“The vision is really about empowering workers, giving them all the information about what’s going on so they can do a lot more than they’ve done in the past.” –Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, and the richest person in the world.
A Simple Case Study on Employee Empowerment
In my personal experience, customer support employees are usually so restricted that they hit a wall when an out of the norm problem is presented. In my past business, which I sold 3 years ago, there was one memorable instance when I outsourced some of my customer support functions to a third party. I would get dozens of emails from the third party’s customer service staff asking questions about what they were able to do.
- Could they offer a refund?
- Could they extend a line of credit?
- Could they extend a trial?
It went on forever, and my customers were understandably upset by slow response times. This model for customer service was not scalable because of a single person—me.
I was acting as a bottle neck for the entire production. Instead of creating a lengthy manual for the hundreds of possible scenarios staff would run into, I simply empowered my team. I authorized every representative to solve any problem that cost less than $50 without having to ask for my permission. It was a simple solution that went a long way, and the results were spectacular.
Instead of being glued to my email to do damage control, I could respond to emails from happy customers that were pleased with quick turnaround times and effective solutions.
Why Customer Service Rep Is Considered One of the Worst Jobs
Customer service jobs are highly demanding and considered unattractive with high turnover rates. In large part, employees in the industry are not empowered to do more than read a script, read a knowledge base and ultimately ask what they might be able to do from someone else.
Managers Can Offer Solutions That Work
You need to be able to let go. It is important to recognize that employees will make mistakes, but that’s okay. In the big picture, employee empowerment coupled with an online custom support software like Cayzu can turn a disastrous undertaking into a successful endeavour. Employees need to have the knowledge, the authorization, and the resources (help desk software) to succeed. Let’s be honest. A really nice chat will only do so much for customers that have pressing problems.
Turning Customers Into Advocates
Refunds are not a waste of resources. It is important to remember how many businesses turn customers into brand advocates. Happy customers can recommend your businesses to three or four other people. However, angry customers can easily tell 10 people why they would never want to engage in any sort of transaction with your business again. Great customer support promotes turning customers into advocates instead of driving customers away.
A Scalable Model for Customer Support
Employee empowerment combined with the right online custom support software can help you scale your business. Take it from me, acting as a one man army who does it all causes nothing but a giant headache and an increased number of emails from angry customers. Clear out your inbox, and replace hate mail with fan mail by empowering your employees. After all, your customer support team works tirelessly to make things right so make things right for them by giving them the tools they need to succeed.