Have you ever bought something or signed up for a service, and nothing seems to go right? We can all identify with this problem as a consumer.
Maybe the product is delivered without all the necessary pieces. Perhaps your cell phone bill is for $30 more than it should be. So, you call the customer service line, and no one can seem to fix your problem. The person who should help you can’t, without their manager’s approval. The problem is that their manager is busy and highly overworked.
You don’t receive any clarity and you have a bureaucratic nightmare on the other end. It shows no signs of ever improving. The worst part is, it could have all been easily prevented.
First off, there is something noble about the engaged business owner. Having your hands in the day-to-day details can be an excellent way to keep in touch with your employees and set a positive example. But at the same time, your employees need to be able to solve certain problems when you’re not around. When they don’t have the authority to take on certain problems, you create a bottleneck that can slow customer progress to a crawl. This can be infuriating to your customers.
Empower your employees to make important decisions and help customers without your approval. Nothing is worse than making your loyal customers (or any customer for that matter!) wait for the sales rep to get back to them. To make matters worse, the sales rep may wait a couple days, or never return the call.
We live in an era of competitive business. The great thing about the internet is it expanded our potential customer base. The bad thing about the internet is that we now have far more competition than we’ve ever had before. If for any reason you tell a customer that they have to wait, you give them incentive to seek out the services somewhere else. There’s no end to their options.
At the same time, employees who can solve complex customer problems are an asset. When you train them right, even the most challenging cases can be handled on the spot. When you empower your employees to solve these types of problems, without intervening yourself, you are creating a stronger brand. Your day-to-day customer interactions become part of your marketing power.
All this keeps your book of customers happy. It makes your business more profitable, and keeps the employees satisfied.
Chances are, you’ve been forgotten at some point in a customer service cycle. Someone needed approvals to move on. Your problems were never addressed. Some overworked manager failed to either pick up the phone or call you back in a timely process.
This is your chance to distinguish yourself in the business community. You don’t have to put your customers through that. Talk with your employees today. Make sure they understand the decisions they can make on their own. This means having patience and watching them grow. But customer interactions will eventually become smooth, and everybody wins.