To celebrate our upcoming Canadian Thanksgiving holiday, the team here at Cayzu Help Desk thought it would be fun to create a second recap of some of our past favorite blog posts (See our first recap here). These blogs will surely put some love back into your customer service. Enjoy!
If you’re still using email to do your customer service, be sure to check out:
Six Reasons to Upgrade from Email to a Customer Service Solution
Are you not feeling the customer love? Don’t worry, let us help.
5 Ways to Make Customers Love You Again
Are you a perfectionist trying to understand the art that is customer service?
7 Tips for Perfecting the Art of Customer Service
Looking for a help desk solution but don’t know the difference between the “Cloud” and a rain cloud?:
A Closer Look at the Advantages of a Hosted Help Desk Solution
Everyone wants more business so why not use Facebook to do it?
7 Ways to Boost Your Small Business on Facebook
Let Plants vs Zombies help you with your customer service strategy:
What Playing Plants vs Zombies 2 can Teach us about Customer Service
Looking to grow your business or better your support? Empower your people!
4 Effective Ways to Empower Customer Service Employees
And last but not least…
Are you a small business looking to improve your customer service? Checkout:
Can Small Businesses Improve Customer Service with a Help Desk Solution?
Thanks again for your continued readership and don’t forget to register to receive our blog via email to be sure that you don’t miss part 3! (Coming soon)
Customer service basics are virtually free. Ask employees to be polite to customers when providing telephone support, even if customers are not in the most rational state. Make it a requirement for small business employees to provide service with a smile. It’s not a big deal unless it’s done wrong. I’ve seen numerous customers bail after a single bad experience with a rude employee. However, awesome customer service can cost a company hundreds of dollars.
I would suggest you ask yourself a simple question before always adhering to strict policies.
Is it worth more to offer a refund when it’s the right thing to do or not and risk the customer spreading the bad word through social media?
How to Address Customer Support Challenges in Difficult Industries
The service industry is notoriously challenging for customer service representatives. Often, businesses with tight margins want employees to stick to the protocol, no matter what. Death? Who cares. You need to pay the cancellation fee. Terminal illness? It happens all the time, take a number. Flat tire before the road trip of a lifetime? That will cost $600 and take seven hours.
Promoting empathy and honesty among employees is an integral step to providing great customer support, even though it can cost hundreds. The right online custom support software is only one cost associated with turning a small business into a thriving brand.
My Personal Battle With the Local Automotive Repair Industry
Just to clear a few things up, I’m not a gearhead, but I know when something is broken. I also have access to the Internet and a healthy dose of common sense. After seemingly endless arguments over unnecessary repairs and unresponsive mechanics at the dealership, I lost it. I took my car to a local mechanic with an average reputation.
The mechanic called later that day with a laundry list of minor repairs. I gave the thumbs up, and we made arrangements for the pickup that evening. I got another phone call a few hours later and cringed when I saw the number. He reported that he had forgotten to mention a $160 repair, and he would happily complete it for free. Additionally, he would stay late to ensure that everything was done properly.
Needless to say, he gained my trust, my respect, and my business for life.
Doing the Right Thing Turns Irate Customers Into Customers for Life
Every customer request is not reasonable. When there is a blizzard and a standby list of 45 passengers, getting on the next plane out might not happen. Similarly, I still had to pay for a new radiator cap, an oil change, and a new air filter, which I was happy to do.
Empower employees to determine when something is simply the right thing to do. Bump a customer in a unique jamb up in line, and resist the urge to interrogate customers that request a discount on travel expenses due to a death in the family. Follow the golden rule, and turn first-time customers into customers for life by spending a little extra on awesome customer service.
As you’re growing your business, don’t forget to make sure that your employees are growing right along with it. Even though Cayzu specializes in streamlining your customer support system, we also want to do what we can to improve other aspects of your business, and your employees are a big part of that. While you may already be aware that empowering your customer service employees is an effective way of boosting your business and customer service strategies, you might not fully understand just how effective employee empowerment is.
