Modern Leading Morale Steps to Lead Great Customer Service Performance

kate nasser dignity respect

Leaders, do you know how to lead high morale for great customer service delivery? Customer service work in help desks, contact centers, technical support teams, and ecommerce centers is challenging and stressful.  Are you adding to the reps’ stress or inspiring them to greatness? In other words, are you leading morale for great customer service? Here are the key modern day leading morale steps to guide you.

Start by Removing These 9 Morale Killers

    1. Metric only focus. 

      Metrics are important yet they do not create great service. They measure great service that your teams create. Lead and inspire people to deliver great service. Don’t lead just for metrics.

    2. Disdainful remarks born of your frustration. 

      As pressure mounts on you for better team performance, you may be tempted to slam your team members. This kills morale and performance. Customer service leaders need to inspire not inflame.

    3. Not addressing poor performance and bad attitudes. 

      When one team member is always late, takes long lunches, and does the minimum required, it affects morale and performance of the whole team. When you as customer service leader don’t address it, you kill morale.

    4. Highlighting mistakes but not successes. 

      When people work in a pressure cooker, they need uplift to stay enthused. If you say only the negatives, you push them further down and kill morale. Celebrate their talents and help them to always learn and grow even from mistakes.

    5. No empowerment. 

      In many traditional call centers, employees were treated like rats in a maze that weren’t even allowed to move around! Routine repetitive jobs where people can’t learn, grow, and contribute more of who they truly are kill morale. So, to lead morale for great customer service, tap and empower the talent you hired.

    6. Attila the Hun supervisors and team leaders. 

      The direct leadership of customer service teams has a tremendous impact on morale.  Pushy rude leaders at any level, including and especially supervisors/team leaders,  crush morale. Supervisors and team leaders need training in how to inspire great performance not insult and bully employees. I can help you with that.

    7. Bad mouthing customers. 

      Leaders mistakenly think that bad mouthing customers to team members will make team members feel better. This temporary boost actually kills the morale needed to stay positive and sustain customer service excellence. Empathize with team member challenges yet don’t encourage a hate the customer mentality.

    8. Assigning blame but taking credit. 

      Customer service leaders who take credit for the success of the team yet blame the team when things go wrong kill morale.  Reverse the trend. Take the blame and share the credit!

    9. Ego driven leadership. 

      Leaders, if you make daily work all about what you need, what you want, and your talents, you kill morale. Customer service professionals are giving of themselves and caring about customers eight hours a day. If they have to stroke your ego for those same eight hours, their commitment and morale crumble. To lead morale, leave your pet peeves at home, quiet your ego,  and serve the staff who serve the customers.

Then Take These 5 Key Steps to Lead Morale!

Now that you’ve assessed your current leadership actions using the nine point checklist above, take these additional 5 modern-day leadership steps to lead and sustain morale and performance.

  1. Highlight meaning. 

    The vast majority of employees today — especially in the younger generations — seek meaning at work. How exactly does their customer service work contribute and impact the organization?  Meaning sustains morale and the inspiration to serve. When customer service teams don’t know their impact, they become bored and uninspired. Educate them on the business goals and how their work helps meet them. Give them specific examples of how they matter.

  2. Create belonging.

    Morale is a critical emotion. Don’t treat your employees as disposable and  replaceable parts. For great customer service morale, make sure they feel welcome and essential in your organization.

  3. Sustain a positive workplace. 

    Engage them with inspirational thoughts, address and replace toxic behaviors on the team, and overcome chronic negativity.

  4. Acknowledge, appreciate, and praise. 

    For great customer service morale, acknowledge individual talents, and offer sincere praise. It sustains the employees through stressful interactions.

  5. Most of all, treat everyone with respect & dignity! 

    In the end, morale is all about daily dignity.  Treat your employees with respect and dignity else they will treat customers as badly as you treat them.

Remember that you are leading *people — not technology, not metrics, not sales goals —  people! That means you must inspire and lead morale. If you’re not leading morale, you’re not leading anyone.

©2019 Kate Nasser. All rights reserved.  If you wish to reprint or republish this post, please email for permission.

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About the author
Kate Nasser
Kate Nasser

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, author of Leading Morale, is founder & president of CAS, Inc. a management training firm specializing in customer service leadership and engagement. For 30 years companies have tapped Kate's spot-on insights on leading customer service excellence and morale. Take her workshop The Ultimate Customer Service Experience and read her new book Leading Morale, to improve your organization's performance. For more info

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