Balancing “Swoopers” and “Peckers” in your Customer Service Team

How to identify your type

Here are a few things to consider when trying to determine where you or one of your customer service team members might be on the spectrum from swooping to pecking. While it might be tempting to want all Swoopers on your team, it is important to have a good balance between the two — we’ll get into why a bit later.

How fast do you type?

This might seem like common sense, but how fast do your employees type? Swoopers tend to be fast with their decision making and, because of that, can usually type faster — they’re often typing the words as they are thinking them! On the other hand, someone who types more slowly can be more intentional with their words.

What is your confidence level?

For many employees, as they get more confident with the product, their support responses also come more easily. Just as with typing (where someone who has been typing for longer or is more familiar with the keyboard can type faster), if you perceive yourself as being knowledgeable, you will be more successful in your responses and selected methods of resolution.

How do you solve problems?

Do you like solving problems where you need to come at it from one angle, and focus on solving that one issue, or do you prefer coming at something from all angles and, once you find the one missing piece, everything falls into place?

About the Swooper

It might sound like Swoopers are the ideal employee: they ramp up quickly, and accomplish a lot of things in a short amount of time. They are able to multitask well, and because they are so quick on their feet can often be thinking about many different things at once.

The downside

Despite sounding like they are some kind of high-bandwidth, ticket-machine wonder pony, there are some issues with Swoopers that can be balanced out on your team by including Peckers.

Managing Swoopers

If you have Swoopers on your customer service team, it is especially important to pay attention to their time management. Here are a few things that you can do to keep Swoopers on track, and protect them from themselves:

  • Ask them to keep track of how much time they are spending on each of their objectives each week
  • Balance projects for your team versus projects for outside teams
  • Encourage them to set three key objectives or focuses — otherwise they may end up over-promising and under-delivering
  • Keep track of individual customer satisfaction scores to see if their speed comes at the price of an excellent experience

About the Pecker

Peckers are great troubleshooters, and will very often be amazing technical additions to your customer service team.

The downside

Peckers can sometimes get so mired in trying to dive deep on an issue that they can have trouble recognizing that the value of their effort may be diminishing over time.

Managing Peckers

Just as with Swoopers (and everybody), time management is hyper-important. In your meetings with your team members who are Peckers, have them keep track of how long they are spending on each objective that they are tasked with.

  • Let them know it’s okay to have the inbox as a “home base” but that they are expected to contribute elsewhere as well.
  • Give them ownership of a specific project or aspect of the team to play to their singular focus. For example, a technical escalation position that requires more continuous deep dives and less context-switching.
  • Ensure that all team members are aware of the best working conditions for themselves and those around them — this can be especially important for Peckers, who can become derailed quite quickly with overstimulation.

Conclusion

No team can function with just one type alone — you’ll need both Swoopers and Peckers to ensure your team’s success.

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