Article | 2 min read

Revitalize your customer service with rotating roles

Last updated April 20, 2015

In the world of customer service, keeping things fresh and exciting for your agents is no easy task. Agents whose performance is a bit lackluster may not feel motivated, which might lead to unsatisfied customers. That’s why it’s important to create a stimulating work environment that promotes productivity. One way to do this is by building a support team structure that includes rotating roles and assignments.

At Zendesk, our customer support team has created a system—under the codename “Cobra Strike”—that randomly assigns agents bulk tickets related to a certain subject matter. The agents then spend a week exclusively handling tickets that pertain to that specific topic. The process is completely blind and prevents support advocates from cherry-picking tickets that they know are quick and easy to solve. This pushes agents out of their comfort zone and gives them an opportunity to gain knowledge and experience with a variety of ticket types. At the end of each cycle, everyone involved in Cobra Strike comes together in a meeting to share some of the tickets and concepts that they were working on, pinpointing pitfalls and areas for improvement. It’s an effective way to train agents for all kinds of support situations, and also helps increase team productivity as a whole.

Additionally, consider having your team rotate through other roles such as:

Triage: responsible for assigning incoming tickets to groups. Normally this is a supervisory position, but making it a peer-to-peer position rotates the responsibility. That way, everyone who takes this role has an understanding of what it’s like to work on tickets, and everyone who is working in the trenches understands what it means to assign tickets to the rest of the team.

Ticket tank: responsible for drilling deeper into tickets that will likely take longer than usual, which could include tickets with multiple or complex questions.

Training: helps customers get the most out of your product or service. There’s no better resource to train your customers than the people who spend all day supporting it. One of the best ways to attract the best talent for the job is to create a working environment that is as interesting and enriching as possible.

Subject matter expert: participates in product meetings and offers feedback. This is a great way to get insight from people who regularly use the product. Since customer service reps are in constant contact with customers, this gives them the opportunity to truly be the voice of the customer.

Read more about managing your customer service team