Recently, I purchased customized t-shirts online for our team to wear at an upcoming volunteer activity. Unfortunately, when I received the shirts a week later I was disappointed in the quality. So when I received an email from the company asking me to rate my experience I jumped at the chance to share my feedback. I thought that would be the end of it but soon after I hit the submit button I received the following email (click the image for a closer look):
Pretty impressive, right? It sounded like this company really wanted to hear from me personally so I dialed them up. When the customer service rep answered the line I politely let the woman on the phone know that I received an email asking me to explain my unsatisfactory scores, which I then went on to describe. After a few more exchanges about my experience the customer service rep said, “Ok, we’ll issue you a credit for the purchase amount to be used within one year.”
I have to give this company major kudos because not only do they “listen” to customers, it’s also apparent they have empowered employees to make decisions to satisfy them. I seriously wish more companies would adopt this practice.
By giving front-line employees the power to make decisions to improve customer experiences everyone wins – just Google “Ritz-Carlton’s employee empowerment policy” for additional proof. However, just be sure to establish clear guidelines and train front-line employees so that every client who calls in to “complain” is dealt with in a consistent and appropriate way. The last thing you want to do is upset a customer even more.
In my situation, even though it was a nice gesture, I wasn’t expecting a full refund. But this made my experience even more surprising…in a good way! So establish a clear vision of your customer satisfaction strategy and develop behaviors for your front line employees to follow for more refined solutions to customer concerns.
At Satrix Solutions we offer a service called an Employee Engagement Initiative, which focuses on helping you successfully create a collaborative and supportive vision and set commitments for your employees to apply in the work environment. The program also helps to cultivate employee empowerment at all levels of the organization by providing leaders with an action plan to encourage best practice behaviors among existing and new employees. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us.
In closing, yes, this company could have saved a few hundred dollars if it didn’t have this policy but you need only look at the pros (greater job satisfaction and happier customers to name a few) to see that empowering your employees far outweighs any cons. And, you bet I’ll be ordering from (and recommending) this site again!