Companies are utilizing all different forms of technology and social media in the quest to increase the customer experience. However, one of the main lines of defense when it comes to consumer satisfaction is still the interaction between the customer and the employee. These face to face interactions are essential in maintaining an authentic customer experience. Technology, websites, and social media are all amazing ways to innovate the field of customer service, but making sure employees are properly trained and empowered is still a solid foundation.
Employees are often the only point of contact for a customer while they are shopping. If the customer has a negative interaction with this employee they are more likely to write a poor review, which means lowering the customer experience. Not only is it essential for employees to be present, but also friendly and well informed. Companies need to let their employees have a certain degree of power, to create a positive experience for the customer.
To some extent this all boils down to employee empowerment. When a company empowers their employee to make decisions pertaining to their position, this is one step closer to ensuring the customer has a great experience. Customers would like a quick answer, and empowerment is the way to achieve this. In “8 Tips for Empowering Employees,” Kevin Daum lists great recommendations for encouraging empowerment among employees. His list includes ideas about communication, independence, and effort.
Empowerment comes in many forms, including access to technology. The Social Age has opened communication and increased the amount of information available to customers and employees. “5 Essentials for Successful Retail Employee Empowerment,” by Cheryl Johnson explores some of these ideas. Allowing your employee access to technology, whether that is a company provided device or smartphone use, can increase the employee’s access to the requested information. This also goes hand in hand with making your customer aware of your mobile apps or website. If an employee can share this information on the spot the consumer will be more satisfied.
How would you feel about an employee taking out their smartphone to answer your question about a products location or availability? Let me know your thoughts on this by leaving a comment!