6 Qualities of a Successful Customer Service Manager

Wondering what's in the skill set of a customer service manager? We'll run through the key abilities needed to lead a team of reps below...

Although automation can make customer service management a simpler, more straightforward process, there’s no substitution for the human touch. With relationships to nurture, technology can only get you so far, so your skills as a customer service manager will go a long way towards creating a genuine, authentic experience that benefits the needs of customers and the wider business.

And that’s not all; a successful customer service manager must call on an arsenal of other skills too. From strong communication to leading their team towards future growth and success, there’s no doubt about it: as a customer service manager, your mettle is sure to be tested.

Whether you’re preparing to make a move into the role, or you need a refresher on what a stand-out manager looks like, we’ll go through some of the essential qualities no successful customer service manager should be without.

1. Communication skills

Training reps on challenging customer calls. Holding team meetings. Dealing with problems their colleagues can’t handle. Faced with so many different situations, being able to communicate clearly, effectively, and professionally in every scenario is vital.

Customer service is an area where tensions can run high. Miscommunication and confusion are only going to add to the frustration, whether it’s customers or team members you’re dealing with.

With strong communication skills, however, you’ll be able to stop tempers from flaring, using your knowledge of company policies and procedures to get to the bottom of tough customer requests, organise workflows, or any number of other workplace situations.

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colleagues chatting via computers

2. Multitasking

Customer service managers often need to keep several plates spinning throughout the day. As such, they’ll need to identify the tasks that need their attention first, utilising time management skills to get through their sizeable to-do list.

issues and of course, ad-hoc problems are never in short supply in this kind of role. Successful customer service managers can take on incoming with speed and efficiency before resuming their regular scheduled duties.

Of course, trying to deal with multiple things at once is no mean feat. Thankfully, there are plenty of scheduling tools you can use to prioritise your responsibilities, even when the more repetitive tasks are fighting for your attention.

3. Problem-solving skills

At some point, a customer is going to want to speak to the manager. And although those golden words might have afforded you some breathing room as a rep, as a manager, the job of calming down what’s most likely a very unhappy customer lands squarely at your door.

Here’s where your problem-solving skills will need to kick in. In this kind of scenario, you’ll need to stay calm, understand the root of your customer’s issue, and figure out a resolution that aligns with their needs and your company’s policies. For this reason, you’ll need plenty of patience, too.

A complex issue combined with a hot-tempered customer can be a challenge, so it’s vital you don’t respond in kind. If your tone sounds hostile or impatient, even if the message makes sense, the customer will only pick up on your frustrations – and that’s only going to make a bad situation worse

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4. Leadership skills

With strong leadership skills, a customer service manager can keep their team motivated and always engaged. This could mean working with them to set achievable goals, creating a rewards and recognition programme, or leading by example and mucking in with trickier calls. As a manager, you’ll be both a helping hand and a team player.

Ruling by fear, however, is a guaranteed way of deterring your team from performing at their best. Use your leadership skills to create a positive environment where your team will want to excel. Call centres are intense enough as they are – they don’t need someone who’s supposed to be on their side making things more fraught than they need to be.

You’ll have to be diplomatic in your leadership, too. You’re bound to have some difficult conversations during your time, whether it’s giving feedback to underperforming employees or talking to impatient customers. What matters, however, is that you can choose your words and tone of voice wisely. A diplomatic, level-headed approach is hard to argue with and makes the recipient feel respected – even if it’s bad news you’re having to deliver.

5. Customer-forward skills

In a customer service manager role, customers are of course the bread and butter. So, it makes sense that a successful manager would do what they can to make customers the focus of their duties.

As a result, they should make sure they’re optimising every aspect of the customer experience. Whether it’s staying up to date on incoming trends or hosting internal training sessions to improve the service your team offers, placing the customer at your operations’ heart ensures you’re always providing the best for them.

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6. Trust

Even if a micromanager’s intentions are good, they almost always have the opposite effect on a team.

Training and coaching your employees is good. But if you’re watching their every move and monitoring even the most minute of behaviours, then it’ll make their working day a frustrating experience. Trusting them, on the other, can empower your reps, letting them know that you’re happy to let them crack on without interference.

Rather than telling them what to do, how to do it, and when to do it by, learn to delegate instead. Handing off tasks such as sending team-wide emails, carrying out reporting or leading a team meeting can instil a sense of trust throughout your reps, giving them a chance to try new things and develop valuable skills as a result.

Looking for customer service that really speaks to your contacts? Gnatta makes interactions matter, delivering quality exchanges and quicker responses that you’re your customers’ expectations. Get in touch today to learn more and try our demo. 

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