This week we feature an article by Brett Patrontasch, CEO of Shyft. Brett provides three insightful ways to help improve customer satisfaction and employee empowerment. Most retail businesses understand that the best service strategies won’t succeed if store-level employees don’t feel motivated. When given proper training, support, and encouragement, employees can make your business. If […]
This week we feature an article by Brett Patrontasch, CEO of Shyft. Brett provides three insightful ways to help improve customer satisfaction and employee empowerment.
Most retail businesses understand that the best service strategies won’t succeed if store-level employees don’t feel motivated.
When given proper training, support, and encouragement, employees can make your business. If service seems to lag, you might take a look at your service strategy – as well as employee engagement strategy.
More often than not, bad customer service can be attributed to employee ambivalence. Usually, the reality of the issue can be summarized in one sentence: A lack of employee empowerment.
A Dale Carnegie study found that companies with high employee engagement outperform those without it by 202%. And yet, a separate report from Deloitte found that less than a quarter of companies believe they offer excellence in this area.
So, how do you encourage your retail business to stand out by creating a company culture that employees feel invested in while offering top of the line customer service?
Here are three ways you can boost employee empowerment and engagement to increase customer satisfaction and provide a stand-out store experience.
Any business with customer service needs to learn to expect the unexpected. At any given moment, a customer can approach an employee member with an unusual or unique question or concern.
Empower your staff with the autonomy to make important decisions and provide them with the tools necessary to remain flexible. Relying on outdated processes like paper schedules and manual shift swapping will create a more rigid culture and a precedent of running every decision by management.
According to a study by Aberdeen, companies with engaged employees experience a 233% greater customer loyalty and 26% revenue increase.
Engaged and empowered employees help your business reach new and greater possibilities with your customers. All you need to do is provide them with the support and encouragement to help them think on their feet and make those possibilities happen. Scheduling is one example where staff should be encouraged to make the changes they need to be as engaged and available as possible. Using up-to-date tools can help support that initiative and give managers the potential to be more hands-off.
With a smartphone in nearly everyone’s pocket these days, customers have the chance to be better informed than staff.
By equipping your store-level employees with the latest technology for communication and task management, you increase their mobility and empower them to be as effective as possible. Mobile solutions provide an array of capabilities to support associates’ working lives, such as communication, shift swapping, inventory management, and more.
Empowering staff through technology allows staff to create an in-store experience that’s as smooth and effective as your store’s website – while appealing to the Gen Zs and millennial staff and customers.
Gathering actionable information from other departments, then applying that information to everyday support information is key.
While technology and self-motivating encouragement are two ways to increase staff empowerment and therefore customer service quality, providing staff with as much information as possible while bringing together all interactions and data into one place are important factors.
This teamwork effect helps streamline customer interactions, making every situation straightforward for both staff and the customer.
Successfully applying actionable information from multiple departments gives your staff the chance to make better decisions while fueling cross-team collaboration. To do this, make sure communication between all departments is open and geared towards the same outcome: a happy and loyal customer base.
While maintaining a professional approach to customer service is always a top priority, if you’re setting the right example, you can achieve this while also empowering your staff to “just be themselves.”
When staff feel empowered to be themselves, they’re also happier. And, according to a study at the University of Warwick, happier staff are 12% more productive.
What’s more, when staff feel encouraged to be themselves, creativity levels are also likely to rise as they’re able to share their ideas and opinions with the team and customers. This boosts innovation and changes the store environment in a positive way for everyone present.
One way to directly affect this is through the company’s culture in terms of how it fosters communication – from etiquette to processes and tools that collectively help staff feel supported by their team, increase chemistry, and boost team morale. Giving your employees a way to communicate in and out of the workplace is a great way to get them feeling comfortable around each other and helping to improve productivity.
In this modern age, customer behavior is constantly evolving – which demands new ways of developing and strengthening your relationship with them.
However, sometimes, the answer simply lies internally, within the very people who are interacting with customers on a daily basis. If you want your customers to feel the “WOW” factor every time they interact with your brand, ensure your frontline employees are empowered to take charge of their own schedules, better engage with customers and team members, and deliver the best possible experience for everyone.
The secret to memorable retail store customer service can be found in strategies that involve empowering and engaging your staff – developing and upholding one of the core foundations your business leans on.
Brett Patrontasch is CEO and co-founder of Shyft, the mobile-first workforce management solution empowering hourly workers to trade shifts, manage their schedules, and communicate with their teams. Brett is passionate about improving the lives of hourly workers and leading teams to develop high-quality product design and best-in-class user experiences.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
Read Shep’s latest Forbes article: Transform The Customer Experience
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