The industry of customer support has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. The stigma around it as an interim job that is merely a stepping stone to other industries is dramatically changing. If you’ve been on any job-seeking websites recently, you will have noticed a sizeable increase in opportunities for customer support professionals on all levels, from agents to Department Heads.
This change is a result of company executives realizing the integral role customer support plays in the overall success of a business. From increasing revenue, employee retention, brand awareness, and creating a human connection between businesses and their customers, customer support is slowly becoming the beating heart of many companies around the world, making it a formidable career path with the potential for massive growth.
Kaizo’s bottom-up approach
The way we see it, to develop a successful career in customer support, companies (and individuals) need to take a fundamental shift towards a bottom-up leadership approach. Kaizo allows support managers to shift away from micro-management towards empowering support agents to pilot their own (and the companies) development through self-management.
Allowing a more evenly spread distribution of responsibility and impact drives job engagement, motivation, and productivity from the bottom up and allow all members of the support team to excel and develop in and beyond their roles.
Developing as an Agent
The entry-level role in a career in customer support is as a support agent. This includes the responsibilities of answering phone calls, live chats, emails, web tickets, and social media messaging incoming from customers. Whilst the career progression from an agent towards a team lead, QA expert or manager often comes down to performance, there are a number of elements of the job that can lead to employees being unable or unwilling to progress further.
- Being unengaged or uninterested with their work
- Not being able to see or justify their impact in the company
- Unable to quantify their professional development
How Kaizo can help agents
A common blocker for an agent’s career development is their [lack of] engagement or motivation with their work as it can often be considered to be monotonous and unrewarding.
Kaizo provides an in-game experience that represents each agent via an avatar. The avatar earns points based on the successful actions of the agent within their workplace (e.g- solving a web ticket with one-touch or decreasing their first reply time). This allows agents to continually track and develop their skills on a daily basis.
Agents can set their own personal goals each week based on how many points they would like to achieve. This allows them to keep track of their own progress, motivating them to achieve their goals, and challenge themselves to be promoted.
Quantifying your experience
Another common issue that arises for customer support agents looking to progress their career, is that it is hard for them and managers to quantify their experience and impact on the company. It can be hard for agents to understand if the work they are doing is contributing in a positive way and difficult for managers to know which individuals are deserving of a promotion.
Complimentary to skill points, Kaizo allows agents’ avatars to ‘level up’ when they have surpassed their weekly goals. An agent’s level replicates their career experience within their company. E.g- An agent whose avatar is on level 11 has greater experience and has achieved more personal goals than an agent on level 2.
This makes it easier for agents to quantify their own experience whilst making it more objective for managers to set benchmarks for promotion. E.g- An agent must have achieved level 20 or higher to be considered for a promotion to a team lead or QA manager.
Developing as a Manager
On the more senior end of the career path spectrum is the role of customer support manager. They are responsible for the team collectively hitting goals and presenting improved results to the Head of the Department.
The career development of a manager is two-fold. They must:
- Develop their own skills of leadership
- Nurture the performance progress of each of their agents on a team and individual level.
How Kaizo can help managers
Making it easier to manage your team
Regardless of the size of your team, managing the performance of a group of people can be a difficult and costly task. Compiling data from a number of different platforms and manually entering it into a spreadsheet report costs managers a significant amount of time and stress can lead to accuracy errors when presenting reports to higher-ups.
Kaizo includes a Scorecard that provides a list of 50+ metrics in real-time, giving actionable insights into each agent’s performance. Within this Scorecard, managers can drill-in to their teams answered tickets, and see where an agent may need some extra help. This makes it easier than ever to quantify your team’s performance, track where they need to improve and present detailed and accurate performance reports to the Head of Department.
Nurturing your team’s career path
One of the most important parts of building a career as a manager is nurturing your team’s career paths. As a manager, your role is to build a happy, engaged, and high-performing team. Managers want to retain their best employees and see them progress rather than continually hiring externally to save on onboarding costs and build cohesion in the team.
Kaizo helps managers retain their agents and know which to promote. The tool promotes a bottom-up leadership approach which allows agents to set their own goals and pilot their own success. Agents are more engaged and productive with their work and are more likely to stay and progress within the company.
Managers can use the Arena to track each agent’s accomplishments in a side-by-side comparison tracking their levels and accomplishments against team averages. This makes it clear who they should promote and who needs some extra nurturing to develop further.