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The Age Of The Customer: Why Does Empowerment Matter So Much?

The customer care world is constantly evolving, which is why it’s no surprise that brands are stepping up their customer experience (CX) game every year. But in order for outsourced customer care teams to win with every interaction, they need to feel empowered in their role. So, how can you ensure that your teams are equipped to give world-class experiences every single time?

FIRST THINGS FIRST: WHY DOES CX MATTER SO MUCH?

We’re in “The Age of the Customer”, meaning that the customer is in charge of the way brands make strategic business decisions. This balance of power is forcing companies to put their CX strategies under a microscope.

Here are some recent eye-opening statistics that show just how important customer experience really is today:

  • 72% of businesses say that improving customer experience is their top priority
  • 95% of customers have taken action as a result of a bad experience
  • 58% of customers will abandon a brand after a negative experience
  • 80% of customers said they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences

THE NEW CHANNEL CHALLENGE

Many brands are trying to improve the customer journey by adding new channels and technologies. Although this strategy definitely has its place when it comes to evolving the customer journey, it also creates new challenges. When new channels are added that take care of the easy tasks (ex. bots and AI), the job of customer care teams becomes more complex.

In a nutshell, customer care teams need to feel properly equipped to actually handle these new complexities. They are the backbone of quality interactions because they are providing the human touch that’s needed to make customers feel good - which bots or AI will never be able to fully comprehend.

SO, WHY DOES EMPOWERMENT MATTER SO MUCH?

Imagine this - you want to upgrade your seat for an upcoming flight. You aren’t able to do it yourself on the airline’s website, so you call their customer service line for help. Now, imagine the customer care representative on the line not only mentions that they aren’t able to help you with your request because of “policy”, but they also can’t direct you to someone who can. You feel frustrated and hang up. Now imagine that you call again, get a new customer care rep, and the same thing happens. How would you feel?

This is a classic lose-lose scenario of a customer care team member not feeling empowered. Guaranteed, the customer care representative wanted to help, but couldn’t due to a policy or process they were trained on. Feeling this way causes front-line teams to stop caring about their job, leaving customers on the other end with a sour taste in their mouth. But what if they were able to resolve these types of issues with a little discretion and common sense? What if they were able to go the extra mile for customers without being blocked by limitations out of their control?

ENCOURAGE, EQUIP & EMPOWER

Companies that empower their employees have 50% higher customer loyalty. Empowering a customer care team means encouraging and equipping them to easily find solutions to problems and truly do whatever it takes to make the customer happy.

This creates a domino effect of engaged and effective customer care team members, leading to higher retention, better customer experiences and overall cost savings.

That’s A Wrap

Empowering your customer care teams to make autonomous decisions might sound risky, but it’s more important than ever. In our next blog post, we’ll be talking about how providing ongoing training in an empowered culture and thoughtfully recognizing team members creates personalized and extraordinary customer experiences every time.

Read our thought paper to learn more about why empowerment is so important in The Age of the Customer.

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