No firm can be a service leader without empowerment. Empowerment means you have to bend rules and policies in favor of the customer. In my book, Empowerment: A Way of Life I said everyone's single, most important task every day is to have over happy customers. If you have over happy customers your competition is screwed... sales increase and customer loyalty soars.
The verb form of bellyache is what I am referring to. It is to complain or bellyache about simple matters that are not taken care of for the customer. It’s simply asking for a solution to a mishap or bad service.
I know, as a business person you can see them coming from a mile away. It’s the determined look they have to get a problem brought to your attention. To them it is a problem that is eating away at them and they will not be happy until you have gone above and beyond to take care of what is probably a simple problem that shouldn’t have happened in the first place.
Very few firms understand the cost of employee turnover and damage it can do to their brand. Take a look at how your company values people from the front door to the corporate level. The mind set is pretty simple…the less you pay them the easier they are to replace. Not true!
Employees at the bottom of almost every organization are the face of your organization. I estimate that 99% of the customer contact is with these employees and they are the least respected and least compensated in any organization.
Have you ever heard of Disney World’s reputation for exceptional customer service? Empowerment is a religion there. Employees are thoroughly trained and then told that they have the authority – it has been delegated to them – to do whatever is necessary to deal with problems on the spot in order to make customers happy.
Disney is aware of four crucial roadblocks that must be removed in order to develop a truly empowered workforce...
Successful people are obsessed with learning. They out-learn everyone around them. They’re voracious readers. Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Mahatma Gandhi, and Disney CEO Bob Iger read and learn. They finish newspapers, books, audio books, journals, and magazines like Harvard Business Review, Inc, or Forbes while their not-so-committed peers waste their time on worthless entertainment.
I am a huge promoter of reading and learning. All the books I have written, all the seminars I give, all the coaching I do is based on learning. Learning about your industry, learning about yourself, learning about products, learning about your employees and most important, learning about customers. It’s my passion and has been for the past 40 some years.
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