Free your agents and customers will follow

Free your agents and customers will follow

Have you ever had a feeling of not growing up? Whatever the moment of your life or the reason why, you know that it’s not a nice sensation. If you start delivering Digital Customer Service from scratch, chances are you may have that kind of unpleasant feeling.  So if you have the responsibility of a customer support team, the sooner you set free your agents, the better customer experiences they’ll deliver.

May I really say it to the customer?

Let me make it clear from the beginning: I think that processes and procedures play a very important role to deliver a consistent tone of voice across all support channels. Being that said, I’m convinced that if you want to leverage online conversations you also need to master emotional intelligence and empathy. These elements make the difference because they stick to customer’s emotional memory, driving their next decisions.  I also have to say that despite the spread of many digital support channels  amongst B2C and B2C companies, still many support agents are afraid of expressing themselves. Here are some common situations:

  • “Shall I call the customer using his/her name?”
  • “Am I allowed to write that we’re happy after reading customers excellent online review?”
  • “If I ask a question the customer will think I’m not enough skilled…”

These are just a few verbatim that I’ve collected in recent years from customer service of various industries, markets and size. Some agents fear customer’s reaction, others fear their supervisors / Managers, other both of them. Well, I’d argue that such a mental masturbation is the result of an obsolete approach towards conversations with customers. This screeches like chalk on the blackboard especially in online conversations where customers expect an informal, yet professional, tone of voice according to each channel peculiarities.

Let your agents be themselves

As I used to be a support agent, I know that feeling pretty well and how it negatively affects performances. Since Digital Customer Service is here to stay I encourage wise organizations to foster a human conversational approach in all online conversations with customers. That means providing your support team with clear and effective guidelines, yet empowering them to express their personalities. Free your agents and they’ll be more motivated and proactive than ever – I guarantee that after training many of them and enjoyed their newly gained enthusiasm and successful results. Practically, you need to follow through to these main steps:

  1. Define ad hoc tone of voice as per support channel [remember that 2021 is a different age of the customer compared to 2019]
  2. Review and/or get processes and procedures up-to-date, both external (end-to-end) with the final customer and internal (between customer service and other departments
  3. Get your support agents up/re-skilled as per each digital channel. That’s where Digital Customer Service Personas© skill-set model comes to rescue, helping transform your agents into online conversations specialists.

Over to you

We are all customers and we want to recognize ourselves through the interactions we have with the brands we make business with. So if you want to take your digital customer service experiences to the next level, free your agents. Your customers will do follow. If you want to start you conversation, respond to this short interactive video. ↓

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About Paolo Fabrizio

Digital Customer Service Consultant, Trainer, Author, Speaker. In the 90s he took part in the startup of the first online insurance company in Italy, following the customer's entire life cycle. Since 2013 as a consultant and trainer he has helped companies to exploit digital customer service as a business lever. Founder of, he is the author of thematic books at thematic conferences in Italy and abroad and lecturer at the Bicocca University of Milan.

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