Customer Support Manager
The Customer Service Manager supervises the day to day operations of the customer support department. The Customer Support Manager is responsible for maintaining consumer satisfaction through the provision of problem-solving resources, and providing leadership to the customer support agents, ensuring that they are constantly providing the best in-class customer services.
The Customer Support Manager is also responsible for driving and delivering key support metrics, best practices, knowledge-based content, and methodologies that ensure the delivery of unsurpassed support and service.
Objectives and Responsibilities of the Customer Support Manager
Recruitment: The Customer Support Manager plays a major role in conjunction with the human resources department in recruiting, orienting, training, assigning, coaching, and disciplining Customer Support Agents. In this position, it is the Customer Support Manager’s role to communicate the vision and objectives of the customer support department, monitoring, and reviewing each agent’s contribution to the betterment of the customer support department and appraising outstanding customer support performance.
Strategy: The Customer Support Manager also strives towards the achievement of customer service objectives through the contribution of customer support information and strategic plans. He will prepare and complete action plans, relaying quality customer support standards and resolving any departmental issues/problems. The Customer Support Manager must identify customer service trends, determine system improvements, and implement changes that improve existing strategies and bring about improvement in customer support initiatives.
In this capacity, the Customer Support Manager ensures improvement in customer support quality by monitoring and evaluating customer support strategies, analyzing results, and implementing necessary changes. He also establishes and improves customer service policies and procedures for the department, ensuring full implementation of the customer support strategies across the business.
Management: As the title suggests, the Customer Support Manager also plays a managerial role in ensuring that customer support agents have managed all consumer complaints or feedback in a satisfactory manner, resolving all issues within reasonable time. One way to ensure this is through the recording of all customer-agent phone calls and mail replies.
In his managerial role, the Customer Support Manager also serves to represent the customer support function as a senior member of the management team within the business, participating and contributing to relevant management meetings. The Customer Support Manager also actively promotes and manages the process of continuous improvement in the department as mentioned above. He creates and sustains a positive team environment that displays high levels of team-spirit and motivation.
Customer Service: The Customer Support Manager does not leave all customer support duties to the Customer Support Agents, he also plays an active role in the actual customer support. As such, the Customer Support Manager participates in the communication with consumers via telephone, mail, email, fax, and face-to-face, investigating and resolving consumer problems of a complex and long-nature as well as high-value customers. These problems are normally passed on by the Customer Support Agents due to their sensitivity. He also handles major customer incidents, such as security issues and issuing of refunds and compensation to consumers.
In this capacity, he uses his knowledge and superior experience in replying to consumers, efficiently dealing with the consumers’ issues and leading to customer satisfaction. He also follows up with the consumers and takes their final feedback on the services and the resolution of their issue. He rapidly establishes good working relationships with the customers and provides advice to consumers on how best to use the business’s products or services as well as keeping accurate records of correspondence with the consumers.
Analytics: The Customer Support Manager also plays a major analytical role within the department by forecasting the customer support department’s financial requirements and preparing weekly/monthly/annual departmental budgets, scheduling expenditure, overseeing departmental budgetary allocations, and initiating any necessary corrective measures. He also determines the department’s requirements in terms of customer service provision through conducting surveys, benchmarking best practices, forming focus groups, and analyzing applications and information.
At this capacity, the Customer Support Manager maximizes on customer support operational performance through the provision of technical advice to customer support agents, detecting and diagnosing customer support issues, and analyzing and solving those issues. He also analyzes statistical data to determine the level of customer service that the department is providing, writing reports and strategic recommendations for further consideration.
Knowledge and Opportunity: The Customer Support Manager also has the duty to keep the customer support department updated on the latest customer support practices in order to keep the business at par or even ahead of competitors in the industry, enabling the business’s advanced customer acquisition and retention.
One way in which customer support knowledge is constantly updated is through the participation of customer support seminars, reading professional customer support publications, maintaining professional networks, and so forth. These efforts keep the business ahead in customer support practices and give the business a competitive edge by enabling customer satisfaction and retention over competition.
Other Duties: The Customer Support Manager also performs other duties as delegated by the Head of Customer Support, the Director of Sales, the Chief Sales Officer, or the Employer.
Required Qualifications of the Customer Support Manager
Education: The Customer Support Manager must have a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, International Relations, Public Relations, Psychology, Information Technology, or any other related field. An equivalent of the same in working experience is also acceptable.
Experience: A candidate for this position must have had at least 5 years working experience in customer support, preferably working as a Customer Agent in a fast-paced and highly competitive environment. He will also demonstrate strong and successful customer interaction experience that will help to facilitate the development of consumer relationships and solutions.
A suitable candidate will also portray an ability to motivate Customer Support Agents in delivery of effective customer support services. He will also be highly proficient in face-to face customer interactions. The suitable candidate will additionally demonstrate successful experience working with data and drawing actionable insights that drive improved customer support strategies for a business.
Communication Skills: Similar to the Customer Support Agent, the Customer Support Manager must possess exceptional communication skills that allow him to inform, help, and advice consumers clearly and to liaise effectively with the business’s internal managers and other professionals. The Customer Support Manager will also need to have exceptional communication skills that will determine the clarity with which he conveys sensitive information and instructions to Customer Support Agents, which will determine the effectiveness of the customer support department. These communication skills must be in written as well as verbal form. The Customer Support Manager will additionally possess excellent listening skills that will enable him to intimately understand what consumers require.
Communication skills will also be necessary for the preparation of reports and recommendations for senior management. He must, therefore, be able to communicate even complex concepts in clear, simple, and easily understandable terms.
MS Office/Platforms: The Customer Support Manager must be highly proficient in MS Word and PowerPoint, which he will use in responding to the preparation of visually and verbally engaging reports and presentations, consumer mail, emails, and fax communications as well as drafting policies, procedures, and processes for junior customer support personnel and other sales departments to apply in the execution of their duties, leading improved customer service throughout the business.
Technological Savvy/Analytical Skills: This being a highly technological age, most consumers have incorporated technological communication appliances/channels in their day-to-day lives and, as such, the Customer Support Manager must be highly proficient in the application of these technologies, for example, social media platforms, in order to easily access and communicate with the business’s consumers at their own convenience.
The candidate must also demonstrate an ability to use raw data and information to analyze customer support trends and develop strategic solutions and insights that will lead to more efficient customer service and customer satisfaction.
Interpersonal Skills: The Customer Support Manager must also demonstrate personal attributes that will make him more suited for the position. He will have excellent problem-solving skills, be patient and consumer-oriented, be tactful when dealing with difficult consumers, be self-motivated and inspire the same in junior customer support personnel.
The Customer Support Manager will be a creative and strategic thinker, have an ability to work comfortably under pressure, display a commitment to improve the business’s customer service skills, and portray an ability to handle several clients simultaneously.
People Skills: People skills are also a necessity when it comes to the Customer Support Manager. He will have an ability to form strong and long-lasting relationships with the consumers and various organizational levels in order to influence positive customer relations and attain the ultimate goals of the customer support department.
People skills will also make him approachable, relatable, and likeable, which will enable junior customer support personnel to readily follow him. These skills will also enable senior customer support personnel to trust and give credit to his insights and judgments on customer support affairs.