How to Empower Your Customer Service Team
Consumer expectations of the customer service experience are on the rise and new technologies have become critical to streamlining multi-channel services. Still, sometimes your team needs more than an upgraded CRM system to be most effective. Not to mention, you can’t always be there to answer a question quickly or give the yes or no for the discount your employee wants to offer an upset customer. It’s time to empower customer service teams in your organization!
The following tips will help you empower customer service team to work more efficiently while managing issues more effectively by themselves.
Boost Brand Purpose Buy-In
Your customer service team is one of the most important departments in your company. As the face of the company, they provide a window into your brand and represent your organization to some of the most important customers, including those who are upset about your product or service.
As such, you want the experience of these customers to be as important to your employees as it is to you. That mindset kicks in when you empower customer service team to buy into the brand’s purpose and mission: “If your employees have a strong sense of what the company stands for, what its goals are, and why it exists, they will feel more connected to the business. That connection will promote confidence and keep them invested in organizational objectives,” says Steve Borg, Business2Community.
To boost this buy-in, tie the purpose and mission of the brand to your sales team. Ask them to talk about what the company’s mission statement means to them and how that’s reflected in their interactions with customers. The more they think about and tie it to their own work, the more meaningful it will be.
Build Breaks Into The Day
Empower customer service team to make themselves a priority — this allows them to provide better service to customers. Rather than being overloaded with an angry customer after five back-to-back calls, they’re more likely to be refreshed from a recent break.
To make this effective, build time for brain breaks into the day, which studies show increases productivity by 38 percent. By making this a part of your company, or team, culture, employees are empowered to make themselves a priority during the day, along with your customers. When the time comes to handle an unhappy call, they’re more likely to be refreshed and ready to handle it. This allows them to better represent your brand and provide even better service.
Allow Them To Make Smart Decisions — Fast
Your teams need to have the right tools in place in order to better serve the inquiries coming in. For example, the customer service team at a retail company may need to offer discounts on the fly. The Cut Your Costs coupon calculator allows them to quickly calculate which discounts make the most sense for your bottom line. Instead of offering 30 percent-off because it’s the first thing that comes to mind, they can do the math to see which discount puts you in the red and which ones make sense financially.
Other tools to consider include Slack (chat in real-time to get answers from co-workers or manager on the fly), Trello (to track bugs, customer complaints or frequent callers) and this simple Sale Price Calculator (to quickly compare three types of discounts to determine which one to offer a customer).
Empower Customer Service Team to Evolve and Call the Shots
The future of customer service is still unknown to most companies. Now customers can interact with organizations via phone, email, social media and chat — but what’s next? What do your employees need now and what will they need in the future to do their job effectively?
The people who know this best are the ones who do the workday in and day out so put the ball in their court. Empower customer service employees to own their needs in the office by letting them pitch ideas for new software, product upgrades, team organization, etc. The more involved they are in decision-making and planning, the more invested they’ll be in doing good work for the organization.
Empowering your employees is simple. Give them a voice, the tools they need, more personal time and a reason to be invested in the company and you’ll find they’re able to get more done, both effectively and efficiently. Use these tips to help your customer service team help themselves.
About the author:
Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than 10 years has managed a number of employees in her various roles. She now owns her own consulting business and has been featured on Forbes and Business Insider. She regularly writes for StartupNation, Manta, Glassdoor and more. Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07 and connect on LinkedIn.