In today’s customer-centric business era, customers expect to get assistance on their issues and questions fast and efficiently. To deliver excellent customer support, you need an empowered customer service team.
Grant them the authority, information, skills, and resources to make decisions and handle customer issues without seeking approval from managers or being micromanaged. It gives them confidence in their ability to provide prompt customer assistance and support.
Below are 7 ways you can empower customer service team.
1. Train the Customer Service Team Adequately
Customer service training is multifaceted. It incorporates training in the following areas:
- Product and Services. Your customer service team needs to understand your products and services clearly. Preferably the ins and outs of the products, especially if they will be offering technical support.
- Policies and Processes. They should be clear about your return, refund, cancellation, shipping, and delivery policies. They should also know what is entailed in order fulfillment, shipping, and delivery, how customers can return items and apply for refunds, how long refunds take, etc. The better they understand the policies and processes, the easier it is for them to clarify related issues to customers.
- Customer Needs and Journey. If your employees understand your customers’ needs and journey, they can anticipate potential issues and effectively cater to customers at their point of need.
- Company Mission and Values. By understanding your company’s values, employees can present your brand better and focus on the greater goal.
- Soft Skills. Customer support employees also require training in soft skills such as active listening, empathy, clear communication, body language, and persuasion.
- Scenario-Based Learning. Theoretical training along with simulating various scenarios is more It is an opportunity for the employees to practice how they will handle customers and get feedback from trainers and fellow customer service representatives.
Lack of extensive training can result in poor customer support, as evidenced by critical consumer reviews on various forums and reviews websites. Such negative online reviews are detrimental to your brand reputation.
For example, Asurion reviews on Pissedconsumer.com indicate poor customer service characterized by rude and unhelp company representatives. As a result, the company has an overall low rating.
2. Provide the Right Tools and Resources
Without the right tools, your employees will be unable to do their job properly. Therefore, think through all the aspects of customer service delivery and use the necessary resources.
These include phone systems, computers, a live chat feature on your website, CRM systems, webcams, help desk software, etc. Ensure that each team member has proper training on effectively using the various tools.
3. Grant the Employees Decision Making Independence
The dictionary meaning of “empower” is to give someone “authority, power, and right to perform a given task or their duties.” Granting your customer service employees power and freedom to do their jobs effectively saves time and boosts their morale.
As long as they are well-trained, they understand your business and customer needs and can promptly handle issues. Besides, the last thing a frustrated customer wants is to be transferred from one representative or manager to another.
4. Allow Leeway for Mistakes
By giving your employees independence to make decisions and take action towards resolving customer issues, it is inevitable that they will make some mistakes. Don’t be too quick to punish them.
Instead, complement and praise your teams for what they are doing well. It boosts their morale and confidence. Then provide them constructive feedback on the mistakes. If the same mistakes keep coming up, it is an opportunity to train the entire team on the specific issue or evaluate your processes and policies.
5. Listen to the Ideas
Encourage an open-door policy by allowing customer service employees to share their insights and provide feedback. They are the main touchpoint between customers and your business. Due to the continued engagement with customers, they have first-hand information about customers’ experience with your business.
Therefore, encourage them to share their intel and ideas to improve overall customer service, product design, policies, and processes. Incorporate regular review meetings to identify what is working versus what is not and develop improvement measures.
6. Give Access to Necessary Information
For example, provide easy access to the customer database and purchase history. That way, if a customer calls about an existing order, the customer support team can easily view it and provide the most appropriate way forward.
7. Connect Customer Service With Other Teams
Part of team empowerment is ensuring that the customer service representatives know who to consult with or escalate issues they can’t handle. Aside from resolving customer issues in the best possible way, it fosters collaboration across various departments
At the core of excellent customer service is enthusiastic, empowered, and well-trained employees. Customer service team empowerment involves equipping the employees with the necessary skills and information and then giving them the authority to support consumers effectively.
It is also important to have a system in place to allow the customer service teams to provide feedback from the insights they get from customers and review how well the existing tools, systems, and strategies are working.
Provide constructive feedback on mistakes and offer additional training if necessary. Praise the team for aspects of customer support that are working well.