Fostering a Culture of Empowerment
When your customers need help, they expect immediate, accurate and complete solutions in response to their issues. If you want to increase efficiency without sacrificing service quality, make sure your frontline employees have the information—and authority—they need to make decisions on the spot.
According to business success specialist Anne Houlihan, not only can fostering a culture of empowerment help increase customer satisfaction, it can also help you improve overall organizational productivity. Empowered employees tend to view the company as if it were their own and make decisions that advance the company’s goals and mission.
Of course, employees can’t be empowered if they’re not properly trained. Discussions should revolve around company policies and procedures as well as the lifetime value of a customer. Regular meetings should also be held to keep frontline employees apprised of the latest marketing programs, recent policy changes and any other pertinent information they need to know to accurately respond to customers.
Managers need to accept that just because the decisions an employee makes are not the ones they would make, it does not mean they are wrong. After all, there may be many solutions to the same issue. The bottom line is that the more empowered your frontline employees are, the more time you will have to work on the business rather than in it. In addition, your managers will be able to focus less on the day-to-day minutiae and more on long-term initiatives.