Harvard Business Review has a post about encouraging individuality among workers in customer service that gets at an important issue for the industry. Putting the workers in different support structures, including online customer services, in positions where they can make their own decisions could be one way to demonstrate a company's commitment to earning positive responses.
Few things can turn a customer away like the sense that they are just on an assembly line, and few things can be worse for customer service representatives than to feel like cogs in a machine. There's an easy way to balance consistent values with fresh, sincere relationships, and the employees of any answering service can seek to manage this by applying their own personalities to different situations.
With social media currently a focus of customer service, companies can forget how necessary it is for operators to know what they're doing and trust their own judgment: in other words, they can do what they know is right rather than just what they're told. Frank Eliason writes in a Forbes piece that a reliance on old conventions can hurt a business' reputation.
"The truth is that the service world has been broken for years because of the emphasis of handle time or calls per hour," Eliason says. "Companies do not want to talk to you, and it shows."
In short, the proper question shouldn't be "what's in it for me?" but rather, "what's the best way to help them?" Answering services workers who aren't dependent on higher approval can solve problems more effectively and ultimately make a difference for consumers and companies in the long run.