average Handling Time (AHT), First Call Resolution(FCR ), Average Response Time and Average Resolution Time to assess their team’s effectiveness in satisfying customers. Collecting the right data and contextualising it is an important part of a CMS’s role.
Knowing how successful each area of your strategy is by monitoring KPIs helps create an environment focused around metrics and outperformance.
The previous section was all about the role of the typical customer service manager. But, if you aspire to greater roles within the function, you must be strategic as well as tactical.
In recent years, we’ve seen customer service management duties shift toward customer retention and the integration of technology to drive process efficiency. Of course, this is in addition to the traditional goals of managing a team of customer service agents and resolving thorny customer issues.
For CSMs who aspire to greater roles, it is important to focus some of their time and effort on strategic areas. If you want that next promotion and eventually head the customer service function, what can you do?
Customer service managers should prioritize customer retention and loyalty. It is particularly difficult to achieve, especially if orders are constantly increasing and you are dealing with hard to return or time-sensitive products. Customer service managers must keep a keen eye on CSAT and reorder rates to identify early signs of customer frustration.
This is important because customer acquisition costs are on the rise, especially if you operate in a competitive space. The best way to insulate the business against it is to retain customers for higher LTV.
A key skill for customer service managers today is the ability to make use of data and analytics so as to take informed decisions. There are several advantages to utilizing data-driven methods for customer service management - from understanding customer behavior to improving AHT and reducing operational costs.
The role of customer service managers, like many others, is captive to the pace of technological progress. A CSM must be constantly thinking about optimising customer service operations to improve efficiency and deliver superior customer experiences.
There are new tools being built every day for support teams and easier ways to analyze and extract insight from data. If you are a Customer Service Manager, be the voice of the customer and collaborate with your peers to build unique experiences for your customers. Leverage technology to do it better than your competitors.
Lastly, don’t forget to embrace AI. Since AI became part of the zeitgeist, companies are rapidly building newer ways to automate.
Perform a thorough audit of your technology inventory. Get rid of extraneous applications. While switching to a different software might appear intimidating, taking that leap can often lead to improvements in your cost base and outcomes. Migrating from bloated ERPs or platforms to an AI powered customer service SaaS solution will give you dramatic efficiencies.
In many cases, even a simple AI add-on to your basic help desk platform could well do the job of a separate application with a complex integration. Identify ways to consolidate your applications and reinvent for the AI powered world.
By embracing AI and becoming familiar with the options in the market, you immediately stand out from the crowd.