On Friday I patiently awaited a delivery from FedEx, however when I had not received the package by 4pm, I contacted FedEx to inquire on the status. I was advised that the address the sender had used was incorrect, and after some discussion we determined that a digit had been inadvertently left out of the address.
The FedEx agent placed me on hold and promptly returned advising that she was in contact with the terminal to see if the driver could be rerouted to my location. Forty-five minutes later the package arrived.
Most large organizations battle with the ability to react and resolve customer concerns promptly. Despite it’s size, FedEx remains a nimble organization, with dedicated and empowered employees (there may be an exception, but they wouldn’t be the norm).
Empowerment is one of the greatest means by which to improve and maintain customer satisfaction. Despite what many experts will tell you, empowerment cannot be thrust upon an organization, but is instilled overtime by the repeated demonstration by leadership of confidence in employee talent and capability.
Here are several ideas leaders can apply in order to instill a culture of empowerment:
- Support and encourage employee ideas and actions.
- Demonstrate a willingness to listen and act upon employee suggestions.
- Retain open, honest and collaborative leadership style.
- Simplify business processes to ensure they are easy to understand and navigate.
- Support the continued development of employee knowledge and confidence.
- Focus on building an organization wide understanding of the value of customers.
- Help employees understand their role in obtaining, servicing and retaining customers.
FedEx has demonstrated to me several times that they maintain a culture of empowerment, hence their success in the market place today despite their size. If FedEx can do it, so can you by starting with the pragmatic suggestions above.
© Shawn Casemore 2012. All rights reserved.