Empowerment entails giving employees the power to make decisions on their own for the benefit of their organization. Customer service managers have a responsibility of ensuring that customers are served and treated well in the course of their interaction with the company staff. It is difficult for customer service managers to achieve their objectives if employees work in a very restricted environment. Maintaining customers is not an easy thing considering the competitive nature of modern business.
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Organizations that empower their customer service employees are in a better position to increase their sales by attracting new customers and maintaining the existing ones (Huq 2010, 124). Customers can only become loyal to a particular brand depending on the quality of customer service that the company offers them. This article will discuss the importance of empowerment in customer service management. The success of a customer service department depends on employee empowerment.
There are various ways through which an organization can empower its employees in order to improve its customer service management (Wilson 2012, p. 156). It is important to highlight some of them before looking at the benefits of empowerment to customer service management.
Training employees on how to relate and serve customers is one of the ways through which organizations can empower their employees (Wilson 2012, p. 184). Employees should be given the authority to make decisions as along as they are able to enhance customer satisfaction.
Every organization has got unique expectations when it comes to customer service and employees should be trained to meet such expectations. Training as way of empowerment gives employees the confidence to interact with customers and make the right decisions (Buttle 2012, p. 189). Empowerment makes employees to be happy and this is normally reflected in their work. Employees who are happy will definitely strive to satisfy customers and make them happy.
Empowerment is a very important motivational tool when it comes to customer service (Hayes 1998, p. 79). Employees who have the freedom to make a positive contribution to the success of an organization will always feel motivated. Employees who go to the field and interact with customers should be given the first priority when it comes to motivation because the sustainability of an organization depends on how they perform.
According to research findings, empowerment is one of the best tools of motivating employees (Hayes 1998, p. 89). Many employees have very valuable ideas and opinions that can improve customer service but they are never given an opportunity to voice them (Buttle 2012, p. 164). Empowerment provides employees with a chance to make a significant contribution towards the improvement of customer service.
Customer service employees are in a better position to respond to the needs of customers because of their grassroots experience (Buttle 2012, p. 204). Empowered employees have the freedom to make important decision without waiting for senior managers. An example of this scenario is when an employee decides to replace missing labels without waiting for their leaders (Hayes 1998, p. 206).
Empowerment makes employees to be loyal to their organization by working hard to meet its goal. Empowerment eliminates all the constraints that prevent employees from having meaningful interactions with customers. Empowerment enables employees to follow the ideals and strategies of their organization in their interactions with customers (Hayes 1998, p. 257).
Consistent customer outcomes can only be achieved through organizational principles that empower the customer service staff. The customer service staff can only provide quality services if they are empowered by the specific principles of an organization. Organizations should treat their employees well because they rely on them when it comes to customer retention. Good remunerations and positive reinforcements are some of the things that organizations can use to make their employees happy.
Empowerment provides the customer service team with a proper framework to perform its duties better (Voortman 2004, p. 118). Empowered customer service teams can participate in product design and improvement in accordance with customer demands (Buttle 2012, p. 254).
Long-term partnerships with customers are very important in customer service and employees who have been empowered are in a better position to form such partnerships. Customer service employees can deal with complaints that are normally raised by customers.
The work flow within a customer service department is normally accelerated when employees have the power to make decisions (Buttle 2012, p. 294). Empowerment ensures that the customer service staff gains access to important resources and information that can make their work better. It is difficult for a customer service team to make quick decisions without having access to information and resources (Wilson 2012, p. 175).
An empowered customer service team will always have the necessary financial and human resources to implement its plans. Empowered employees can access important company databases that can help them to come up with better customer service strategies. Organizations can close very important deals if employees are empowered to access important resources.
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Empowerment comes with proper guidelines that ensure that customer service teams remain stable and effective (Finch 1994, p. 123). The guidelines are meant to ensure that the customer service teams do not in any way abuse their powers. Empowerment can only be of great benefit to customer service management if the levels of autonomy are clearly defined.
Employees can only get the much needed encouragement and support through empowerment. Empowerment is a clear sign of encouragement and support from the company leadership (Finch 1994, p. 227). Empowerment means that senior managers have confidence and trust in the junior employees and this is always a great challenge for employees to perform better (Finch 1994, p. 125).
Empowerment is very important in transforming the attitudes and feelings of employees concerning work. Empowered employees do not require any kind of supervision for them to do their work. The efficiency and productivity of an employee depends on their attitude towards work. Organizations can only encourage their employees to have a positive attitude when dealing with customers by empowering them (Huq 2010, p. 159).
Empowerment brings the best out of employees in terms of talents and creativity (Huq 2010, p. 176). There are some employees who can achieve great things for the customer service department and the entire organization through empowerment. Organizations may not benefit from the talents among their employees if they do not take the initiative to empower their employees.
Self discovery and awareness comes with power. Empowerment comes with new and more demanding responsibilities for the employees (Hayes 1998, p. 209). The new responsibilities are very important in helping employees to advance in their careers. It is difficult for employees without power to advance in their careers.
Employees can only realize their full potential if they are given an opportunity to work without any constraints (Wilson 2012, p. 179). Employees with a certain level of autonomy will definitely be satisfied with their jobs. A satisfied employee represents the company well by giving their best when it comes to customer service. Customer service is a very dynamic area and employees should be in a position to respond to change in the shortest time possible (Buttle 2012, p. 256).
Training is part of empowerment that enables the customer service staff to be aware of the new ways of serving customers. Empowerment makes employees to be loyal to their organization because they feel respected and supported. Research findings indicate that even those organizations that are aware of this concept are reluctant to put it into practice. Senior managers should not fear losing their authority because of empowerment.
In conclusion, employees in the customer service department can not play their role effectively if they are not empowered (Huq 2010, p. 258). Employees should be given the authority to make decisions as along as they are able to enhance customer satisfaction. An employee who is motivated through empowerment takes a personal initiative to enhance customer satisfaction. Customer service management is a very demanding responsibility that can not be accomplished without empowerment (Finch 2010, p. 208).
Empowerment makes employees to be loyal to the organization because they feel respected and supported. An empowered employee is always in a better position to solve problems compared to the one who has not been empowered (Wilson 2012, p. 216). Employees with a certain level of autonomy will definitely be satisfied with their jobs. It is clear from the discussion in this paper that empowerment is very important when it comes to customer service management.
Buttle, F 2012, Customer relationship management, Routledge, New York, NY.
Finch, L 1994, Twenty ways to improve customer service, Crisp Publications, New York, NY.
Hayes, J 1998, Managing customer service, Gower Publishing, Ltd., London.
Huq, R 2010, Employee empowerment: The rhetoric and the reality, Triarchy Press Limited New York, NY.
Voortman, C 2004, Global logistics: Management, Junta and Company Ltd., New York, NY.
Wilson, L 2012, Exploring great leadership: A practical look from the inside, iUniverse, New York, NY.