Customer Service – Don’t Let Other Departments Use Your CSRs

When I assess a department or call center, I ask the employees to take a short personality test which focuses on the concept of team. You are either a coach, a cheerleader, team player or score keeper. It has been my experience that most great customer service departments have a lot of team player, people pleasing personalities. This personality likes to make people happy and we like happy customers. These Departments by nature are people pleasers, too. A general manager needs a special project done and asks the manager to take it on. She smiles as she says, “Yes sir.” A sales manager needs help with contracts and the manager says, “I will have it done by the end of the day.” An operations manager needs someone to take care of the uniforms so who gets the job done? A controller needs help with billing for a new contract and who gets the job? You guessed it, customer service 24 hour air conditioning service.

Departments dedicated to customers strive to make everyone to be happy so they have a tendency to say yes to extra work and eventually find out that all things customer related have been taken over by other tasks. The goal of excellent service has been pushed to the side. The service department has become the office management department that has a new focus on running reports and data entry. Eventually, CSRs spend more time on those other duties than on handling customer calls. They become irritated when a customer calls because their work is being interrupted. They decide they prefer less customer interaction and ask to do more office related tasks. The job of providing great service to our customers has been put on the back burner.

How can you determine if you have a customer service department or office management department?

  1. Have your manager document his/her duties and the amount of time it takes to complete each. These duties should be broken down into daily, weekly and monthly duties so you have a clear idea of workload and whether duties are customer service related or not.
  2. Each CSR needs to document what additional duties he/she is responsible for daily and the time it takes for completion.
  3. How much time is your manager spending daily coaching and developing their CSRs? Is that currently a part of daily duties or is it only being done when there is nothing else to do?

Defining the role and duties of your department is crucial if you really want to provide excellent customer service. If you don’t take the time to do that now, you will come into work one day and wonder where your customer service department has gone.