Good customer service empowers employees

A happy customer experience relies on a happy customer team. And a key factor in this is empowerment.

Once you decide to prioritize customer experience, it can be tempting to keep a hawks’ eye on people, or push a call script down their throats. That’s a fast route to an unhappy team.

Customer support agents are in their jobs for a reason. They enjoy figuring out solutions to problems. It’s what they’re passionate about. It’s why we hired them.

If you want your customer service team to thrive, let them get on with their job. Trust them to do it well. Give them the autonomy to work independently, think creatively, and problem-solve without someone breathing down their neck.

When someone brings the brand’s customer mission to life, celebrate it. Share positive feedback. Consult staff on their views, and give them the freedom to spearhead change by letting them conduct research, analyze data and suggest new methods. When staff feel empowered, they will rise to the occasion.

However, technology can also help support customer support.

Automation is useful when it helps free up resources to let reps focus on what they do best.

A chatbot can’t match a human being, but it’s better than no response or long wait times — especially considering 75% of online customers expect a response within five minutes or less.

Implementing a bot can reduce friction by answering commonly-asked questions and, when necessary, re-routing requests to a rep.

Other technology that supports includes a well-stocked knowledge base that helps customers find answers quickly.

Videos, how-tos, and blog posts can be the most effective way of explaining something (e.g. how to use a tool), with a significant return on time invested.Brilliant customer service relies on empathy, intuition, and the right words uttered at the right second.

There’s no playbook for that. Problems are part of life, and the products we provide. We can’t avoid them. But it’s how we address them that will distinguish us.

And that’s where human input remains unbeatable: It’s what will make customers hang in, work through an issue with us, and return — even if it’s just for a bowl of pasta.

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