Updated on Jan 26, 2023
By Paul Falcone
Updated by AMA Staff
What is customer service? Nothing without exceptional reps. That's why as a manager, it's important to take time to develop your employees' skillset so they can be the best customer representative possible. Performance assessments and appraisals are a key part of this development. Developing your employees into customer service gurus can be a snap. Just use these sample phrases for performance appraisals.
The Importance of Customer Service Performance Reviews
Performance reviews for customer service representatives are important because they provide a formal opportunity to evaluate an employee's performance, identify areas for improvement, and set goals for future development. Including teachable moments in the review process can help representatives learn from past mistakes and improve their skills. Regular reviews also help with employee retention by providing clear feedback and opportunities for growth.
Additionally, performance reviews ensure quality and consistency in customer service by setting standards for performance and holding representatives accountable for meeting those standards. Effective performance reviews are a critical tool for managing customer service representatives and ensuring that they are providing the best possible service to customers.
Performance Appraisals for Employees Meeting Expectations
If your employee meets expectations, acknowledge that with phrases on their performance review such as:
- Works very well with clients as well as all staff members
- Has a very warm rapport with everyone she comes in contact with
- Follows up with clients to ensure no one feels forgotten or lost in the process
- Clearly enjoys the "people" aspect of his position
- Consistently answers the phone with a smile and a friendly hello
- Readily admits when she doesn't know the answer to a particular query
- Outlines the steps that she will take to resolve a problem
- Receives ongoing positive feedback from clients—both verbally and in writing
- Has become the "go to guy" for clients who seek his advice to solve problems
- Excels at providing timely feedback to even the most difficult customers
- Consistently gains necessary approvals and authorizations
- Is able easily to switch from English to Spanish and back again
- Is an empathetic and focused listener
- Skillfully overcomes customers' objections
- Deals with challenging customers without becoming aggressive
- Has developed a loyal customer base and a high rate of repeat business
- Enjoys identifying "out-of-the-box" solutions for clients with special needs
- Skillfully manages all but the most challenging customer situations
- Knows when to ask for additional support from team management
- Is able to redefine the customer service process to meet clients' changing needs
- Overcomes objections in a logical and conversational fashion
Performance Appraisals When the Employee Needs Improvement
If an employee needs improvement, you need to document that on their performance appraisal using performance feedback phrases such as:
- Receives ongoing substandard customer satisfaction scores
- Does not manage customer expectations by explaining reasons for delays
- Has difficulty saying no or tactfully telling customers that they must wait their turn
- Refers too many customer queries to management for final resolution
- Has received numerous customer complaints for failing to follow up as promised
- Cannot yet demonstrate sufficient knowledge of company products
- Misses opportunities for cross-selling and overcoming initial objections
- Is unwilling to adapt his tone and personality to fit a particular caller's style
- Argues and uses inflammatory language with customers
- Becomes frustrated when customers ask too many questions
- Displays sarcasm and alienates those looking for help
- Demonstrates condescending behavior when dealing with overly demanding callers
- Has little patience for customers with "dumb questions"
Employee Self-Assessment: Setting Goals on Performance Appraisals
For the new year, set customer service goals high with customer satisfaction goals such as:
- Demonstrate total commitment to outstanding customer service
- Always exhibit creativity and flexibility in solving customers' problems
- Share information and resources readily
- Make sure that clients understand that you're on their side
- Never appear to talk down to or to patronize customers
- Exceed customers' expectations by providing timely feedback and follow-up
- Quickly address problems even with the most demanding customers
- Effectively prioritize your workload based on your customers' needs
- Share only as much information with a client as is necessary
- Refrain from speaking poorly of the competition
- Never permit customers to treat you disrespectfully
- Involve management whenever customers behave inappropriately
- Proactively inform customers of pending delays
- Never use pressure to close a deal or to unduly influence a customer's decision
- Always put the client's needs above your own
- Provide objective and timely advice to customers
- Tactfully tell customers no when their demands or expectations cannot be met
- Follow up with customers after the conclusion of a sale
Creating SMART Goals
SMART goals stand for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely and is a popular goal-setting process. Creating the right SMART goals with your employees can take practice, but having that nailed down helps set the employee up for success.
Examples of SMART goals for a customer service representative can look like:
- Increase the number of cross-selling opportunities presented to customers by 25% within the next quarter by participating in training on effective cross-selling techniques and implementing them during customer interactions.
- Improve customer retention rate by 10% within the next six months by proactively reaching out to at-risk customers and addressing any issues or concerns they may have.
- Meet or exceed the company's quality assurance standards for customer interactions by achieving a score of at least 90% on all evaluations within the next quarter by participating in coaching sessions and actively seeking feedback on areas for improvement.
After spending time reviewing the employee's performance, use that feedback for improvement in their goals so they can set themselves up for success for the next performance review period.
Develop your customer service skills even further and take our course on How to Win and Keep Customers.
Adapted from 2600 Phrases for Effective Performance Reviews by Paul Falcone. For more, check out Paul Falcone's performance management books.
About The Author
Paul Falcone is a human resources executive in Los Angeles and has held senior-level positions with Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, and Time Warner. He is the author of a number of AMACOM and SHRM bestselling books, four of which made SHRM's prestigious "Great 8" list: 96 Great Interview Questions to Ask Before You Hire, 101 Sample Write-Ups for Documenting Employee Performance Problems, 101 Tough Conversations to Have with Employees, and 2,600 Phrases for Effective Performance Reviews. His latest AMACOM book, 75 Ways for Managers to Hire, Develop, and Keep Great Employees, was released in 2016. Follow Paul on Twitter at @PaulFalconeHR and his website and blog at www.PaulFalconeHR.com.
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