Companies today understand that customer experience is more important than price. Great customer experience means making it easy for customers to do business with you as well as making their transaction enjoyable and memorable.
No matter how great a product or service is, creating a great customer experience starts with those on the frontline, your customer service agents. Brands that excel at the customer experience have one thing in common; they empower their customer service teams to solve problems and make the customer happy.
By empowering your agents, you create better employees that want to find solutions, talk to customers, and ultimately do the best they can at their job. Here are five easy ways to empower your agents.
1. Involve them in the decision-making process
Nobody understands customers better than customer service agents. As your frontline, they hear the good and the bad, which makes them the perfect addition to any decision-making and planning sessions that impact customers. Involving agents in activities such as updating feedback surveys, call routing structures, and creating resources for the website shows that you value their knowledge and the time they spend interacting with customers.
2. Give them freedom
Too often, companies restrict their agents, not allowing them to make decisions when a customer expresses their unhappiness instantly. By permitting agents to grant specific requests without getting a manager involved, companies deliver a better experience and increase customer loyalty as a result. Brainstorm types of calls and requests that agents receive daily and identify which are the most time-consuming.
3. Invest in their happiness
By committing to employee happiness and overall company culture, leaders empower their team. Happy employees are more engaged in their daily activities. According to Gallup, companies with highly engaged employees outperform their competitors. Engaged employees are more confident in their daily responsibilities and are more apt to make decisions that benefit the company and increase customer satisfaction.
4. Guide them in problem-solving
Employees have questions and will come face-to-face with situations they are unsure how to handle. In those moments, agents often reach out to supervisors for assistance. Instead of solving the problem immediately, ask them open-ended questions about the situation. Asking questions helps agents learn how to work through new scenarios and come to a solution on their own. In the long-run, having agents that problem solve on their own is more beneficial than having them come to you for the answers.
5. Make accessing tools and knowledge easy
Many times, customer service calls turn bad because the agents don’t know the answer, and they don’t know where to find it. When agents don’t have an easy way to access information about products or services, customers get put on hold, and your brand seems unorganized. Create a knowledge center that can be accessed from the agent’s desktops and is easy to navigate so they can find what they need quickly. Creating a knowledge center isn’t a one time project; it is something that should be reviewed and added to consistently, so agents have the most up-to-date information.
6. Use mistakes as a coaching opportunity
Instead of being quick to react to mistakes and scold or discipline agents, use it as a teaching opportunity. By coaching them through the situation and giving them ideas on how to better handle it next time, they will be better equipped and feel more confident to handle more calls moving forward.
By empowering your agents, not only will you deliver a better customer experience, but you will also retain more team members, save money on employee training, and generate more revenue.