The customer service team is essentially the face of the company and the first and last impression that the client receives. It is important that there are appropriate actions to take when a customer has a problem that needs to be fixed. One method is allowing your team to take care of the details without requiring management to step in. If front line employees are equipped to manage customer inquiries immediately, your service reputation will increase and your team will feel empowered in their roles. Employee empowerment not only saves you time and resources, but it also builds a sense of confidence in your employees who are essentially one of the strongest aspects of your company!
Think about your own past customer service experiences. Have you heard one of these answers before?
“Sorry, that is not my department I cannot help”
“I will have to speak with my manager who will be in at a later time”
If you said yes, you are likely relieving a negative service experience. This is exactly why trained and empowered employees are the lifeline of your customer service experience. An individual with a problem typically requires immediate attention and desires to have their problem fixed conveniently and easily. If a customer service representative can make quick decisions in a reasonable amount of that customer can be retained and increase company reputation as a whole. So why not hire individuals that you trust and give them the skills they need to make their own judgements when it comes to specific company decisions?
How can you get started empowering your employees to make the best decisions?
Your customer service team is not replacing management; you are training and teaching them how to handle specific types of situations at that moment. This does mean that you need to let an employee give the customer whatever they ask for or make corporate decisions. This is why specific boundaries, decisions to avoid, and values that the company wants to uphold are important to entail with your team. Let them know what the company stands for and how they are a part of that as well.
Have your employees ask themselves these questions:
“How is this decision going to affect the revenue of the company?”
“How is this decision going to affect customer retention?”
“Will the decision I make affect the reputation of the company?”
If a customer service employee fixes a problem in a timely manner and you can keep a loyal customer your business is winning. Going above and beyond and being adaptive to the situation even after the customer has a negative experience can result in positivity because of the feeling that they receive afterwards. Employee empowerment can make the difference between average customer service to great customer service.