Tag Archives: empowerment

Breaking Rules to Delight Customers

Breaking Rules to Delight Customers

GUEST POST from Shep Hyken

There is a massive benefit to empowering employees to “break the rules” for their customers. And what I mean by “breaking the rules” is to consider what you can do for a customer outside of the norm that doesn’t cost the company money, isn’t illegal or immoral, and won’t hurt “business as usual.” In reality, employees aren’t breaking any rules. They are finding ways to take care of the customer while not breaking the “rules” mentioned above.

One of the concepts I cover in my customer service keynote speech is the idea of the “line in the sand.” Many companies train their employees in what they can’t do for customers. They have “rules” that have little or no flexibility. While it’s essential for employees to be trained on what they shouldn’t do, it may be more important to train them on what they can do. By that, I mean how far employees are allowed to go before they have to say, “No.”

I call this The Line in the Sand concept. It is important to draw that line, which is the boundary that employees aren’t allowed to cross, but at the same time, teach them what they can do to get right up to the line.

For example, I have a client in the luxury automobile market. This client has a team that travels to auto dealerships to help dealers with demanding customers they can’t seem to please. Members of this team believe in the power of saying “Yes” instead of “No.” They have the authority to refund the entire price of the car, even if it’s 10 years old. That’s their line in the sand – their last resort. They can get right up to it but can’t go past it. And by the way, they have never made it to that last resort. They have always found other ways to make discontented customers happy without getting to that line.

The key is training, but it isn’t just imparted in one session to tell employees what to do – or not do. It’s about continuously sharing stories of what other employees are doing to meet customers’ needs and demands, all without crossing the line in the sand. When an employee does something right, congratulate them and share the example with others. And if they do something wrong, or in other words, if they cross the line, turn it into a learning opportunity that is also shared with others. Routinely sharing examples helps employees recognize their opportunities to delight their customers.

Some examples of “breaking the rules” might be honoring a warranty that expired a month ago – or stretching a 14-day return policy to the 15th or 16th day. Some retail organizations, like Nordstrom, have an easy, no-questions-asked return policy. Even though the employees at Nordstrom aren’t breaking the rules, the customer feels as if they are going above and beyond. That’s all this really is. Making customers feel like you are on their side, willing to be flexible and giving them reasons to say, “I’ll be back!”

Image Credit: Pixabay

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Accountability and Empowerment in Team Dynamics

Accountability and Empowerment in Team Dynamics

GUEST POST from Stefan Lindegaard

A winning mindset is crucial for team leaders and teams striving to achieve their goals. Empowerment and accountability are two key elements that contribute to a mindset of success in team dynamics.

When team members feel empowered to make decisions and take the initiative, they are more engaged and motivated to excel.

Coupled with accountability, which ensures team members are responsible for their actions and outcomes, these two elements form a powerful mindset that can unlock your team’s full potential.

The Value of Empowerment and Accountability:

Empowerment fosters an environment where team members are encouraged to use their unique skills and expertise to contribute to the team’s success. This sense of autonomy can boost creativity and innovation, as team members feel they have the freedom and support to explore new ideas and take calculated risks.

Accountability, on the other hand, establishes a culture where team members are held responsible for their actions and the results they produce. When team members are accountable for their work, they are more likely to take ownership of their tasks and strive for high-quality outcomes. By embracing a mindset of empowerment and accountability, teams can achieve a synergistic effect that leads to improved performance, collaboration, and overall success.

Action Suggestions for Team Leaders and Teams:

# 1 – Set Clear Expectations: Ensure that team members understand their roles, responsibilities, and performance expectations. This clarity will help them feel more confident in taking ownership of their work and being accountable for their outcomes.

# 2 – Cultivate a Growth Mindset and Psychological Safety: Encourage team members to view challenges as opportunities for growth and learning while fostering an environment where they feel safe to take risks, express opinions, and ask for help. This combination will help them embrace empowerment and accountability as essential aspects of their development.

# 3 – Encourage Open Communication and Feedback: Create an environment where team members feel comfortable discussing their successes and challenges openly. Encourage them to give and receive constructive feedback, helping each other grow and improve.

# 4 – Celebrate Success and Learn from Mistakes: Acknowledge and reward team members for their contributions and achievements. At the same time, use setbacks as learning opportunities to reinforce the importance of taking ownership and being accountable for their work.

Your team’s success is a direct reflection of the mindset you cultivate within it. As a team leader or member, you have the power to ignite the potential of your team by embracing a growth mindset, psychological safety, empowerment, and accountability.

Now is the time to challenge the status quo, defy mediocrity, and strive for excellence. Make the conscious choice to create a team culture that dares to empower, holds each other accountable, and thrives in the face of adversity. The success of your team lies in your hands.

Are you ready to unleash it?

Image Credit: Pixabay

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