Soft skills training for support and customer success professionals is one of our speciality at FT Works and we just love to see the changes in customer satisfaction after one of our programs — but training by itself cannot solve all problems! In particular, no amount of training can compensate for:
- Hiring the wrong candidates. If you systematically hire individuals who love (1) fixing problems and (2) helping people, you will naturally amass a team that gets rewarded every day just for doing the job. On the other hand, if you hire people just because they have great technical skills, or just because they like to schmooze, it won’t work so well. And you need to follow the same principles when you promote someone.
- Maintaining a poor working environment. Give your team members comfortable chairs, big screens, good coffee, and access to natural light. And remember that creature comforts are relative. If their friends in engineering get better chairs or larger screens, the current chairs and screens will start causing backaches and headaches.
- Managing ineptly. Chronic issues sap morale and performance. If the tracking tool is cluttered and slow, make it your mission to unclutter it and speed it up. If metrics reward short-term thinking and individual effort rather than long-term benefits and teamwork, change them. If engineering issues linger so long as to have birthdays, work with your counterpart in engineering to fix the problem.
I’ve found that a lot of support and success team members love what they do and want to take care of all their customers. So sure, go ahead and train them — but take care of them in their daily job as well.
What are you doing to retain and develop your team members?