Investing in Your Employees
Knowledgeable and happy employees equal happy customers. Companies need to realize that an excellent customer experience is the MOST important. If your customer experience runs with ease, then your company can competitively differentiate themselves. Positive customer experiences occur at every level of the organization, whether you’re at the bottom or the top, but the customer service agents are especially on the front line of battle.
Equipping employees with the right gear allows them to succeed in battle. The right technology and continuous training will allow them to be the best brand ambassadors for the company that they can be, which translates into a great customer experience for everyone. The challenge, though, is keeping your employees supplied throughout the entire battle. They will run out of equipment and need to be replenished, so there should be continuous training and technology updates as the company changes and evolves.
There are two ways company leaders can invest in their employees which will lead to customer satisfaction and loyalty.
1. Simplify processes and technologies
The day of using one system to do your job is over. Employees are required to interact with several different systems to complete their job. Take customer data for example. It could be stored in multiple locations. Every department has a different way in storing their customer data. Billing may store their customer information on an Excel sheet, while the sales teams puts all their information in a CRM system such as Salesforce. That is only one part of the puzzle though. Customer interactions are now taking place over the phone, email or instant messaging. This means customer information is coming from all different directions making it hard for employees to make this a seamless process. Locating all of the different customer interactions and history can create longer wait times when handling customer requests, which will negatively impact the customer’s experience. Having to track down all of this information through different systems puts a burden on the employees back, taking away their ability to do their job well.
So what is the solution? Toss out the legacy systems and try integrating a process where employees can see all the information in a 360-degree view. The customer will then receive the type of customer experience they expect. For example, have your entire department use salesforce to store all of their customer information. That way when a customer calls, employees can go into salesforce and get all the information they need in one place.
2. Focus on training
Today, customers want to only interact with one person to answer all of their needs. The days of having one specific job title are over. Employees need to have a broader understanding of all that the company does so that they can answer the customer’s needs from start to finish. No, this does not mean studying your company website word for word. Instead, company leaders need to plan continuous training and educational sessions to keep their employees on top of everything happening in the organization.
One way to accomplish this is through a popular training exercise called the flip. The flip takes the traditional classroom powerpoint experience of training away and gives the employees more freedom. The flip encourages employees to bring in real life experiences and teach others what they have learned from it. For example, instead of upper management setting the training schedule and topics via powerpoint, have your customer service team train the sales team on some common issues they deal with. You could even have a customer come in and talk to the group about their experience with your business. Then, have the sales team train the customer support team on the sales process and common objections. Giving the employees more control over the training makes them feel as if their knowledge matters, which increases their investment into the training program. You will cover more ground this way, while keeping the training process fun, engaging and interactive.
At the end of the day, employees can only do their best to meet all of a customer’s needs. It’s important to raise the bar when it comes to implementing technology to make the customer experience as streamlined as possible. Make sure your employees are highly trained in every area and able to handle whatever request heads their way. By addressing these two very important areas, your company will create knowledgeable, happy employees, resulting in a world-class customer experience.