Okay let me ask, have you ever left a store without buying what you went there for? Make sure it doesn’t happen at your store or business.
Many times organizations create policies without considering the unintended consequences. The policies may make sense from a practical, business point of view, but what impact do they have on customer relationships? I have been a customer of this store for nearly 20 years. This one incident could affect my future buying decisions (and I have a lot of shopping years ahead of me). How many others suffered this affront and then chose never to shop at the store again?
When associates have the authority to make decisions and take appropriate actions outside “policy,” they feel empowered and trusted. They are far more likely to take pride in what they do, respond in a consistently professional manner and take the kind of discretionary actions that keep customers coming back.
Consider your own organization’s policies and procedures. Now, look at them from the perspective of the customer. Are there any that could potentially hurt the perception of customer service? What changes can you make that would allow associates to satisfy customers more quickly?
Ask your associates if any policies have limited their ability to deliver exceptional service. Ask them what they could do differently to better serve customers. You may be surprised to hear the wealth of ideas that can make a significant difference on your organization’s reputation and bottom line.
Empowering you associates to make reasonable decisions about policies makes sense for everyone—your customers, associates and the organization as a whole.
P.S. I could not bear to leave the store empty handed as I had already invested over one hour on a precious weekend day. I looked through the racks again, grabbed a two-piece outfit, tried it on quickly and decided, “This will do.” When I went to the cashier, she examined it and then, with a suspicious air, told me that the skirt did not exactly match the top.
And, as you may have already guessed, she told me that I could not buy this one either. That is when I decided I would look great in one of the outfits in my closet after all.