November 6, 2012
The Face of Great Customer Service – the Empowered Worker
Filed under: Entrepreneurship
There are several key factors to operating a virtual call center that also ensures excellent customer service. As we have stated previously, our number one factor is hiring the best. To attract the best we must provide an environment where they can thrive. Doing so ensures you provide outstanding customer service while maximizing productivity. So what is the secret to creating such an environment? Empowerment.
Empowered Workers – Proven to Produce
A recent study proved that workers who feel empowered by their employers have higher morale and are more productive, regardless of the industry, job or culture. Another major benefit of empowering your workforce is high customer satisfaction metrics. Workers who are able to make good decisions on behalf of a customer will do so, given the opportunity. Removing barriers such as having to escalate for basic customer service issues will keep customers happier and workers much more motivated.
Remember the viral video United Breaks Guitars? Given that the songwriter, Dave Carroll, has gone on to write a book and become a public speaker (making him millions of dollars), this is one of the most well-known customer service debacles in recent history. How could it have gone differently if an empowered worker had handled the original complaint? The bag handlers did break the guitar, and there were witnesses. United would have been better off if empowered workers had simply handled this issue immediately, providing Dave compensation for his beloved guitar.
Traits of Empowered Workers
There are still those who believe that empowering workers opens them up to more issues and liability, not less. However, the reality is that the profile of an empowered worker naturally provides an organization with the right person to take care of customer interactions – good or bad.
Empowered workers share several attributes, including:
- Self-starting – they are the motivated, self-starter everyone is looking for and will achieve the objective regardless of obstacles.
- Educated – they have knowledge and have acquired skills simply from the desire to continuously improve.
- Technologically Sound – they are comfortable with the ever-changing landscape of technology and embrace new ideas.
- Connected – they are willing to become part of a team, even virtually, and are committed to making that team a success.
The empowered worker will be easy to recognize. They are confident, capable and willing to go the extra mile. By understanding what these people desire in a positive work environment, such as flexibility, we find it easy to attract, hire and retain empowered workers. A critical component to keeping empowered workers happy is to provide them the freedom to perform at their best. They will ensure your customers are happy and your company is positively impacted financially – if you empower them to do so.