Are your employees equipped to resolve problems, leaving clients feeling positive and loyal?
If one of your employees makes a service decision, does he know that you’ll back him up?
If so, then enjoy the rest of your day – you already understand empowerment and obviously don’t need this post!
Most staffing and recruiting firms want to deliver better client service by empowering their employees to resolve problems. But wanting to empower your staff is quite different from actually knowing how to do it. So to get you started, here are a few practical tips for empowering your staff to deliver shareworthy service, every time:
Educate your employees. Clearly define each employee’s role in front-line problem resolution, the authority they have and the process/guidelines for making decisions. Explain why having the power to resolve problems will help your staff to be more effective in their jobs – and that happy customers are good for their job security.
Don’t micromanage. Micromanaging is empowerment’s kryptonite. It’s a stumbling block in service delivery (not to mention a huge waste of time for managers). Instead, set measurable goals and specific guidelines for your front line staff. These will serve as a strong foundation when decision making time rolls around and allow managers to more comfortably take their hands off the wheel.
Remove red tape. Do whatever you can to make it easy for front line staff to solve clients’ and candidates’ problems. Instead of setting up insulating roadblocks or using scripts, give your employees the tools they need to put the wheels of resolution in motion.
Align your service horizontally and vertically. Your team members who don’t deal directly with customers should support the staff who do. When a customer has an issue, your front line employees should have immediate access to the appropriate supervisor, without hierarchical restraints. Removing internal barriers enables customer-facing employees to deliver solutions more easily.
Train staff for positive empowerment. Empowering employees doesn’t just work for problem resolution. You can also teach your front line workers to regularly go the extra mile for customers – even when there isn’t a problem to resolve!
Hire right. As you hire new front line employees, look for those who are willing to take responsibility when something doesn’t quite work out as planned. Believe it or not, there are some employees who are afraid of empowerment. These people want to be responsible for as little as possible as they move through their work day. To create a culture of empowerment, strive to hire dedicated, motivated people who are willing to step up to the plate and make decisions that are in your customers’ best interest.
Empowering your front line service staff goes beyond merely training them to be nice. It means giving them (or their direct supervisor) the authority, training and resources to satisfy the customer – and that’s what shareworthy service is all about.