Customer Service Staffing Takes More Than Luck

3 Approaches to Retain Customer Service Employees

Staffing across all industries, including financial services, has been difficult in the past couple of years and the challenges continue. First, there was the Great Resignation then Quiet Quitting and now, the tide has turned somewhat with layoffs in big tech and big banks, among others. Still, unemployment in January 2023 was 3.4%, which has not been seen since 1969. 

While the current employment environment varies geographically, staffing is top of mind for many bankers. According to a recent CSI survey, 34% of surveyed bankers consider employee turnover one of the top issues this year. As Maxine Hart, Chief Human Resources Officer of Reading Cooperative Bank, recently stated in the ABA Banking Journal, “Candidates with solid customer service and retail banking experience are being snapped up by other industries, so they have wider options of jobs available to them.”

So in today’s challenging employment climate, how can financial institutions (FIs) retain high-quality banking service staff?

Here are three approaches:

1. Empower staff with the right interaction tools

Customer service can feel overwhelming at times, especially if it is difficult to understand how to help customers and members. Empowering your customer service representatives by providing collaboration tools to engage seamlessly with callers and online visitors allows more context, better guidance, and faster resolution. Having these tools, such as CoBrowsing and Live Observation, and knowing that they are helping people successfully navigate their customer journey makes reps feel more confident in their role, which subsequently boosts morale. Not only that, higher employee engagement often results. For instance, one client, which had more than one platform for customer interactions, reported that its staff greatly preferred working with Glia’s digital platform with its collaboration tools. With increased engagement, employees are 87% less likely to leave their jobs, according to PwC. 

2. Provide training and coaching

Survey Monkey found that around 86% of surveyed employees stated “job training is important to them.” Using the Glia Interaction Platform not only provides digital tools for staff member empowerment, but it also helps identify opportunities for training with consolidated reporting. By leveraging consolidated reporting, service teams can collaborate on ways to best assist customers and members effectively and efficiently. For example, if one rep is consistently maintaining low average handle times while keeping customer or member satisfaction high, peer-to-peer coaching may be a good way to train others and elevate the skill set of the frontline overall. Reviewing interaction data, especially from more challenging engagements, could provide invaluable teachable moments. In fact, 20% of customer service reps have quit a job because of stress from dealing with angry customers, so it is vital to give them the right training around these situations to feel more prepared and poised. 

3. Facilitate greater performance

Since performance metrics are a way of life for reps, why not help them stretch their productivity goals? Introducing chatbots, such as Glia Virtual Assistants, to handle routine service inquiries decreases average wait times and can free up reps to handle higher return engagements. Enabling reps to focus their time on solving complex issues, such as loan application documentation, increases conversions while improving satisfaction on both ends of the interaction. As reps reap the rewards from these high-value engagements, your institution gains as well. Research based on Glassdoor data has found that “employees who are more satisfied clearly drive better financial performance for companies.” 

During these shifting economic times, financial institutions need to ensure they can retain high-quality customer service employees. With Glia’s solution, you can empower your reps, provide meaningful training, and facilitate expanded performance for increased employee satisfaction, engagement, and ultimately retention. 

For more information on how to retain customer service reps, read How AI-Powered Virtual Assistants Can Improve Employee Retention.