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How To Empower Employees and Ensure a Great Customer Experience

May 22, 2019 Kaylene Eckels

Employee empowerment has many benefits. Empowered employees tend to be more committed to the company, which translates into lower turnover rates, improved processes, and greater customer satisfaction. Customer success is directly impacted by how connected employees are to the vision and believe their strengths and contributions are being utilized. While employee engagement is on the rise in the U.S., there is always room for improvement. Here are some ways you can improve your company culture and customer experience by empowering employees to work to their full potential.

Proper Tools To Do the Job

To provide fast, efficient service, your employees need fast, efficient tools. Employee empowerment is difficult if your representatives have to struggle to make the technology and resources you’ve provided work for them. The more user-friendly your programs are, the easier it is for workers to resolve customers’ issues.

To maximize the customer experience, many companies put the employee experience on the back burner. Unfortunately, the stress caused by neglecting employees’ needs inevitably trickles down to the customer. Shifting your focus to employee experience can increase satisfaction in both. Providing everything the workers need to do the best job they can do lets them know that you have enough confidence in them to invest in their work. Happy representatives pass on that happiness to your customers.

High Standards for Performance and Service

Setting high standards can contribute to employee empowerment. Communicating well about company goals and how employees fit in the plan can give them a sense of purpose. This is not always as simple as it may look at first. Several key variables must be enacted for this important element of empowerment not to backfire:

  • Hire motivated individuals. When you increase your hiring standards, you can expect that the productivity of those you hire will also be elevated. You can improve your hiring process with group interviews, which not only show how prospective employees act toward management but also how they treat their peers. It is also a good idea to exchange some of your standard interview questions with more open-ended questions that provide specific scenarios and ask how applicants would handle them.
  • Provide clear and continuous training. Starting a new job is itself a big change, so the very beginning of an employee’s tenure at your company may not be the best time to dump everything they will ever need to know on them. Employee empowerment starts with giving new employees an adequate time frame for basic training. Then they can reap the benefits of continuous training as new responsibilities are added or new technologies come into play.
  • Fight the urge to micromanage. If you want to communicate that you trust your employees to be competent enough to do what they’ve been trained to do, you must allow them to make the decisions they’re qualified to make. Set the end goal, but trust employees to use their creativity and resources to achieve it. Employee empowerment is based on action. You can say that you trust your employees all you want, but if you have set clear expectations yet are still requiring them to run their office supply order by you before submitting it, your overbearing actions are likely to drown out your encouraging words.
  • Show a direct link between their behavior and customer satisfaction. Creating a great customer experience depends on the inner workings of the organization as a whole. Show your employees how they affect the customers’ views of the company, and keep them as informed as possible. This is especially important for those employees who are working at the front desk. Don’t put them in the position of being the last to know something when they are likely the first to be asked.

Exceptional Professional Development

Some employee empowerment strategies can produce the opposite of their intended effect. If employees are entrusted with more responsibilities but are not given the tools or support they need to do them; they are more likely to become overwhelmed than inspired. Some employees respond differently than others to the increased attention that empowering leaders often give.

It pays to be sensitive to how your efforts are affecting your employees. One way to do so is to make the empowerment strategies about their professional development. If the extra focus you are putting on them shows a genuine interest in how their career is progressing and how you can help, even hesitant employees may be more receptive to it.

By incorporating employee empowerment practices in your business, you build a more cohesive team. As employees become more invested in how well the company does, their empowerment will lead to the improved customer experience.

This blog was first published on LinkedIn.