Empower customer experience and win loyal customers. These 12 tools will help you with that!
The customer experience (CX) is arguably one of the most vital functions of your business. The overall customer experience you create is subjective. It’s about how your customer feels, and it’s a direct result of the combination of all of their interactions with your brand.
Do want to create a consistently excellent customer experience? The best way to accomplish that goal is to empower your CX leaders with the tools they need to succeed.
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What is empowerment and why is it important?
Empowerment in customer experience is about giving your employees the resources, tools, and authority to serve your customers well. That doesn’t mean writing a blank check; it means making strategic investments and orienting your processes and policies in a way that helps team members deliver the experience you want.
Employees who are empowered to create the best customer experience:
- Perform their job in the most effective way possible.
- Go above and beyond for the customer (instead of simply following a script).
- Create interactions that lead to higher customer satisfaction.
Empowered employees create a great customer experience because they are more engaged. That might seem like a strong statement, but the data backs it up. Leadership expert Joseph Folkman measured empowerment and employee engagement in a group of 7,000 employees. His team found that “employees who felt a low level of empowerment were rated with engagement at the 24th percentile, whereas “those with a high level of empowerment were at the 79th percentile.”
12 tools that will empower a better customer experience
Empowering a great customer experience requires providing the right tools and resources to your team. There are three categories of tools you should consider when thinking about empowering customer experience:
- Software tools
- Leadership tools
- Employee development tools
Each of the following 14 tools is highly reviewed and will contribute to creating an engaged team.
Software tools help you enhance the customer experience by providing you and your employees with data, knowledge, and technology that makes it easy to go above and beyond for your customers.
1. Customer satisfaction surveys
Customer Satisfaction, or CSAT, is a commonly used metric that measures a customer’s feelings regarding a recent interaction. They’re great for empowering customer experience because they can actually open up communication for cross-functional CX collaboration. They also provide the data you and your employees need to make lasting change in your organization.
Nicereply offers CSAT tools like one-click responses, multiple scales, and a beautifully designed dashboard to get to the bottom of how satisfied your customers really are.
2. Employee satisfaction and engagement surveys
Take care of your employees and they’ll take care of your customers. Oxford University’s Saïd Business School found a 13% increase in productivity among happy workers.
Employee satisfaction and employee engagement surveys are a fantastic way to measure how happy your employees are. As you invest in keeping your team engaged, they’ll be in better shape to meet your customers’ needs.
The good news is you can usually repurpose your CSAT or NPS (Net Promoter Score) software as an in-house employee engagement measurement tool so this may take little effort to start polling your employees.
3. Internal communication software
Internal communication software enables your team to get the help they need in real-time and can promote collaboration with other parts of your organization. It empowers your team to use teamwork to make every customer interaction a great experience.
Slack is one of the most popular tools for internal communication (and Nicereply integrates directly with Slack through Zapier), but there are other great options as well. Microsoft Teams, Google Chat, and Chanty are all viable solutions to help improve communication.
4. Customer journey map
A customer journey map is a diagram or illustration that shows the path your customers take from their first interaction through the entirety of their relationship with your business. And it’s one of the keys to a great customer experience.
You can create an effective customer journey map using flowchart and diagram software like LucidChart, Visme, or Draw.io.
5. Knowledge base
A knowledge base is a virtual repository of information available to your customers (and support team) that’s designed to help them have a better experience with your product or service. An effective knowledge base provides your customers with the information and self-service they need without having to contact your support team, which creates an efficient and easy customer experience for them.
Many CRMs like Zendesk and Salesforce include a Knowledge Base as part of their product, but you can also use software specifically designed for a knowledge base like HelpJuice.
6. Omnichannel support
One of the best ways to provide your customers with a modern customer experience is to allow them to contact your support team in a way that works best for them. Enter omnichannel support.
Instead of supporting only phone calls or emails, omnichannel support uses multiple forms of contact such as text, chat, and social media messaging. Some companies even have a dedicated Slack channel for supporting customers. Whichever channel your customer chooses, omnichannel software enables them to receive a consistent experience from your team.
Many helpdesk solutions include omnichannel support features, such as Freshdesk and Help Scout.
Your leadership team plays a critical part in empowering the customer experience. These tools will help you develop strong leaders by empowering them to do their jobs well.
7. 1-on-1 meetings
1-on-1s with your team are an ideal place to instill customer experience as everyone’s responsibility. You can regularly drive home the narrative that you trust your team to do what they feel is best when taking care of your customers.
Regular 1-on-1s are also a great way to hold your team accountable for that responsibility and the metrics that help them get there. Tools like 15Five and Fellow make it easy to hold effective 1-on-1 meetings with your team.
8. Employee recognition program
According to Zippia, “80% of employees say they’re motivated to work harder when they’re recognized for their work by their superiors” and “Employees who think they’ll be recognized are 2.7 times more likely to have a high engagement at work.” Both hard work and engagement are important in delivering stellar customer experiences.
Create an employee recognition program that makes your team excited to come to work and also recognizes them specifically when they create great customer interactions. Tools like Bonusly and Nectar make creating a culture of recognition simple and straightforward.
9. Culture of independence
Creating a culture of independence allows for the autonomy and creativity necessary to empower customer experience. In its simplest form, a culture of independence lays out a common goal (i.e. great customer experience) and guidelines, then gives employees the freedom to do their best work in the pursuit of that goal.
Creating a culture of independence requires clear documentation on what you value and the kind of customer experience you’re aiming to deliver. Tools like Guru and Notion are foundational to making documentation a habit for everyone across your organization.
Employee development tools
Every new hire starts with learning the role. During those initial weeks of training, there’s an opportunity to build customer experience into your training curriculum. By sowing those seeds from the start of their career journey, you ensure your employees are always thinking about the customer experience.
You can also train your team on specific skills like soft skills, asking probing questions, how to think outside the box, and how to identify customer pain points. Each of these topics—and many more—will enable your support team to deliver better customer experiences. If you don’t already have an effective training tool in place, consider using Google Classroom or Rise to get started.
11. Ongoing self-development
When you empower customer experience, your employees will recognize opportunities for delivering a better experience—although they may not have the skills to actually deliver. That’s why it’s important to give them continued learning tools so they can develop throughout their careers with you..
Invest in your employees by offering them access to continued learning through online forums such as LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, or Skillshare. Provide books, articles, and other resources to help them grow where they’re at.
Most importantly: build development time into their schedules. Many support agents are so focused on the queue that they rarely get intentional time to develop. While on-the-job training is vital, small investments in development time can have a big impact.
12. Individual Development Plans (IDPs)
An IDP is a formal document used to help guide an employee’s career development and help them on their own career. Think of it as a map showing an employee how to get from where they are now in their career to where they want to be long-term.
While guiding your employees in creating their individual development plan, you can create projects and stretch assignments that center around customer experience. Your employee’s development is the key focus of an IDP, but it’s also an opportunity to create a strong bench of individual contributors and leaders that know the importance of delivering a great customer experience.
Empowering a great experience
Customer experience has become so important that it’s essentially the currency of the year.
Empowering your employees is an essential part of creating a consistently great customer experience across your organization. And a great customer experience starts with knowing what your customers want.
If you want to understand your customers better, Nicereply can help. Sign up for a free 14-day trial today to see how easy it is to gather the feedback you need to empower great customer experiences.