Empowering Support Heroes to Explore Customer Service Careers

Gladly Team

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5 minute read

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Companies that value and uplift their customer experience teams do so because they recognize their reps, or “heroes” as Gladly more aptly calls them, make invaluable contributions toward fostering long-term relationships with customers. These same companies are also more eager to promote from within, seeing their contact center as an investment in their company’s future leaders.

More than one in three support center leaders recently surveyed by CCW Digital say they want to improve their call center metrics, scorecards, and performance reviews. Another one in four say they want to give employees more autonomy to help reduce agent attrition.

For leaders of support teams, these types of responses either reveal or emphasize what’s known about fostering a healthy support team environment. That’s why the Gladly and Medallia partnership ensures that autonomy and self-improvement are central to the hero experience.

Different Career Pathways in Customer Service

As a baseline, your heroes likely have excellent soft skills, like patience, friendliness, and a natural inclination for problem-solving. Beyond what got them hired, be open to the hidden talents and larger tool belts your heroes have at their disposal. Success in customer support is not a linear path but rather a starting point to explore numerous customer service career options.

Customer Service Careers: Management

The traditional support paths often follow a hierarchical structure that leads customer support representatives to higher managerial positions with greater responsibility in the support environment. These steps would include support manager and team lead, reserved for those heroes you notice have an affinity for uplifting those reps around them and naturally take to problem-solving within your product or service.

Customer Service Careers: Tech/IT

Other opportunities are natural next steps for customer support heroes who want to take their people-first and organizational skills into a more technical setting. Some of your heroes with a greater aptitude for analytics and data could see a pivot into a more technical role, like quality assurance (QA) or product expert.

Customer Service Careers: Client Support Leads

Yet another pathway to success that often originates in support is customer success, which is closely intertwined and uses the same soft skills of a rep. Heroes who possess abilities and interest in revenue-generating and working directly with existing clients can find higher roles in account management and larger client-facing positions.

Empowering an Open Environment for Career Growth

“There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to creating career paths that resonate with your service team,” says Hannah McCabe, Director of Demand for Medallia for Contact Centers. “It’s crucial to always consider the perspective of your agents when outlining a career path for them.”

With that in mind, when considering the long-term goals of your heroes, a team leader’s influence on the organization cannot be understated. The future and success stories of each rep lie in your hands. Therefore, you should constantly check in and consider their direct perspectives to help outline their career paths.

To produce this kind of open discussion, don’t be afraid to create loose communication structures, from regular check-ins to routine team meetings, letting your heroes discuss their goals and gaps. This type of dialogue will open you up to provide different forms of support

opportunities to let your heroes explore. Let them try focusing on customer inquiries in non-traditional areas or exposing them to the policies and practices in place for their customer communications to allow a deeper understanding of their work.

These kinds of opportunities let both you and your heroes find out which aspects of their roles they gravitate toward and which opportunities allow them to excel. As a manager, you help them tap into these more nuanced work areas, including everything from financial issues to technical troubleshooting to collecting product feedback.


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Setting Your Heroes Up For Success

Above all else, the best action you can take is letting your reps feel empowered and successful in their roles. This starts with giving them the tools for evaluating their work and a clear indication of how to improve or lean into their strengths.

Using a platform like Gladly’s, your heroes get more than a high-quality customer experience platform that replaces burdensome tickets with a radically personal experience. They also gain access to a wide variety of potential integrations that enhance their ability to support customers, including Medallia, a feedback management platform.

With Medallia for Contact Centers, support teams get insight into their real-time, agent-level feedback from customers, allowing them to see the immediate impact of their work and an honest but useful reflection of their skills. This enables heroes to pave the way for refining their individual processes, thereby eliminating those stressors like ambiguity and poor communication. Simultaneously, it empowers heroes through positive feedback and a clear understanding of what makes their customer interactions so successful.

As McCabe puts it, “If you’re not sharing customer feedback directly with your agents, you’re doing them all a great disservice.”

A company doesn’t always know where its future crop of leaders will come from, but the best ones know how to foster a relationship with recruits from the moment they walk through the doors. These ethics have led former customer-facing individuals to grow into high-ranking positions across numerous major industries. With the right communal attitude and ground-up reinforcement, your customer support centers can be the cradles of your company’s next leadership team.

About Gladly

Gladly is a customer service platform for digitally-focused B2C companies who want to maximize the lifetime value of their customers. Unlike the legacy approach to customer service software, which is designed around a ticket or case to enable workflows, Gladly enables radically personal customer service centered around people to sustain customer loyalty and drive more revenue.

The world’s most innovative consumer companies like Godiva, JOANN, and TUMI use Gladly to create lasting customer relationships, not one-off experiences. 

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