How to Incentivize Your Customer Service Reps to Top Performance

Your email inboxes have days-old emails. Hold times have become way too long. And many customers just plain get forgotten.

It happens in customer service.

It may or may not actually be your service team’s fault. After all, your company could be experiencing huge growth that you just don’t have the manpower to handle.

And maybe COVID has caused you to fall back to a barebones customer service department.

Whatever the cause of your customer service challenges, you always want to provide the most motivating work environment possible so you get the best performance out of your reps.

It’ll only accelerate your recovery as the return to normal takes shape.

Currently, just 39% of American employees feel engaged in their jobs, according to Gallup. That’s up from 36% in 2019. And it’s up from 29.6% in 2013.

But the fact that 61% of American workers do not feel engaged in their jobs speaks loudly!

More than likely, nearly ⅔ of your employees really don’t care all that much about their work.

And of course, they’re not going to deliver quality service if they don’t care.

Ultimately, you can’t fix all motivation problems. They may originate with personal issues inside your employees over which you have little control or influence.

But you can still compensate your reps in ways likely to provide the most motivation. Here’s what to do:

1. Employees and Managers Need to Trust One Another

The foundation of success for any incentive pay you offer rests on the level of trust between employees and management.

The two have got to be on the same page for everything to work.

Imagine yourself as an employee with a manager you didn’t trust. Everyone has had one.

If they paid you any incentives, that was nice. But you’d much rather work for someone you get along with who you think has your best interests at heart.

2. Incentives Must be Easy to Track

Your performance metrics must be abundantly clear.

Reps need to know exactly what they need to do so they can increase their performance.

And this also eliminates any potential for jealousy or discord among your employees because they have no argument as to how incentives work.

3. Balance Among Metrics Tracked

The performance metrics you track must emphasize quantity, speed, and customer service quality/satisfaction.

Otherwise, the system could be easy to manipulate. An employee could give everyone a refund.

But that doesn’t mean they’re doing their job.

Balance these categories of metrics so you reward truly the best performance.

4. Include Employee Feedback

You won’t develop the perfect incentive system the first time around. No one can.

Work out the wrinkles with help from your employees. You’ll end up with a system that suits your company and provides a motivating work environment that attracts top-tier customer service reps.

Creating an effective incentive system is not as simple as it sounds.

But follow these steps, and you will find yourself with one that works for your company.