Google+ Consumer Psyche: Empowered employee = Good service?

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Empowered employee = Good service?

The undercurrent of good service is an empowered work force — those who interface with customers have been given the tools, confidence and information from the higher-ups that they can appropriately defuse the situation at hand. Simple but effective. And sadly, very rare.

A lack of empowerment is why a waiter cannot give you a free drink or dessert, even as he mixed up your order. Or why the bank declines the signature on your cheque, even though you have proof showing you are who you say you are and verify the amount. Or why a customer service representative directs you to Airtel’s website, which will require you to hope she really text messages your password, instead of sending you a duplicate bill from May.

A great divide marks the lives we customers lead and those of the workers serving us. You can train someone to spread mayonnaise or fold jeans, but will they ever really learn to anticipate and understand and feel customer needs?

Different people have different answers to that question — and training warrants its own separate discussion. But one element we consumers do have control over is our reactions to poor service. That is to say, I can be in an American mall and someone might not get me the right size, but I probably won’t yell at them at the top of my lungs and tell them how worthless they are. But in India, I see it all the time. And I confess to also having raised my voice, then sighed many times in a way that flusters a worker even more and lets him know exactly what I think of him.

Wider Angle by S.Mitra Kalita

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