The more capable your employees are, the more they’re likely to be satisfied with their job, which can go a long way in improving employee retention as well as customer service. Your employees will feel as though they are vital to the operation of your company and will feel more confident in their job duties. Not only are you sure to notice your employee’s new sense of pride, your customers will as well.
If you take out the time to teach, empower and support your employees, they’re more likely to remain with you and your company longer than employees who don’t feel as empowered and appreciated. Something that you have to realize is that employees have several employers to choose from, but ultimately they decided to work with you. No matter why they decided to accept your job offer, let them know that you appreciate them and what they do for the company by giving back to them. Good employees bring in good business and are more likely to recommend other hard-working and qualified individuals who might be looking for a good job.
Whenever an employee’s main focus is on their pay check rather than their actual job, they’re more likely to only do the bare minimum and nothing else. This is a disservice both to your employees and to you. When your employees feel more accomplished and know that they are a valuable part of your company’s infrastructure, they’re more likely to bring a more creative spirit to their job and employ critical thinking. If you’re trying to find ways to improve on your products or services, turn to your employees. You never know how many great ideas for marketing, improving company worth and process revision might be simmering in the minds of your employees. This new found creativity takes some of the pressure off of your managers who find that their wells of creativity have run dry.
Better Decision Makers
We live in a world where it seems as though new technology crops up every week. You can bet that a majority of your customers are well-aware of these changes and may be expecting them to be implemented in your company. If your employees aren’t taught how to make decisions on their own or the value of making decisions on their own, then they might stumble when it comes to learning new technologies related to your business since they’re so used to their managers essentially feeding them information that they think employees need to know. With independence comes the ability to quickly and efficiently respond to change.
If you’re looking to empower your current customer help desk support system, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at Cayzu.
“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.
At Cayzu Helpdesk we believe that your employees are just as essential to your growth and success as your customers are, which means that your employees should have the tools and information that they need to feel confident in themselves as well as the job that they perform. Take your business and employees to the next level by learning how to effectively empower them.
1. Open Up the Lines of Communication
Leaders should inform employees that they can get into direct contact with them at any time, and that goes for employees in all departments, not just those working in customer service. If employees have to jump through hoops and feel as though no one is listening to them, they’re less likely to truly give a hundred percent at their job or take any kind of initiative. Even someone who just started a few days ago might have vital insight in how to make the customer support experience better and how to make your business run more efficiently. You may never learn of their brilliant ideas if employees don’t feel like they have any way of getting into direct contact with you, your managers or supervisors. When employees do make suggestions and offer their input, make sure that you thank them even if you don’t like the idea.
2. Reward Your Employees for Improvements
Just as you had a plan and a vision for your business, help your employees create the same for their careers and reward them for their efforts and improvements. Giving someone a raise and a promotion might seem like adequate motivation to get employees to improve, but sometimes employees simply don’t know what to do in their job capacity or they don’t have the resources they need to truly advance their careers. Consider setting aside time, money and resources towards personal development and management training. Helping your employees helps your company since they’ll be eager to put their newly learned skills to good use for your business.
3. Let Employees Know It’s Okay to Fail
What sets an entrepreneur apart from an employee is that an entrepreneur is willing to take risks. If employees want to try something that won’t put the company in danger, give them the liberty to do so even if there’s a possibility of failure. Actually, you may want to allow them to try out something new if there’s a strong possibility that they’ll fail. This might seem cruel, but it will be a great learning experience for them and they’ll be less likely to seek out approval before making a move in the future. They might even surprise you by succeeding.
4. Make Sure Employees See What You See
One of the reasons that your employees might act so nervous and uneasy may be because they don’t fully understand what it is that you’re asking them to do. Business leaders might have the perfect vision for their company, but unless they know how to properly share and describe that vision, it can get lost in translation. Your employees should know the company’s core vision, goals and direction because it all starts at the roots. Otherwise they’ll more than likely waste time and possibly even valuable resources.
Now that you know how to help empower your employees, we encourage you to turn to Cayzu to empower your company’s customer support capabilities.