The Right Tool for the Job

Oct 5th, 2008 Posted in managing | 6 Comments »

We all recognize examples of good customer service, and we can distinguish them from poor customer service.  Yet our analysis of customer service often focuses on how we felt after an encounter.  Did we feel better about the organization than we did before?  Or were we angry, vowing never to do business with that company again?

Let’s take a look at the other side of the exchange for a moment though.  Why do some employees seem to ooze goodwill, and why do certain organizations excel at customer service?  I’m not going too far out on a limb when I suggest that much of it can be traced back to good managers providing their employees with the right tools to do their jobs.  And one of those tools is empowerment.

But empowering people is more than just telling them they have the latitude to do what is best.  Empowering employees doesn’t happen overnight.  Instead, employees become empowered when they have a deeper understanding of your organization’s “why’s.”  This kind of understanding is cultivated in an environment where managers listen, share, support, and trust.  Neglect these basic values, and employees will surely feel disconnected and unrecognized.

Who do you think provides better customer service – an employee who feels disconnected and unrecognized?  Or an employee who feels supported, knowledgeable, and empowered?