This piece originally appeared on AllBusiness.com.
What do employees have to do with customer service? Everything. That’s why when they feel their hands are tied, they’re stuck. More important, they’re frustrated.
It makes sense that unhappy employees struggle to provide exceptional customer service. It’s hard to put on a fake smile while dealing with disgruntled customers.
Here are three unconventional ways to keep your employees happy so they provide better customer service:
1. Let Your Employees Say Yes More Often
Zappos broke into the shoe industry with force. The key to their success? Enabling their customer service representatives to do whatever it took to resolve a customer’s concern. That meant offering free shipping on returns and going way above and beyond to make a customer happy.
This model is unique. Normally, customer service agents are given a script for dealing with various problems. By enabling employees to do whatever is necessary to keep a customer happy, your employees are better able to solve problems quickly and effortlessly, which ultimately improves your customer service levels.
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2. Reverse Roles
Do you know what your team encounters on a daily basis? Chances are, if you’ve been out of the customer service side of things in your business for a while, you don’t. And your employees know that.
Reverse roles with your employees for a day. Take over the customer service jobs and feel what it’s like to interact with the public. You might find unique ways to make your employees’ jobs easier so they can better serve your customers. At the very least, you’ll show your employees that you care about understanding their jobs, which in turn will make them feel more respected and happier at work.
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3. Make Work-Life Balance Possible
Children get sick. Families take impromptu trips. When life happens, your employees want to know they have the freedom and power to change their work schedule to accommodate their needs. Without this, they’re more likely to arrive at work in a bad mood and your customers will take notice.
To improve customer service levels, start by improving your employee’s ability to be flexible with a work schedule. Although flexible shifts might not be possible in your business, you can still empower your team to make schedule changes as necessary by modifying your scheduling method to put the power back in your team’s hands.
What Are You Doing to Improve Customer Service?
There are many ways to improve customer service. Is your team using an unconventional method to keep your buyers happier?
Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase, and other business software solutions.