In fact, John Tschohl, author of "Empowerment:
Successful empowerment requires that frontline employees have a clear directive in terms of service recovery. For Tschohl, this means that reps must:
* Take ownership of the customer problem or issue and take responsibility for fixing the problem to the customer's satisfaction.
* Act quickly to ensure that the problem is fixed and the customer is satisfied in as short a time as possible — both to create a positive customer experience and to forestall any negative word-of-mouth that might be created by a delay.
* Act with empowerment. This involves being ready to make decisions to assist the customer and to bend the rules if necessary.
* Compensate the customer for the inconvenience. Reps must understand what they can offer that is of high value and low cost, as well as what dollar limits might apply — so that when they make a mistake they can use this tool to recover in the eyes of the customer.
More on empowerment and how to nurture it in your organization appears in the April issue of "Customer Service Newsletter."
About the Customer Service Group
For more than 20 years, the Customer Service Group has helped customer service, call center and help desk managers increase productivity, improve service quality and boost customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention. The Customer Service Group publishes "Customer Service Newsletter" and "The Customer Communicator."