This career path will help you lower your customer support turnover

Full path

Working Customer service can be a very stressful job, one that if not managed properly can lead to burn out and high turnover amongst staff.  

One of the worst things that can happen to a company is to have their internal customer service reps get so burned out that they leave for other opportunities, walking out the door with all the years of experience and knowledge about your products; or even worse, stay and take their frustrations out on your clients. 

you will create mobility within the customer service ranks, while still having access to the knowledge asset these senior employees have.

One of the biggest complaints I hear from some of the best Customer Service Reps is not about the clients, but about being pigeon holed into a position that has no growth.  They have created almost a catch 22 in the fact that they are so good with the customers and on the phones that management does not want to lose that valuable resource. So, they trap the person in that position to the point that the employee becomes bored, frustrated, and loses faith and respect for the company they work for.  Enthusiasm and motivation die, and the valuable employee becomes either belligerent or lazy.   By creating a tiered customer service team, you will create mobility within the customer service ranks, while still having access to the knowledge asset these senior employees have. The titles themselves will differ based on the type of products or services that a firm offers.

By creating tiered or leveled Customer Service, help remove that block.

Tier 1: Customer Service Rep 1: 5% phone time

This is your new employee, going through training and on probationary status.  They are not working alone yet.  They are shadowing, or working with a mentor.

Tier 2: Customer Service Rep II: 99% phone time

This employee has been here for a month or two, they have completed training and are working on their own. Still occasionally touching base with their mentor, but mostly they are self-functioning. They are working with call quotas

Tier 3: Customer Service Rep III: 99% phone time

This employee is becoming a power house. They have been with the company for almost a year and are taking on additional products and harder issues.  They are still working with reasonable call quotas. 

Tier 4: Content (or Product) Support I: 90% phone time

This employee has been with the firm for over a year.  They know almost all the products, and are starting to grow into their area of expertise.  They are starting to step into some light off-phone projects.

Tier 5: Content (or Product) Support II: 70 % phone time

This employee has a field where they are becoming the subject matter expert.  They have been with the company for two or three years, and are becoming very familiar with your company’s annual cycle. They are taking on more off-phone projects and are assisting in the training classes on their expertise. They are handling escalation calls, and taking on mentor positions

Tier 6: Content (or Product) Support III:  50% phone time

This person is conducting training, high level escalations. They are testing, and researching, helping develop the training programs, and conduction the training classes. They are monitoring support issues, and ensuring that all support issues are handled in a timely manner. They are starting to write the KB articles for your database.

Tier 7:  Content (or Product) Support IV: 10% phone time

This is your team’s assistant manager. They know your company’s annual cycle like the back of their own hand, they can accurately predict upcoming hot issues and create RSS feeds, newsletters, and social media blasts to prepare customers, and circumvent an over-flow of crisis calls.  They are helping with scheduling, monitoring calls for accuracy and quality control. They are looking over the escalations and handing them out to the appropriate team members. This person works more one on one with the Team Lead.  They monitor the incoming calls for common call trends and prepare/escalate RSS feeds and news blasts where needed.  This employee is editing and publishing the KB articles and maintaining the KB database checking for accuracy.  These are the team members that will assign out the projects that come down from management teams.  They are assembling the testing reports and monitoring the training classes. This person is working with management as the project manager. This position is the stepping stone into management. 

With this process, there is growth within a company.  The Customer Service Reps can see a future where they can work into off-phone positions and continue to grow with the company.   I have seen employees who are so happy with their Tier 7 levels that they choose not to step into management.  There is still growth and challenges with in this position as products change and companies grow.  A Tier 7 employee can cross over into additional products, or even move into testing and tech writing positions, should the personality not be a management type person. 

By creating tiered customer support titles, you provide growth for your employees without losing the Knowledge asset that they are becoming.  A happy satisfied employee, is better able to provide positive customer service to your clients. 


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