Agent Empowerment

If Your Agents Aren’t Empowered, You Might Be Missing These 5 Steps

In previous articles, we have talked about the importance of employee empowerment in customer service and in the Contact Center Industry in general. It helps in many ways, from making our customers happier, increasing agent motivation, and reducing cost. There is much more to gain than to lose, don’t you think?

 But, what is agent empowerment all about? Why are managers so scared about this topic?

 Employee empowerment is about giving your employees the authority to make decisions. It is about giving them more freedom and flexibility. It is about trust. Managers need to trust that their employees will do the right thing for the customer and need to believe they have the knowledge, skill, and judgment to do it accurately.

Why shouldn’t you be scared about giving this power to your agents? Because empowerment is something that is earned. This means that managers will provide the knowledge and resources they need, and agents that use them in an appropriate way will gain more power to make better decisions and help others do the same.

But, how do we reach this ideal state?

We summarized this in 5 steps. These steps will let you start your agent empowerment journey or help you understand why they are not empowered by analyzing if one of these important steps are missing. Depending on your situation, these steps might change.

 

Make Empowerment Part Of Your Company Goal

First mistake contact centers make is not making agent empowerment part of their culture and their goals. It is crucial because, when you make empowerment your goal, this means that all the contact center needs to know it and work in a path that will lead us towards it. This will change the way the company works in several ways. Sometimes, it will require an investment, metrics might change, managers might need to change their mentality, processes and policies can change. When empowerment is a common goal for the whole contact center, all teams will work together, and changes will be better accepted. And, for the agents, when they know that their empowerment is your goal, they will feel less afraid to make decisions that will make customers happy.

 

Review Your Rules & Policies

Are your rules and policies limiting the agents from offering a great customer experience? If you hear phrases like “sorry, it is our policy” or “unfortunately, I can’t do that,” it’s time to review your policies, rules, and processes. Sometimes we try to protect our reputation so much that we create strict rules that become guidelines for the agents. When you are reviewing them ask, why do we have this? Do we need this? Is it helping or hurting us more? Can this be changed into a suggestion?

 

Hire The Right People

Would you trust your customers to the people you hire? If you don’t, you are doing it wrong. Filling seats with people that only show up for a paycheck can ruin your customer experience, and you know it. Therefore, you don’t trust them, and you don’t empower them. You need to hire people that are willing to help, people that care about their jobs, what they do, and about others. When agents have this quality of service, they will be sure to make the best decision to help the customer, they will be a step ahead, and empowering them will be much easier for you. Just give them the power, knowledge, and tools they need.

 

Training And Education

Proper training is essential. Knowledge lets us make better decisions. If you want your agents to make the best decision, equip them with great training. Make sure you are teaching them what they need to know, make constant updates to your training, make it continuous. Also, let your agents learn by themselves, give them the tools to keep learning and, a very useful technique, let the agents with more experience teach the new ones. Their experience has a lot of value. 

 

Provide The Proper Resources And Tools

You also need to equip your team with tools and resources. Make the information they need easy to find. Tools like a CRM and a Knowledge Base that are easy to use help the agents document and find important information they need when helping a customer. This will allow them to make wise decisions and they’ll be willing to make them. Fewer difficulties, less frustration, better service. 

 

Call Center Services International helps you establish a high-performing yet cost-effective nearshore contact center. Our model allows you to have full control of your operations, from Training to Quality Assurance. This means that you can also empower your nearshore team to offer a great Customer Experience! Learn more.

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