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Customer Service Training: 5 Ways To Support Your Staff

Go back to your first job. It was probably in customer service, and you probably received little to no training at all. Before your first week was even over, there was most likely a customer who berated you for not knowing how to do your job (somehow completely oblivious to how hard you were working to help them) and asked to speak to a manager. Only to add salt to the wound, the manager sided with the customer and went further in embarrassing you in front of the forming que. A month later you quit, and so did just about everyone else hired around the same time.

As you learned by experience, this isn’t a good way to do business. Seasonal turnovers can do serious damage to a business. Now that you’re in the process of starting your own boutique – purchasing a general liability insurance policy and stocking the store with product – you want to make sure your employees are feeling good about their job and excited coming into work.





**Taking Care of Business**
What makes a business strong (though it definitely helps) isn’t the profit it makes every quarter, it’s its management, business practices and staff. [80 percent](http://www.forbes.com/forbes/welcome/?toURL=http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericwagner/2013/09/12/five-reasons-8-out-of-10-businesses-fail/&refURL=&referrer=#a61b9a85e3c6) of small businesses fail before they celebrate their 2nd anniversary. Why are they failing? The answer is because they haven’t found the happy medium between play and work. Think back for a moment to all of the bosses you have had, you probably classify them in one of two categories: micro-manager or hapless wanderer. One is too “all up in your business,” and the other is way too chill, letting employees and customers alike run amok. Here are five ways to support yourself and be a better boss.

*1. Effective Communication = Employee Motivation.*
Your staff is the face of your business, and if they don’t believe in [the message](https://ww.deluxe.com/blog/six-reasons-why-strong-brand-important-small-business/) of your brand, neither will prospective clients/customers. Your employees should feel that they are part of the business, because they are. Keep your staff up to date on sales revenue, quarterly expectations and client relationships. Conduct quarterly reviews with each employee and praise them for what they are doing well while offering support on issues they may need to work on.

*2. Reward Good Work.*
If an employee has consistently [performed well](http://www.inc.com/guides/2010/09/how-to-support-your-staff.html), recognize them for their efforts with a lunch, bonus or pay raise. If a workplace feels stagnate and the work is unrewarding, you risk losing your best staff members. Show them you value their work ethic and help them to reach new job goals every month to keep them challenged and interested.

*3. Respect Your Employees.*
This one seems like a no-brainer, but as you’ve experienced with your own past bosses, not every manager follows this simple rule. Check in with your employees when it seems appropriate and let them work through their challenges. Keep them informed of any changes or restructuring going on in the company, and help them to feel comfortable coming to you with questions and/or concerns.

*4. Back Your Staff Up.*
Too often managers crush the spirits of their employees in an effort to make a horrible customer stay with the business. Yes, business is about making money, but to make money, you have to have talented employees. If your employees believe you’re only out for the bottom line, they will abandon ship. Defend your employees from harassing customers and seek to speak with the customer in private to calm them down. If you believe the customer is in the wrong, you need to defend your employee; they’ll defend you.

*5. Train Your Staff.*
Don’t set your new-hire down in front of a computer and assume they’re going to know what to do. Give them at least three days of training (and more if they ask).

It takes a lot to be a good boss. Keep the above tips in mind as you grow out your customer service employees. For more small business and small business insurance advice, [click here](https://coverhound.com/business-insurance).

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