Make staff your brand ambassadors

The role of customer services representatives – particularly within SMEs – is evolving. A growing number of businesses are moving away from traditional script based conversations, instead training their staff to essentially become brand ambassadors.

So how do you instil this brand ambassador approach amongst staff?

Firstly, go back to basics where possible, encouraging a more personal, less scripted approach to dealing with customer enquiries and complaints. Train your frontline staff to have the skill set to recognise customer needs, whilst empowering up-skilled employees to ‘own’ problems, taking appropriate, proactive action to achieve positive results. Customers don’t call because they want to, they make contact because they have to. Employees trained to establish a positive relationship with the caller whilst understanding the reason for the call and the emotions of the customer will ensure the enquiry is dealt with effectively and efficiently, whilst providing an opportunity to reinforce your brand and even exploit a potential sales opportunity.

Adopting a ‘top down’ approach beginning with senior management viewing the customer services team as an opportunity to build and retain customer relationships, rather than as another cost to the business, should then filter down to lower levels of the organisation.

This approach should not just focus on call-centre staff. Digital channels including social media must also be encompassed, for example, by monitoring your company’s social media activity and having staff with the right technical skills and responsibility to nip issues, which may turn into customer complaints, in the bud. This will not only minimise customer frustrations, it may also reduce call-centre volumes and, given that call-centres are one of the most expensive parts of an organisation, this approach will reduce operating costs as well.

Reinforcing your brand values should be at the centre of your customer service training programmes. As well as competency and technical skills the focus should also be on behaviour and attitudes - encouraging staff to explore what they think great customer service is.

A business is only as good as its people – invest in them and they will invest in you.

Nicola Parr
Holt Green Training