Holiday shopping is going strong, and shows no signs of slowing down. The National Retail Federation expected 154 million consumers to shop over Thanksgiving weekend alone this year. Their research also concluded that American consumers plan to spend an average of $935.58 per person this holiday season, which is the second-highest level of personal spending over the past 13 years. To help keep retailers afloat during this surge in business, they are expected to add between 640,000 and 690,000 seasonal workers by the end of this holiday season, many of which are customer service employees.
Rewarding these hard working customer service employees who keep business booming and consumers happy is especially important for employers at retail stores during the holiday season. Not only does doing so make these customer service employees feel appreciated, but it also it helps motivate workers and allows them do their jobs better. Here are some great ways to reward your customer service employees this holiday season:
1) Give employees more autonomy with customers
If customer service employees have more power to help customers without having to go through a manager, it will help them feel more secure and empowered. It will also lead to higher customer satisfaction, since it allows customer grievances to be settled more quickly and with less hassle.
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2) Choose employee rewards related to their job goals
It will be more rewarding for both your customer service employees as well as your company if you can find a way to send them on outings that help educate them and show them ways to do their job better. Some suggestions include sending them to customer service conferences, or to visit call centers of Fortune 500 companies known for the quality of their customer service, as opposed to irrelevant company trips such as happy hours and baseball games.
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3) Invest in better tools for your customer service employees
One of the most productive ways of rewarding customer service employees is to supply them with better training, software and equipment to help them do their jobs better. It can be frustrating for employees when their employers expect high quality results but aren’t willing to invest the time and money to help their employees get there. But if you show you are willing to do your part, they will be more motivated to return the favor.
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4) Encourage employees to reward each other
Working with frustrated customers, especially during the holidays, can be very stressful and taxing on customer service employees. So it will be a huge help if a high level of harmony exists in their workplace. Encourage customer service employees to start rewarding each other, by nominating their co-workers for awards related to good customer service, and promoting overall respect in the workplace.
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5) Offer employee benefits to help reduce stress
The most surefire way of rewarding your customer service employees is to help make their lives easier. Particularly during the holidays, try to be understanding of their outside family, school and social lives and allow them more flexible scheduling or the ability to work remotely. Also, your customer service employees will have more energy to focus on satisfying customers if you can offer on-site services such as laundry, massages, fitness classes and childcare.
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Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.