According to the research by the University of Birmingham, “Greater levels of control over work tasks and schedule have the potential to generate significant benefits for the employee,” and are the key driver behind happiness. For customer service teams, this means having the tools they need to identify, track, and resolve customer issues without undue hassle. Unfortunately for today’s teams, this is increasingly not their experience.
Service channels are proliferating and customer expectations are increasing, all while support teams’ software and systems haven’t kept pace.
It’s not just your customers who dislike phone support: its can be agents too. Phone support is a passive, reactive approach to customer service that doesn’t offer enough opportunity for critical thinking. Phone support teams must wait for problems to worsen to the point where customers finally call in and then agents must deal with customers who are more likely to be irate. It’s no surprise that agents feel like customer punching bags.
Agents are further stressed because they’re asked to multi-task. Despite the popular belief that multitasking is a trainable skill, "it’s less efficient, we make more mistakes, and over time it can be energy sapping,” writes Dr. Nancy Napier, professor of Strategy in International Business at Boise State University, in Psychology Today, adding "Much recent neuroscience research tells us that the brain doesn’t really do tasks simultaneously, as we thought (hoped) it might.”
Even organizations who have adopted halfway measures and cobbled together tools (such as marketing software applied to customer care) find that they have trouble tracking KPIs, resourcing, providing feedback, and delivering timely resolutions. All of this conspires to make customer success with legacy tools a painful process. How can brands put them back on the path of self-efficacy?
Social care platforms put agents back in control in several different ways. First, agents are empowered to search for issues to resolve before they ever surface. Platforms which permit agents to scan dark social, for example, allow agents to pick up on complaints within comments that don’t directly mention their brand, such as a Facebook post about bad service, step in, and resolve things. This means that agents deal with generally happier customers: eDigital’s Customer Service Benchmark Report states that customers who receive proactive resolution on social media report 73% higher satisfaction, beating out any other form of customer support.
Second, social care tools bring a satisfying degree of certainty and control that’s often absent from the customer success process. Social care platforms provide agents with software-defined roles, responsibilities, workflows, and safety checks. Inbound issues are routed to the agents with the most relevant expertise, and managers can set custom approvals before messages go out so that agents work faster with less fear of making mistakes.
All of this automation creates an environment where agents accomplish more: Gartner finds that social care agents can handle 4-8x more issues per hour and are 167% more effective than agents using legacy systems. Agents are happier because they’re dealing with generally happier customers, and with the ability to get more done with less effort, they achieve what every employee craves: a high degree of self-efficacy.
For your customer success organization, that’s likely the key to workplace happiness.
Want to learn more? Read about how to deploy social care here.