Customer service is a critical component of any successful company. Almost 60% of users report that they would turn to other businesses after a less than stellar customer service experience.
Customers can be…a little stressed out by their problems, and finding the solution can take a little longer than they might want. Your customer support representatives are the face and voice of the company in these situations, and they must have the tools and abilities to handle customers with care and focus.
That's why it's so important to empower your support team — making them feel confident and prepared for any situation that comes their way. Customer service can be difficult, so it's up to the company to support the support team.
Not to mention, when you have positive employees, you have positive customers. Let's talk about how to empower your customer support team and why it's so essential to a business's success.
What Exactly is Employee Empowerment?
Empowerment for your employees is all about instilling a sense of autonomy. Your customer support team should know what to do when a customer comes to them with an issue and shouldn't feel like they constantly need to ask for a supervisor's assistance or permission.
This self-confidence gives employees a feeling of importance within the company and a sense of responsibility and connection. They have available the knowledge and tools they need to do their job well.
Employee empowerment can take multiple forms, and exactly what it looks like depends on what your team needs.
Why is Employee Empowerment Important?
As we mentioned before, empowering your employees has major, positive benefits to the company as a whole. Successful companies see the value in having a positive workforce and taking care of their team.
Here are just some of the benefits of empowering your customer support team.
Employee Morale Helps Reduce Burnout
Customer support roles are all about helping people solve problems with your company's product or service, and most of the time, it can be a very rewarding career.
But there are times that your support staff might start to feel a little tired. Even if customers aren't giving them a hard time, your team might begin to feel a little burnt out over time.
Employee exhaustion is something that can negatively affect customer experiences, not to mention you want to care for your employees and make them feel like a part of the company team.
Empowering the support team can reduce this exhaustion and burnout rate. Giving them the opportunity to grow themselves as employees and as people can make your employees feel more excited to come to work than they already are.
Positive Employees Lead to Positive Customers
Empowering your support team essentially means giving them the tools and knowledge they need to be the best employees they can be- This has a positive effect on your customer experience.
Happy and prepared support agents are able to assist clients and solve tickets much faster. Not being weighed down by fatigue or the need to spend time researching the solution will lead to shorter wait times for your customers.
Time is precious, especially to your clients- Getting what they need as quickly as possible will have them walk away much happier and more likely to share your business with others.
Boost Employee Loyalty
Employees who feel confident, in control of their position, and like they're a company member are more likely to stay with the company for a longer time.
Employee retention is important for a lot of reasons. It obviously costs your business money to hire and train new staff members, but having a team of experienced support agents means that your customers are getting the best help possible.
How To Empower Your Customer Support Team
Now that we've discussed why empowering your customer support team is beneficial to your business and your customers, let's talk about how to go about doing it.
Every team will be a little different depending on personalities and responsibilities, and there isn't necessarily a singular "best" way to empower them.
But there are some general techniques to implement for any support team to boost their confidence and abilities.
Make Sure They Have What They Need
Generally speaking, a company is always looking for places to save money. Wasteful spending is detrimental to a business, and there are teams dedicated to trimming corporate budgets.
But it is important to spend an appropriate amount of resources for your customer support team and make sure they have everything they need to perform their daily tasks.
The value of this equipment will be reflected in your employees' performance. Low-quality tools are just another obstacle for your team to overcome, and you want to remove as many barriers between them and success as possible.
With the advances in technology, both software and hardware, customer support teams have tools to focus on the customer. While these tools might seem like an investment, they bring a lot of power and confidence to your agents.
Not to mention they boost your customers' positive experience rates, which is especially important when it comes to customer service.
Provide Regular Training Opportunities
The onboarding process for new members to your support team is a critical time, but it isn't the only time you should have high-quality training available.
The technology of today makes a customer support representative job much easier than it used to be, and it makes creating a more personal experience for your customers an accessible possibility.
However, this technology is almost regularly updated and added to a double-edged sword for your employees.
The tools that they use means that they get more flexibility and options when it comes to supporting the customers, but it also means they're regularly re-learning or learning new things about the software they want to feel confident using.
Having a dedicated training member is a great way to provide regular assistance for your support team. Anytime their program is updated, someone is there to walk them through what's new.
Offer Additional Professional Development Programs
Beyond training on the software they use every day, it's helpful to provide professional development resources to your employees.
Upward momentum is something that most people consider a benefit in the workplace. The opportunity to grow and move up the "ladder" at your business is valuable.
Online classes provided by your business for the employees can be a great way to show your employees that you care for their development.
Don't Micromanage Your Team
An essential part of empowering your support staff is giving them a sense of autonomy. They should feel like they know what to do for their customers and not need the constant direction of a superior.
Whether they need assistance or the supervisor is applying too much control over the team too much, a self-confident employee will be able to find customers' solutions faster and with purpose.
Customer support managers should supply support to the team only when needed. This requires paying attention to their daily needs and how to best be there for the agents- Listen to them carefully.
Show Your Team Appreciation
A little employee appreciation can go a long way, and we aren't talking about an office pizza party.
Even something as simple as thank-you letters that acknowledge your team members' hard work can do a lot to boost morale. The main purpose of team appreciation is to recognize the work that they do and remind your agents that what they do is critical to the business.
Employees that feel acknowledged by their work in a personal way often feel more connected and invested in their company.
Having an empowered customer support team will benefit your company by building a strong sense of confidence and capability in your employees.
Providing regular training on the software they use and providing high-quality equipment are solid ways to improve your customer support success.
Showing appreciation to your team members, even beyond the customer support team, is always a good plan. Boosting morale and having happy employees means your customers will be taken care of by people that enjoy what they do, and your clients will be able to tell.