Employee Empowerment Drives Customer Service Excellence
In my last post, I wrote about an extraordinarily negative customer service experience. Today, let’s focus on the positive.
Recently, Kelton Research surveyed 227 senior U.S.-based IT professionals and uncovered that almost seven in ten (68%) of those IT decision-makers believe that delivering good customer service is more important to their company than managing costs. In other words, ensuring that customers are happy is more important than anything else.
In the spirit of the survey, here are two truly inspiring stories of customer service:
- Alleviation of travel woes: In a discussion forum on focus.com, Gartner Research Director Richard Fouts related his experience at the Royal Gardenia Hotel in Bangalore, India. He got sick and had to cancel a trip to Chennai, including flights, hotel reservations and meetings. After checking out of the hotel, he realized he shouldn’t be going anywhere. The front desk staff member checked him back in, grabbed his travel folder and insisted on “taking care of everything”. The next day Richard went downstairs and the front desk person said, “Everything is fine. I cancelled your flights and the airline is not charging you their normal fee. And your hotel is not going to charge you either.” Add to that, there was a car waiting to take him to the airport. Richard is now an advocate for the hotel and insists that his friends and colleagues stay at the Royal Gardenia when traveling in the region.
- Shockingly good customer service: Peter Shankman, a nationally-known speaker and writer, had an amazing experience with Morton’s Steakhouses, the high-end steakhouse chain. A hungry Shankman was flying from Tampa to Newark. As the plane was about to take off, he tweeted the following:
Shankman arrived in Newark ready to get into an a waiting car before spotting a man in a tuxedo carrying a Morton’s bag. The Morton’s employee told Shankman that he’d heard he was hungry. Inside was a 24 oz. Porterhouse steak, an order of Colossal Shrimp, a side of potatoes, bread, two napkins, and silverware. Needless to say, Shankman was totally blown away. The logistics alone were daunting. Shankman rightly points out that many companies would have dismissed this kind of idea, thinking, “Oh, too many logistics. That’ll never work.”
It’s refreshing to see that there are some truly amazing examples of customer service occurring throughout the world on a daily basis. However, these stories raise a question. What happens if you’re not in the hospitality industry? Can companies in other industries deliver on this type of experience?
The answer is that employee empowerment trumps industry. In both of the examples above, it is clear that these organizations had empowered their employees to act on behalf of the customer at all times. As the survey results from Kelton Research demonstrate, there’s no reason that behavior can’t be fostered in other industries, including IT.
“The opinions expressed here are my personal opinions. Content published here is not read or approved in advance by EMC and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of EMC nor does it constitute any official communication of EMC.”